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Reviewed November 1, 2018 via mobile

Had read lots of reviews. Tried to believe the middle ones.
The good-beach at grand memories great. At Sanctuary not much of a beach but the ocean was absolutely amazing.
Most staff were good, some better than others. Some couldn't have cared less.
Beds not comfy. I had water leaking from the air conditioner 2 days. Fixed 3 times. Ran out of toilet paper twice. Water once. According to all pictures of rooms there should have been bottles in the rooms. No such luck. Lucky to get 2 beer and soda. Complained to the hotel manager about a bunch of stuff, finally got 1 small bottle of rum. Invited to a "special dinner". What a waste of food lobster and steak so over cooked it was inedible. No fresh veggies to be found. All buffets had the same reused food day after day. Not hot,over cooked and most over salted. No salads, no bananas. Avocado 1 day. Mexican was the best restaurant but had to reserve daily with your "butler" and always told we'll see, I only have x amount of tables to reserve. I knew the food was so so before going but this was just sad.
Met several people who had been there 14 plus times so not sure what I'm missing.. would not go back. Would not recommend.
2nd last day they wanted me to sign a statement saying that my complaints were dealt with and I would not write a negative review. They made my butler bring in and ask me to sign. At least find new yourself and ask if I was anywhere near satisfied.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Traveled with friends
9  Thank Travel39301656254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director_General2018, General Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2018

Dear Travel39301656254,

Thank you very much for choosing Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria for your vacation and for taking the time to share your experience.

We regret to hear that you were not able to enjoy your stay with us and that you were not able to spend the vacation you were looking for.


Kind regards,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2018

We have been to so many areas of Cuba. We read the reviews, we have a budget, we book and off we go! Sanctuary was amazing based on : Staff (ALL pleasant and friendly), cleanliness (room and bungalow), pool, beach (the BEST in Cuba), and food choices, It was great value for the money we paid.

Butler: Joel in building 60. Friendly, helpful, reliable, he made all dinner reservations for the time requested, one day we had no bottled water (he had one in 5 min for us), same with coffee (He got us 4 pkgs.instantly). He is a true asset for this hotel, there is nothing he could not arrange or have rectified for us immediately ...and he was always available to answer all our questions with perfect English, French and Spanish.
He became a true friend and will be one of the reasons we come back . Thank you Joel, we will see you again.
Also thank you fo Nayla, our server in the Sanctuary buffet, and the student server
Cheila. Coffee, drinks, water were brought the minute we sat down in their Section
with a cheery smile and greeting.

An employee at Grand Memories deserves a huge thank you. Marlon the most fantastic and friendly beach chair/palypa employee we have ever come across on any beach in any country. He runs from one end of his beach section to the other all day long. He asked us our names and remembered them the entire 2 weeks....amazing and hard working guy.

Food choices:
breakfast buffet at Sanctuary (plenty of choices) and buffet at G.memories
lunch: buffet at Sanctuary (always sea food, crab legs, shrimp, chicken , salads and lots more. The grill at the pool, grill at the beach. G. memories had same restauants. There is a 24 hr. pizza at G. Memories, and pizza at Sanctuary after 4 pm.
Dinner: 5 a la cartes, 2 buffets. We had more lobster, shrimp, sea food than we have ever had at any resort......all food was cooked well, service great.

Negatives which are not essential for us : no liquor dispensor avail in room or turn down service and no live Cuban bands before 9pm during low season which we missed alot. Also entertainment around the pool was pathetic in the afternoon. Annoying very loud speaker aimed at the pool played 95% American music....people requested a song , and then the team sat down until it was dance lesson time for 2 or 3 dances. "Entertainment" consisted of 2 or 3 fashion shows.....better to stay at the beach if you are over 30 yrs old.

Public washrooms: hit or miss with toilet paper...could be better! we carried a roll from our room in our beach bag!!!

lots of beach towels avail. to exchange during the day.
Golf carts run 24 hrs. and there are lots of them...thank you to chicken man who was
so much fun when driving you around. they even drive you to the Market and back.
The Market consists of permanent buildings and restaurants, with lots of clean public washrooms, and benches to sit down on. Prices were good. Burger/fries were 2.75 CUC.

suggestions for you: bring lots of bug spray/and after bite for early morning /late afternoon evening, and face clothes as they do not have them in Cuba.
as gifts : pocket size flashlights with spare batteries (not all homes have electricity) flip flops (they call them house slippers), pringles chips are appreciated..

