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Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
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Reviewed November 19, 2013

In its way, Cape Santa Maria is just perfect. To start, it sits on one of the most spectacularly beautiful (and perfect) beaches in the world. Cool, pink, powder soft sand; crystal clear, tranquil, turquoise water.... it's a virtual cliche-fest of Caribbean perfection. The accommodations aren't too shabby either. At CSM they come in two varieties - bungalows and villas - both of which sit directly on the beach. We're talking 20 yards from door to ocean. We stayed in a villa (#24) which was casually but beautifully decorated, fully equipped (from wine glasses to board games) and gloriously spacious (2 large bedrooms, an open kitchen, dining, living area, 2 full baths, a screened in porch, etc.). But what made our stay perfect was the people.
I do not know what kind of training program is at work at Cape Santa Maria, but whatever it is, they should be exporting it to the States. We (insanely) traveled to the resort with my husband's 84 year old parents who are not only frail, but demanding and extremely difficult. Over the years I have seen them make hardened hospitality professionals beg for mercy on three continents. Not only did the staff at CSM roll with the punches, but they took such good care of them (and us) that they were purring like kittens. And it wasn't just us. This is the sort of place where people hug their server goodbye on their last night; where the man who took us out fishing on his boat left a conch shell on my doorstep the morning we left, and the manager himself showed up with his arms full of towels at when the washing machine in our Villa inexplicably overflowed at 10:00 at night. That said, CSM is not the Four Seasons. It is casual and comfortable and quiet. The food is fresh and prepared to order and the drinks are reasonably priced and plentiful. Two 1/2 hour massages were included in our stay and Omar (the entrepreneur of the Island) arrived at our Villa and gave me one of the best ones of my life.
Reef fishing with Bert and Gene was a complete treat. We caught lots of fish which they cleaned and the kitchen prepared for our dinner.
Don't come here if you're looking for night life, or for that matter, any sort of life at all beyond the resort, but if you want the best beach vacation of your life, you won't be disappointed by Cape Santa Maria.

Room Tip: If you want something more than a basic accommodation, spring for a Villa.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank sayersfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We stayed at Santa Maria for 5 nights in August. We were 2 families with young children.
The top rating is deserved for fantastic location. The hotel is secluded on a truly stunning beach. The hotel is low built and the rooms (all literally on the beach) are spread out enough to get a good sence of privacy. Guests have sections of the beach virtually to themselves.
The kids loved it and we couldn't get them away from the beach and sea (ideal for 4-6 year olds, as not very deep for the first 5-10 meters).
We were less impressed by the food, which was ok, but the variety should be improved.
Overall the cost of the room was relatively good value, given the location and e standard, but we were a bit put off by the fact that on top of the room fee and meal costs, you get charged for absolutely everything, including borrowing masks for snorkelling.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Andrea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We loved the beach at this resort! The sand is so amazingly soft and powder white, it never seemed to get hot! The water is some of the most amazing clear turquoise water that I have seen. We could literally walk out 200 yards and still be waist deep and the water was so calm and peaceful. We stayed in one of the bungalows which was right on the beach (they all are). We loved the screened in porch and easy access to the beach. The room was a bit dated but very clean so I had no problem with it. The food was good and varied enough to keep us happy for a week. The drinks were fabulous especially the goombay smash. We rented a car and toured the island one day which was fun. We loved Max's Conch bar and visiting a couple beaches that were absolutely deserted. After touring the island we were glad that we chose the Cape Santa Maria Resort- it has the best beach on the island hands down! I've visited some beautiful beaches and this is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. The staff is very helpful and kind. My husband and I are not big eaters so the meal plan would have been a waste for us. We stopped by a store on the cab ride to the resort and stocked up on water, beer, and snacks which saved us money. If you are looking for a peaceful vacation on a world class beach for a great value this is the place! The only negative were the "no see ums" which came out at night but the bug spray the hotel provided was a huge help! We hope to go back some day.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Juaos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband and I spent a week at Cape Santa Maria and didn't want to leave. We fell in love with this resort and will be returning in the near future no doubt. All the staff at Cape Santa Maria are incredibly kind, helpful and warm (Ericka, Brevonne, Starlene, and everyone else who worked there is great).

The restaurant food is delicious - You will love the menu, especially if you like seafood. I highly recommend all their lobster dishes! I didn't encounter any issues with bugs at all. If needed, you could always use bug repellant spray which they provide you with in each bungalow.

I highly recommend the sandy keys excursion which I believe is on Thursdays. Nothing beats the serenity there. And I also recommend a visit to Dean's Blue Hole which is the world's deepest known blue hole with seawater (if you don't scuba dive, you could snorkel!).

My husband and I travel a lot, and this is by FAR our favorite vacation spot! We have nothing but great things to say about this place: the beach is gorgeous with crystal clear water, the staff is wonderful, property maintenance is impeccable, bungalows are very comfortable and air conditioned, restaurant food is great, and plenty of activities are available.

On our last day, we forgot our passports in the bungalow safe (which has never happened to us before) and realized it once we arrived at the airport. So I called the front desk to let them know that we would be on our way back to pick them up. Without even letting us know, someone from the resort drove out half way to give us our passports to save us time. We are beyond thankful for what they did. We have never encountered such kindness before at a resort!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Daje2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

I will begin by saying that CSM truly is a paradise unto itself,& if they never changed anything it is still special, & as beautiful as the pictures!

However, a few important changes could make CSM perfect in my family's eyes.

1. Having a very expensive meal plan yet limiting food and drinks. It's like a wanna-be-all-inclusive- but- not- quite. When it costs a small family of three $270 per day just for meals..., geez... let them have an extra soda or appetizer or whatever.You are not gonna lose money.

2. Internet & T.V. desperately needed for bungalows. There's very little to do on the resort at night as a family after you've taken a walk, looked at the stars, & sat on the porch together. I get the idea about minimizing technology . But for most people, internet is just not an option these days, & not having it in the rooms is a big inconvenience/problem. And it would be nice to watch an hour or two of t.v. in the evenings, a movie, or catch the news when we don't go out.

3. Please get a boat with a bathroom! We were really looking forward to the Iguana/Pirates of the Caribbean Island trip. Then we found out it's a 5 HOUR EXCURSION WITH NO TOILET FACILITIES! Without getting graphic, I don't think anyone can guarantee that they won't need a toilet for 5 hours straight. We were disappointed.

HELPFUL TIPS:
If you don't get the meal plan, take a cab to the little grocery store & purchase a loaf of bread, peanut butter & jelly, fresh fruit and a bag of chips. We ate that for lunch most days on the porch together & saved a lot of $. And we didn't mind considering the huge, yummy breakfast and dinners.

If you love to SNORKEL.... the best snorkeling at the resort is by the rocks that jut out into the sea by the shoreline (near Bungalow #1. ) Use vests though, the current is strong some days.And go at higher tide. Many more fishes then. Great fun!!

Room Tip: If you get a bungalow, try to ask for one that doesn't have a concrete wall on the beach that you have to walk down stairs. About half the bungalows are sitting directly ON the beach with no stairs.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank netcorrupter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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