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“Melia Buenavista, Didn't live up to our expectations.”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Windsor, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Melia Buenavista, Didn't live up to our expectations.”
Reviewed May 24, 2011

This was our second trip to Cuba, and our first time at a five star resort. My partner and I decided to splurge and indulge ourselves at the Melia Buenavista based on the amazing reviews of this hotel. In my opinion, it is nowhere near it's five star rating and still has a long way to go. That being said, we still had a great vacation- but really had to "look over" the bad things and try to focus on the positive. To give you some background, we are a young couple in our late twenties, who wanted a vacation to get away from it all. We are not a big fan of the nightlife, but do enjoy having things to do in the evening.

Check In: Check in was a breeze at the MB, there was a large group of us arriving and we were greeted with mimosas and cold towels. Our room was just like the pictures, stunning. We had an oceanview room and loved waking up every morning to the ocean. We had all amenities in our room upon arrival, but I would definitely recommend bringing a shower curtain to cover up the boards around your outdoor shower if you don't want people to see you showering.
Service: This is a part that we really struggled with. Being to Cuba before, we knew that tipping was a large part of getting good service. We enjoy tipping as a way of showing gratitute, but I have never been to a resort (especially 5 star) where I was hounded for tips. Upon arrival, we had no CUCs yet as we hadn't made our way to a Cadeca. (BTW, the MB does not have it's own Cadeca, you may only exchange money at the hotel lobby where the exchange rate is higher.) The gentleman who brought our bags to our door stood in our room and put out his hand. After realizing what he wanted, we politely let him know that we didn't have any CUC's right now and that we would find him and tip him later. He asked if we had any Canadian or American, and because we only had twenties, had to tell him again that we would find him but we had nothing now. He was very snobby and left our room with the door wide open. This was not the type of service I expected, especially at the beginning of our stay. Most bartenders were amazing with drinks and we were happy to tip them. As other reviews say, the boys at the pool bar are amazing, and always have a smile on their face.

Royal Service: We found the royal service extremely lacking for our vacation. Our butlers, although helpful when we saw them were most of the time nowhere to be found. You could request things on the "Royal Service Phone Line" by dialing 700, but when you call someone answers in spanish and we had a very hard time getting our point across. We ordered room service three times throughout our trip. Once was for a burger around 9pm and it came an hour and a half later and it was still red inside. The second time we The third time we tried to order a bottle of champagne to our room but were brought up two half full glasses and were told that they do not offer bottle service to your room anymore. Needless to say we were a little upset. The royal service was handy for making a la carte reservations, although many places we wanted to try were already booked. Our butler explained that MCSM and MLD only reserve four tables per night per restuarant, so it is difficult to get in. All in all, the royal service really wasn't what we had expected- we are not sure if this is just because the hotel is newer or if we had our standards too high.

Food: Breakfast at the a la carte was pretty good each morning, they had fruit and meat trays sitting out, as well as you could order from the menu. Service was quite slow, but the fresh squeezed orange juice was delicious. Lunch at the same restaurant was horrible, thank goodness we found out that Las Caribes next to the lobby has a delicious pizza and pasta restaurant. I wish I knew about it sooner, we would have eaten there all week. Dinner at the Bistro (Los Navegantes) was edible, the appetizers were very different than what I was used to though. (Raw shrimp, quail egg soup) Dinner at MLD was our favourite, the Italian and Romantica were delicious. As I stated above, room service was horrible- food was undercooked and cold.

Beach: The main beach at MB is very pretty, there is a large swimming area as well as a good snorkelling area. The beach is different than at the other resorts, it has a lot more vegetation around it and there are fish everywhere. For a crystal clear, white sand type of beach I would recommend making the trip to MCSM or MLD as the beach there is similar to Varadero.. shallow, clear waters that seem to go on for miles.

