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“Hotel has gone down hill.”

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Melia Santiago de Cuba
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Certificate of Excellence
Orillia, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hotel has gone down hill.”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Melia Santiago claims it is a 5 star hotel but offers less than 3 star conditions.
My hotel room cost in excess of $120 per night (a high price for Cuba) but when I went to use the swimming pool, I found out that they sell these privileges to people off the street for $10. The result is large groups of loud people drinking in the pool, leaving garbage in and around the pool, and occupying all of the shaded loungers. It looked like a trashed community center pool!
The Italian restaurant offers relatively high priced food of poor quality. The spaghetti Bolognese had bones and other ground up animal parts in it. I was told that the kitchen staff replace the hotel supplies with meat purchased on the street! The hotel is still missing windows from the last hurricane and the lobby still leaks badly when it rains. Customer service was unavailable for 5 days and the front desk staff couldn't care less.
I have been to this hotel 4 times but this was my last. Better to rent somewhere else for less and pay $10 to use the pool. The front desk insisted on a credit card imprint upon check in to cover charges to the room which is normal. But upon checking out, they charge you the 3% transaction fee. This is against Visa policy as I have contacted them (Visa) about it. Unbelievable that a company the size of Melia International would expect me to cover their Visa handeling costs! Five star status requires more than painting 5 stars above the entrance. This hotel is in dire need of a complete makeover.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rrapid
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, August 29, 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.:
We are very sorry your stay in our hotel was not as expected. We would like to apologize for every single detail you consider we need to improve, with the compromise of taking the necessary steps to make sure we are following the right direction towards a better level of service and comfort.
Concerning the operation with credit cards we would like to clarify that we are only following the normal procedures that are carried out in the whole country. It is not a system that Meliá Hotels International introduced and it is applicable not only to Visa card holders. It is clearly explained in the reception of the hotel that in the case of payments with credit cards the charge is in American dollars. For this reason the amount of the guests invoice in CUC is converted into USD, once the correspondent rate has been applied and adding the financial mediation.
Concerning what you were told about our staff from the kitchen we consider it is a very delicate issue which is completely uncertain and against all internal regulations, security dispositions, control and respect. The same happens with the pool area, in which we limit the access and pay special attention to all details, especially its pacific atmosphere and clean spaces, so much praised by our clients. On the other side Customer Service has been always available and ready to assist our guests with the usual interest and efficiency.
We would like you to give us a second chance to show you the hotel is not going down the hill, on the contrary, it is doing the best to be the first one to get to the top. We hope you give us a second chance and keep the confidence in our hotel chain. We are positive about changing your perception and hope you give us the opportunity.
Best regards,
Manuel Martínez-Corbalán
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Halle Belgium
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2013

the hotel was great. Everything was fine. Only the possibilities of internet were below the expectations. The rooms were clean ans spacy. The restaurant ( breakfast and diner ) was very good with a huge variety.Across the street from the hotel there is a bar/restaurant where water can be bought at reasonable prices, and there is a small refrigerator in the room. The safe in the room was free.

Room Tip: boek een kamer met goede A/C
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MARC en LUT B
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, August 8, 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.:
We are thankful for your excellent punctuation which encourages us to work harder and serve better. We provide a great deal of attention to our guests and their opinions are always analyzed. Many of our guests’ ideas have helped designing new options and improving many of our services.
We are really sorry the Internet possibilities were below your expectations and we are positive this service will improve in the coming future. It is really pleasant to know you found a huge variety in the restaurants as well as a very clean and spacious room.
We would like, one more time, to appreciate your review, hoping you include us in your next vacations plans some time in the near future.
Kind regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Stenløse
Level Contributor
139 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2013

I think they rate themselves a five-star hotel but I would say the right level is four stars.
We stayed for three nights - and on the last two days all sorts of dignitaries from the various Antilles islands poured in, and the security level rose considerably. The national day was on the 26th July, the Canival was going on and a conference of heads-of-state was happening as well, so there were ample photo opportunities!
We had two rooms on the 11th floor. For a city hotel they were pretty spacey and everything worked faultlessly - air-conditioning, water, electricity etc. The rooms were a bit dated - not outdated but just seemed to have come to the end of the current cycle of maintenance. The cleanliness of the place was faultless.
There are several restaurants on the premises - an Italian, a buffet style and some bars. The breakfast buffet was really satisfactory - huge selection of everything, so nobody ought to have problems having a decent meal to start the day.
The evening buffet was likewise - a huge selection of meats, veggies, fish etc. You could spend a couple of ours there - and you could even have a decent bottle of wine even if this is not an area of priority.
The Italian restaurant served good pizzas, but the waiting time was unreasonably long.
On the hotel premises there is also a few shops and even a phamacy. We had to call on the resident hotel doctor and had a very good experience and when eventually we had to consult with local childrens' hospital the hotel was helpful to find and arrange for the delivery of the necessary medication from out on the town.
The hotel features a fairly fast wi-fi at 12$ per hour - expensive but it was there!
The gymnasium was quite satisfactory, actually, with three treadmills and free-weight equipment. The aircondition in the place had a hard time coping with a 40 degree outdoor temperature and several hard-sweating persons inside - but it went ok.
Across the street from the hotel there is a bar/restaurant where water can be bought at reasonable prices, and there is a small refrigerator in the room.
The safe in the room was free.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nils Holm Jørge... E
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, August 7, 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.:
We appreciate your interesting review and we feel very happy you could enjoy of a very pleasant stay in our hotel. Those were indeed very busy days taking into account the different celebrations related to the 26th of July in Santiago de Cuba as well as the Carnivals.
Thanks for your compliments to the cleanliness of our hotel and the excellent working order of the equipments in the rooms. We certainly note you could enjoy of La Casona restaurant very much, finding the food and the service very accurate. However we should offer our apologies for the delay you are referring in La Fontana. We are very sorry and will seriously verify the issue with the staff.
Thanks as well for mentioning how we managed to locate the medication that you needed. We have a very helpful doctor and efficient nurses working 24 hours to make sure our clients receive an immediate response to their needs. We have pharmacy, Bank, shops, business centre, amazing bars and 24 hours room service. All our clients need to enjoy of a quiet and relaxing experience.
One more time many thanks for recommending our hotel and hope we can count with your visit shortly.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Horrible bathrooms and terrible beds , awful buffet breakfast poor quality and variety of food, the air conditioning was never turned up in any of the hotel floors it was always hot totally unacceptable for any hotel . I agree with the lady who point out the racism in that place , the guards at the Melia Santiago did the same thing to my husband and I (a black and white couple ) , they need to train the hotel staff on how to treat hotel guesses and provide basic costumer services . My 7 days in Melia Santiago were terrible , I felt like I was being watched and followed at all times, I will never ever recommend this hotel to anybody .

