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“We Were Not Expecting Such a Disgrace.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Melia Santiago de Cuba

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Melia Santiago de Cuba
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Certificate of Excellence
Kent. UK
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“We Were Not Expecting Such a Disgrace.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were independently seeing a few places in Cuba starting in Havana (where we stayed at the wonderful Parque Centrale) moved on to Trinidad where we stayed at Casa Miriam for the experience and a good one it was. Then we arranged a long distance taxi to Santiago and stayed at the Melia. Oh dear!


In, what purports to be, a 1st class hotel we have never encountered such awful staff who ran the gamit of disinterested/lazy/rude. At Reception on checking in or when over the next day when we had queries we were met with irritation (they were not busy i.e. nobody else waiting) which on one occasion manifested as hostility. We didn't go near there again.

Breakfast is a buffet fairly varied and indifferent quality. Also, novelly, a person making omlettes to order who expected a gratuity for so doing. Another anoyance was that there was a grand piano in the place at thay time of the morning belting out iffy renditions of songs from the shows. But the worst thing was when arriving and claiming a table there are vacuum jugs that have coffee and milk. Thing is they are from the previous occupants and to get the staff to change half filled jugs with luke warm contents was something that required determination and the ability to ignore the looks and the huffiness.

Now anyone travelling in Cuba will have noted the middle age foreign men entertaining local young girls both in hotel bars and restaurants and out on the town. It is all fairly discrete. In this hotel not so. Particularly on the Saturday evening when we were sitting in the lobby bat before venturing out. The large expanse near the bar and the entance had a number of local young girls and a couple of young boys milling around waiting for their companions, so discretion had gone out the window, but the worst of it was 4 Irish lads in the area using the very worst of expletives continuously and one having 2 girls on his arm explaining to anyone who would listen that he had only had them for 15 minutes and didn't know their names. It was a seedy and fairly uncomfortable 30 minutes before we left for to go to a local restaurant.

Everything bad that we encountered in this hotel , there is more but I am trying to avoid a rant,
was to do with the culture of the establishment and so its management. So we thought about this place and our experience and wondered why it had, astonishingly, good reviews and it hit us. In our time at this place in the evening coaches would role up, disgorge, the people would come in be escorted up stairs to a buffet dinner and their Guide dealt with the booking in. Next day they would depart or go out on a trip and they would be gonefollowed by the next lot.

So the secret of being the Melia Santiago de Cuba is to be the only hotel in the area that can deal with the volumes and to have a guests who are either on a tour of cuba (it's Friday this must be Santiago) or middle age men. Independent travellrs like us are in the minority and as if to underline that in and around the pool during the day there were only locals (staff?) and groups of men. So on that basis the hotel doesn't need to up its game , why should it?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JonandJudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
We are extremely sorry your stay in Meliá Santiago Hotel was not as you expected. It is as well very disappointing for us because we take very seriously the art of serving. We continuously train our workers with the best skills and we are very strict when checking quality standards.
Santiago de Cuba is known as “The most hospitable city in the country”, and it is precisely its people who make the difference, it is precisely its people the reason why so many people keep coming back.
Your perception is probably the result of an unusual sequence of unfortunate events for which we are sorry and promise to supervise all the details your have mentioned: the workers attitude and perspectives, and all that can be addressed.
We would like as well to mention that absolutely all the groups that stay in our hotel enjoy breakfast and dinner in “La Casona” restaurant. It is not as simple as check-in and go to sleep. They enjoy of our shows in the Lobby Bar, Santiago Café and the lyrics of the piano in every meal. So the good reviews come from their own experiences from which we have obtained the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence as well as a whole family of friends who stay with us every year.
Therefore, the secret of Meliá Santiago is listening carefully to what our clients have to say, the secret is to learn from the mistakes and become stronger every step of the way.
Best Regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
235 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

Honestly, the only good hotel choice in Santiago. Location is not great, but it´s not far from old town. Food and rooms quality are fare enough. Service is excellent and the swimming pool is a must. A little bit old fashioned (80s style, kind of tacky), but very comfortable.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Patricio_Odw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.
It was very kind of you to catalogue our hotel as “the best choice in Santiago”. We appreciate as well your nice comments regarding the quality of foods and rooms.
It is gorgeous you could enjoy of an excellent service. We believe the key to delivering a great guest experience is providing what our guests are looking for and respond to their needs in a unique way every time.
Therefore we have every morning the challenge to give more, to work the double, and insist in our first priority: satisfy our clients’ expectations.
Sincerely,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for four days. I was attending a conference. This is THE place where most tourists stay. There were loads of people coming and going. You can understand why. The hotel is very clean and the location is good. We stayed on the 12th floor looking out from the front of the hotel. They offer a very fine breakfast and internet access is available. However the cost of internet is very high and it is painfully slow. They offer a hard-line connection in their business centre that has around 10 PCs. They charge CUC$6 for one-hour of access. There is also a wifi connection at a cost of CUC$12 for two-hours of access. Your best bet is to go with the hard-line connection....MUCH faster (but still snail speed). Overall this is a nice hotel and I'd definitely stay here again if I was ever in Santiago de Cuba. There are cheaper options (such as the Hotel San Juan) that are probably still ok but if you're looking for the best comfort possible (for Cuba), I'd stay here

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank M R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
We have received with joy your kind comments regarding your stay while attending a conference in our city.
We appreciate your remarks related to our breakfasts at “La Casona” buffet restaurant and the location of the hotel. It is as well rewarding to know you enjoyed of a very clean room and hotel.
Concerning the Internet access we are the only hotel in Santiago de Cuba with WIFI service, it is true that it is not as fast as we would like to, but we always warn our clients about it and offer the possibility of a faster service in the Business Centre were we provide computers with a hard line connection. Hopefully, this situation will change in the coming future.
Considering our hotel as the “Best in Santiago” is an honour for us. It is the best reason to continue putting heart and soul into every task to keep providing the comfort our clients are looking for.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
108 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

We were taken to the hotel as part of our overnight jeep trip from Guardalavaca to Santiago de Cuba. It is a good tropical hotel. My other half was annoyed with some bits not being up to his expectations but I had nothing to moan about as far as the open air swimming pool was more than enough to make my day. The pools are enormous! The location is cool and Santiago is one of my favourite places in Cuba!