Buses: The resort offered shuttle buses to and from the different resorts at no extra charge, but these buses rarely came on time. Most buses were either late or not going to your destination. Buses were easiest to get at night, during the day they were few and far between and often left us waiting in the lobby for over an hour.

The Pueblo: This "little town" was good to get small souvenirs, but really that was it. Both times we went it was a ghost town, with no one there. I heard from a few people that the nightlife was also pretty bad, with most people coming over from Barcelo around 3am. Buses only come once every three hours in the evenings, so if you are there at the wrong time, you're kind of stuck there unless you choose to take a cab back fro 5 pesos.

In closing, our expectations weren't really met for this vacation, but we did have a good time enjoying each other's company and soaking up the sun. Our most memorable times from our vacation were going to the other resorts. We loved spending time at MLD, the resort grounds are gorgeous, the servers friendly, the beach great and the food delicious. We loved our room at the MB and the beach, but that's about it. I am not trying to be picky, as we are both young travellers who are not used to extravagant things, but we expected a lot more from this vacation based on the reviews and what the hotel said it offered. I think this resort will be great in a few years once the vegetation grows and they work out the kinks, but before then I will be trusting a more established resort and will think twice about splurging for a "five star."

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank CourteneyF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Director General at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear guest;

Thank you very much for all your comments, as always we are taking all the feedback in a very positive way and we are using as a tool to improve our resort and the service that we offer.

I would like you to consider to comeback in the future and check the improvements done based in your comments.

Best regards;

The direction
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2011

Stayed at the Buenavista between 7th May and 21st May travelling with Thomas Cook from Manchester.
Welcome at Santa Clara Airport set the scene for the entire holiday with music and a mojito before being ushered onto the waiting air conditioned coach and being whisked on the 90 minute journey to the MBV.
It is fair to say that the approach to the hotel is still rather bare with little vegetation but it should be remembered that Cuba is currently suffering a real dry spell and I'm sure within a year it will look stunning. On entering the compact but very smart and stylish lobby we were given cold face towels and glass of sparkling wine before being given our key cards and directed to the room. Some guests were whisked away on golf carts but we walked the very short distance to room 1611 which was to be our home for the next 2 weeks. Initially I'll admit to hoping that we might have been allocated one of the sea view rooms but any disappointment was soon gone as we entered the room. They really are worthy of a 5 star resort with quality furnishing and our ground floor room opened up directly onto the quiet pool where we spent most of our days.

Room
The room had everything we needed for our 2 weeks stay. A huge comfy bed, separate seating area, flat screen TV showing plenty of recent movies if you fancied an early night, Jacuzzi tub and the famous outdoor shower. We were one of the lucky ones as our outdoor shower area had had its slats boarded up otherwise it would have been a bit like showering in a shop window. The room has a large walk in wardrobe with iron and ironing board and very effective air con.
The mini bar in the room was one of the areas with for room for improvement. Initially it was well stocked with Cristal beer, cola and orange. This was restocked on most days but on several occasions wasn't restocked for days leaving us without anything to drink including water. A call to reception on the occasion we had run out of water proved no use but after contacting our butler the following day he resolved things in minutes. Perhaps this could be resolved by giving guests a daily order sheet which could be left for the guy who restocks the fridge?
During our stay we were looked after by our concierges’ Javier and Edel and both were excellent. We found nothing was too much trouble for them and anything that we requested was done such as the breakfast and bubbly to the room on our wedding anniversary that I ordered with Javier that was then delivered by Edel at exactly the right time the following day.
Special mention should be made about the chambermaids. Our room was always spotless with clean towels twice a day and lovely arrangements on the bed. The only comment we could make is the turn down service did arrive on occasion when one of us was in the shower and perhaps it could be done in line with your dinner reservation that day to prevent any possible embarrassing situations!