Room Tip: Never stay in floor 12 ask for floor 10 it's a little better
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mary32
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, July 29, 2013
Dear Mrs.:
It is really hard to believe the hotel described in your review is Meliá Santiago de Cuba. However, we are really sorry your perception of the facility is completely the opposite of our daily intentions and actions.
Concerning your opinion regarding the treatment to black and white couples we should clarify that the hotel respects all guests no matter their nationality, sex, or colour of the skin. Cubans are of mixed heritage: Spanish descent, Black African ancestry and Asians. At least 50 percent of the population is classified as mulatto (mixed African and European descent), one more reason for us to be nice, respectful and considerate to these kind of couples. However we do want to apologize if any of the security guards was not polite when doing his job, so necessary taking into account the frequent cases of non guests trying to get into the building to bother our clients, and the reason why they are warned by the reception staff to carry the hotel card and be ready to show it to be recognized as such.
One more time, we are sorry for the inconveniences you may have had during your stay and would like to have the pleasure of welcoming you back again in the future.
Sincerely,
Ignacio Morcillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

The bathtub was very rusty and old! Impossible for a 5 star hotel! People at the reception were not friendly. Hotel guards were very suspicious of black and white couples (like my husband and I) going up to the rooms. They saw me for a a lady that has been paid for and didn'nt let me step into the elevator. Instead I had to go to the reception with my id for them to check if I really was a hotelguest. Very very disrespectful!

Stayed July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank A E
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, July 18, 2013
Dear Ms.:
First and foremost, we would like to express our sincere apologies for the inconveniences you may have had during your stay in our hotel. The issues related to the bathroom and staff will be supervised.
Concerning the procedure that the guards followed, we should explain that it is their responsibility the security and well being of our guests. That is why our clients should carry their guest cards to be recognized as such, otherwise they need to check with the hotel reception weather the person is really staying with us or not. Our hotel is located in the city and with hundreds of clients checking in and out every day. As a result, the access to the building should be checked and our clients should be thankful for that.
But we are really sorry about the perception you had regarding this procedure. It has truly nothing to do with the colour of the skin or any other reason.
Please, accept once more, all our apologies.
Sincerely,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

I made a little trip around Cuba, planed by myself, first Province I visited was Santiago de Cuba and decided to stay at this Hotel. Arrived there driving at 4am and had a very good experience, the staff was really nice, they gave a room very big, nice with a great view.
I do not have any complaint about the Hotel, stayed there 2 nights.
My breakfast was included and it was good, the restaurant is huge, it was clean and the food good, they had everything to call it a good breakfast that last pass lunch.
The staff was very nice all the time, I do not have any complaints.
My room big, with a big bathroom and very nice view.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ariel80Miami_Florida
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, July 15, 2013
Dear Mr.:
Many thanks for sharing your experience in our hotel with the people who follow TripAdvisor. It is an enormous pleasure to know your days in our care were really nice and you could feel the hospitality and professional service of our staff.
We are very please to know you found our breakfast very good and according to your expectations. La Casona hosts huge and varied breakfasts in the morning and delicious meals in the evening. The music of the piano is the perfect combination in a unique and magical environment.
And in the case that you plan another trip to our beautiful country, do not hesitate to visit us again. There will always be a welcoming staff waiting to serve you with pleasure and a cosy room for you to enjoy the perfect vacations.
Kind regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Holland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

After my wife had a little accident in another hotel, we were looking for a good hotel to recover. We endend at the Melia Santiago de Cuba because there service was including medical assistance and ofcourse they had Valia Perez Pauli!! It was a great stay! All personeel was informed about the situation and Valia made our week as comfortable as good be. Perfect service. - Very friendly people.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OnzenEr
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, July 8, 2013
Dear. Mr.
We are so much glad that, apart from being worried about the recovering of your wife, you could evaluate the degree of our services. We were very concerned about the delicacy of her state and we could not make it better with our services and concerns about you. Our personnel are trained all the time to recognize and treat our most important clients and to express concern and make the word Excellence a habit.
We are looking forward to listening from you and we hope you and your wife can come back anytime to spend a vacation.
Sincerely,
Ignacio Morcillo
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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
Phone Number:
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
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Also Known As:
Melia Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba
Santiago De Cuba Melia

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