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank safaricakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.
It feels great to be able to provide our clients with exactly what they enjoy the most. For some of them, the rooms are the perfect place to stay in, for others the night entertainment thought with a refined touch, and there are many in love with our restaurants with their delicious dishes and exquisite service.
However, our pools attract most of our guests’ attention. They have been quoted by some of our clients as "an oasis in town", because they are always waiting for our clients to relax and enjoy of a unique environment after their long tours.
We should, then, say thanks, because in your words there is an invitation to stay in our hotel and enjoy our facilities.
Our sincere appreciation,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

This was the last hotel my group stayed in after touring the island from Havana to Santiago. We were welcomed with a fruit juice cocktail. The rooms were gorgeous, clean and really comfortable. The buffet dining had a nice variety and I was pleased. To my understanding WiFi access was sketchy, but not to the fault of the hotel, it's throughout Cuba. The staff asked that you try to connect your device to pick up WiFi to see if it worked before selling you a card. My ipad mini would not connect, therefore I did not waste money purchasing access. That would be my only issue, as it connected in Havana, but there was no more access the further we moved east, so it was no fault to the hotel. The other reviews mentioned Sandy, so there are some places that are still in need of repair, but it doesn't prohibit one from enjoying their stay. I would highly recommend staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SMJ08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.
Our deepest appreciation for your kind words and we are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our hotel.
It is very nice to hear compliments, mainly when you have worked hard. So, your words are the perfect reward to the every day effort of Meliá Santiago de Cuba team.
We will continue to do our best to obtain, as in your case, full satisfaction and a memorable stay.
Sincerely,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

This is a great hotel in a good area just outside the centre of Santiago. My husband and I both aged 40 stayed in this hotel January 2013.
This hotel looks bright and modern in the dark, slightly older and worn in the daylight. We didn't see any better accommodation.
The hotel was JUST outside the centre and was a great excuse for taking a ride in one of the many old American taxis available 24/7.
Staff were very friendly, the hotel was very clean and there was a lovely pool.
Room was large - two double beds, with a large clean bathroom (shower over the bath), with a bath plug (appears a luxury item in Cuba!).
Had a private parking area for our hire car. Only a short distance from the airport - but do NOT try and find this hotel yourself, and especially not in the dark! Cuba has very little road signs, and this route is extremely confusing.
The hotel was very lively. Would recommend the area Santiago, well worth a visit IF in the area, we did a fly drive of the island, starting in Havana and then flying down to Santiago to drive back up. We saw the whole of Cuba, and if I was to do it all again I wouldn't visit Santiago, Havana is far more interesting and very similar (just on a much larger scale).
Negative comments would be:
Breakfast buffet wasn't the best, although there was enough to fill up, meat was extremely poor quality.
It appeared that they allowed paying locals (teenage boys and girls)) into the live entertainment areas of the hotel - this meant that the areas were very noisy, and also that there were never enough seats for the residents. We ended up standing at the door several nights and getting to see none of the show! Hotel should definitely review this.
We couldn't find a beach nearby, infact we drove for several miles in every direction - check out distance to the beach before you book.
One of the bars / discos was closed, appeared for refurbishment, so very limited on where to sit in the evening, choice wasn't the greatest.
In the evening you could either eat pizza / pasta outside downstairs or pay quite an expensive (equivalent to approx £25.00 per head) price for the international buffet, which we viewed and didn't go for - again poor quality meat.

Room Tip: There appeared to be no difference between location of rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear Mr. /Mrs:
We appreciate very much your words to praise our facility as well as the suggestions for those aspects that according to your opinion need some improvement.
Santiago is the second most important city in the country. And two main aspects that make our city a unique place in the world are the hospitality and friendliness of its people and its amazing historical and cultural history. So, we can affirm that coming to our city is a very accurate decision if the visitors want to have a wider knowledge the real Cuba.
The closet beach to the city is Siboney, which is approximately 15 kilometres from town. Its landscape is beautiful and the waters are delicious. We are glad you enjoyed very much the pool area as well as the rest of the hotel facilities. We will definitely check the quality of the meat to make sure is the best one, as well as the accommodation for our clients during the entertainment activities.
Thanks one more time for your time and for staying in our hotel.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

I stayid in the hotel few nights verry important hotel on las america road, accros the hotel las america plus internatinal bank centre of the city not far away is a football stadium good food also there is interntional clinic, and more

Room Tip: rooms are clean one of the best hotel in santiago de cuba if you want to spentd a little bit more of...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Johnny R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.
We appreciate very much your candid comments in Tripadvisor. Nowadays there is a tendency to pay much more attention to the people recommendation than to the publicity and advertisement in the agencies. That is why we give so much importance to your decision to let people know all we can offer here in this hotel.
Our location, as you have already pointed out, is outstanding for its beauty and surroundings, next to theatres, night clubs, car rental agencies, shops and others.
One more time thanks for your recommendation and we hope you visit us soon in the coming future.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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 Melia Santiago de Cuba

Property: Melia Santiago de Cuba
Address: Calle M y Avenida de las Americas | Reparto Sueno, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Santiago de Cuba 5*
Number of rooms: 302
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melia Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba
Santiago De Cuba Melia

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