Food
This seemed to be the most contentious issue amongst the British guest who arrived with us.
Breakfast was taken in Los Marinos restaurant between 7:30 - 11:00 and was either buffet with a large selection of fruit, cereals, cut meats and a small selection of hot items such as sausage and eggs. We generally ordered from the menu which had a great selection such a French toast, Benedict eggs and scrambled eggs with various fillings such as ham or salmon. Side orders of hash browns, bacon or sausage could be included with these but often these orders were lost in translation and either thrown into the scrambled egg or just left off the order totally. All items that we tried off the menu were hot and tasty and we would recommend the menu over the hot buffet items which were sometimes lukewarm.
The service during breakfast varied from brilliant to terrible at times being served within seconds of sitting down to sometimes being seemingly ignored for 30 minutes. The times we got great service were always by the same few members of staff and we quickly identified the best places to sit to be served by these people.
Lunch could be taken in the Los Marinos or Los Caribes. Los Marinos was again buffet with a good selection of salad and cut meat and fish along with a roast meat such as turkey carved by the chef. Menu service again was available with the options ranging from hamburger and hotdog through to my recommendation the grilled shrimps which were excellent. There did appear to be another translation issue with lunch service in the every time we ordered a side of French fries we were given a plate of crisps. This happened in both restaurants and seemed to be a common theme with some other guests and not really a problem.
Lunch in Los Caribes was menu service with a very restricted buffet. Menu was pizza and pasta but burgers were also available as the kitchen also served food for the pool area. On the first occasion were ordered pizza it was a very tasteless affair with the base not really tasting of anything. We didn't visit for another week after this but on our return we found the pizzas delicious on both occasions and the pasta was also good.
Evening meals were normally served in Los Navegantes and Los Caribes, the later alternating between seafood and Italian menus. However all the menus are in my opinion more suited to seafood lovers of which I am one. The resort needs to realise that there are many people that will not eat seafood and for them the menu options are very limited with either sirloin steak which can challenge even the best set of teeth and tropical chicken. Occasionally the chef’s recommendation in Los Navegantes was T-bone steak which was very enjoyable. The lobster and grilled fish dishes were also very tasty.
The limited options extended to the starters with just 3 options available in each restaurant, all being seafood related in Los Navegantes but were all very enjoyable. The desserts were fairly standard fare but the ice cream was tasty and the tiramisu on Italian night in Los Caribes was excellent.
Staff in Los Navegantes are led by Mario who is a real character and showman. Mario greeted us with a great smile each evening and his method of service made meals that much more special.
Service in Los Caribes was very hit and miss with our final night being the worst. We arrived on time for our booking at 20:30 and were shown to our table at 20:35. By 21:00 we finally got served a glass of water and had our order taken and by 21:30 finally had our starter served. The entire service took around 2 hours which wouldn't have been as bad had we been able to get more than the 2 small glasses of wine served during all that time. What compounded matters at this service was the obvious 2 tier service we encountered we 4 people being shown around the resort by the manager we seated as soon as they arrived in the restaurant and had various bottles of wine served with 5 minutes. Despite being seated more than 40 minutes later than us there main course was served before ours and this did leave a sour taste in our mouths and due to it being our last night will be a lasting memory of this restaurant which is a shame. We were by no means the only couple affected that evening with some very vocal and justified complaints heard from various people.
On Saturday a gala dinner is served in Los Marinos and something not to miss is Cuban night in there on Wednesday evening. You are greeted with rum and coke before sitting down to Cuban style food such as pork and lobster but the thing not to be missed is the band and its mad lead singer. They really are unmissable.
In summary the service needs to be more consistent in order to justify the 5 star rating. Many members of staff are of the highest caliber but others did seem to wander around a lot without actually achieving much. On all reviews the same staff names appear time after time and I think hotel management should watch how these people work and use them as a benchmark for others to work towards.
The evening menus could also be much improved with a little more variety. They are fine for the short stay guests who have been in the majority for the opening months but for the British guests stopping for 2 weeks the menu is just too restrictive. It must be a worry to management as many of the Brits who were staying with us decided to board the shuttle bus every evening and eat at the buffet at MLD or MCSM such was their feeling towards the food on offer at MBV.