Would we come back...? definitely yes thanks to the hard working staff...they are a very welcoming group of people who work hard to make your vacation the best

Room tip: 2nd-3rd floor rooms have a better view.
Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
12  Thank janedanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director_General2018, General Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2018

Dear janedanne,

First of all, we would like to thank you for your super nice review and the time that you spent to write it.

Nice comments make us very happy because that means that you had a great time during your holidays with us, we work every day in order to improve our service and your suggestions are always welcome.

Our staff has received your comments and appreciates your effort, one more time thanks for providing part of your precious time to share your experience.

We are looking forward to see you soon at your second home, Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria.

Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 26, 2018

Oct 17th to 24th
This was an amazing week, the staff goes all the way to make sure guess are happy .
Food not so bad , this is Cuba we knew what to expect of season they where not a lot of choice. I was happy to eat my salad once home :)
Beach was so nice , sanctuary side is small but private the small walk to the Diamond club section is worth it !
Rooms super clean , fridge filled up everyday . They did not want to give us the rum bottles as they normally do .
I would return without I hesitation and recommend this hotel .
Block 60 was perfect

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank mchalifoux1422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director_General2018, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2018

Dear Guest,

First of all, we would like to thank you for the time you spent on writing such a nice comment about your time at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria. We are glad to know we succeeded your expectations and you liked our beach and rooms, as well as our service. What makes us more than happy is to know we will have you again and we are already looking forward to it.
Thank you for choosing and recommending us.

Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed October 23, 2018

Overall we really enjoy Cuba and the amazing people. The resort is clean and very well kept, our rooms were also clean and well looked after. Once in a while the fridge re-stocking or a towel was missed however they were quickly fixed. We found the lobby bar in sanctuary amazing once they learned we liked our red wine warm and not refrigerated, each night before dinner they had a bottle out for us. Gym was clean and well equipped for Cuba. We also found the honey house in the market had amazing chicken fingers and fries, and a local Cuban drink called a canchanchuran that is delicious. We did find this restaurant out of need as the buffet was just off on temperatures, some items were freezing cold, we really don’t expect gourmet food in Cuba but this was worse than usual. The beach is very rocky and not as good as the pictures were. The washrooms at the lobby were leaking on our first day and actually overflowing by our 7th day. Overall the resort provides a great vacation, the bathroom once fixed won’t be an issue and if the temperatures of the food are corrected there are really no issues here. And as usual the staff are amazing and will work hard to correct any issue.

Date of stay: October 2018
6  Thank dsmith759
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director_General2018, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for leaving a review about your stay with us. It is a pleasure for us to hear you had a great time at our little paradise and overall we reached your expectations. We really appreciate your suggestions that are our clue to keep improving everyday. We have taken notes of them and will forward them to each department.
We hope to have the honor to welcome you again soon.

Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed October 22, 2018

Can't believe this was rated a 4.5 star. Stayed there Oct. 14-21st. So many issues. huge starving cat problem. Cats fighting for food, getting injured and roaming the resort begging for food. Fleas all over furniture, cushions .. horrific. Trying to get water or soft drinks for room was a major issue. shortages of these items along with toilet paper and other items unbelievable. Broken railings were unsafe when had people carting their own luggage up and down stairs even though help was requested. Food at resort was extremely limited. A la cartes were missing menu items every night. Was told by butlers too often that restaurants were fully booked even at 8am in morning. A mushroom was growing off wall in our bathroom. Took maid 5 days to see it and remove it. Obviously mould was present. Alcoholic drinks were way below par. no frozen drinks, no blenders, shortage of alcoholic choices. Will never return. If your smart, you will hold this hotel accountable and make them fix these problems, They are taking advantage of Canadian generosity and their employees are paying the price.

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
12  Thank laceyluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director_General2018, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2018

Dear Guest,

It is a pleasure to express our gratitude for your kind preference of visiting our resort, and especially for the valuable time that you took to let us know your experiences concerning your stay. We sincerely appreciate your comments that give us the opportunity to adjust and improve our service. It's sad to know you found some issues that caused you discomfort. As we are continually improving, we will take all your insights with a profound sense of responsibility to improve these inconveniences and address them properly. Your comment has been sent to the departments in order to give the attention required.
Thank you for choosing us.

Best regards,

General Manager

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