Bars
Perhaps the highlight of the hotel. All staff in the lobby bar are great working tirelessly making cocktail after cocktail and always greeting you with a smile. Beer is ice cold with Becks and Bavaria available but I would recommend the Cristal, Mayabe or Bucanero everyday of the week. Also not to be missed is the 7 year old rum to finish the night off. All this was topped off with live music each evening.
The pool bar is again manned by a great set of lads but no review would be complete without a mention for Orestes. He never stops working from sunrise to sunset and kept us in drink around the pool all day. He is a real credit to the resort and one of the highlights of our holiday.

Resort
This really will be stunning within a year or two, The gardeners are working none stop planting every day. All public areas are spotlessly clean and very well finished. Both pools are great but the quiet pool is heaven with a cold drink whilst led on one of the floating beds. All the shaded areas were finally completed during our stay to provide a welcome break from the midday sun.
The gym is small but equipped with the very latest Technogym equipment and the spa facilities and free massage are highly recommended.
The beaches are stunning and again all the shade areas had been completed just as we left. The snorkeling was very good off the main beach but much better for the confident swimmer off the middle beach where the water was deeper and the marine life more varied.

Summary
In our opinion it is currently a 4 star resort to British guests but with a few minor changes will easily make the 5 star grade. We would love to return in the next few years to see how the resort has developed.

Room Tip: if you like a pool room 1611 is the one to choose
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gigsycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 26, 2011
Dear Friend of MBV,

We have read your comments about your recent stay at Meliá Buena Vista. I would like to offer my most sincere apologies for the inconveniences presented and thank you for sharing with us your valuable opinions, which have allowed us to identify and find solutions for improvement opportunities in order to achieve full satisfaction of our guest’s expectations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2011

If you had stayed at previous Royal Service section from other sol melia resorts, dont expect much from this hotel. This hotel is approximately 5 months old (according to our bus tour guide) and still need improvements.

CHECK IN: We landed at night and came to the hotel at 10pm. It was approximately 1.5-2hour bus ride from the airport. We were very hungry and wanted room service but the menu in our room was not available. When our butler came he told us we had to wait until the next morning to get one. He was able to get us some food, but it was not enough. So we called for Room Service again and ordered food; 1 hour later I called to see status and I was told the kitchen was busy and that it will arrive very soon. It NEVER did, we actually ended up sleeping 2 hours later.
We got 2 double beds, instead of a king size bed. When I requested for a room change to our butler, I was told to wait until tomorrow morning because all rooms were in full capacity, which was untrue. I went to the front desk first thing in the morning at 8 am and had no problems switching rooms immediately and the lady gladly printed me a room service menu within seconds.

ROOMS: Clean, but they only change the linens every other day which is not a big deal. I noticed the small amenities, ie soap, shower caps.. was not immediately present when we came to the room. I had to request for it, which technically I should not have to because it should have been there already.

FOOD: Always inconsistent; For example ordered grilled chicken breast quite a few times and got fried chicken, fried turkey drumstick, stir-fry like chicken anything but grilled chicken breast. Breakfast at Los Marinos was great for the first day, however it started to become painfully slow. Twice we had to wait 1 hour for our breakfast order; while some people who came after us got theirs within 20minutes. On top of that, they got our order wrong. Eventually we requested room service breakfast on the last 4 days of our trip, but even that was not completely perfect, there was always something missing or wrong. Some desserts on the menu are not always available for ie tiramisu cake or brownie. But if you go to the other resort, you will find it there. We found this odd considering the resort s are about 5 minutes apart.

A la carte Los Caribes (italian and sea food: menus alternate every other day) and Los Navigantes (international; same menu everyday) had great food and service. The servers were always pleasant and happy to serve customers. Never had issues

BAR: The bartenders at the lobby and pool bar were always attentive. Always ready to
refill your drinks up. They take the time to talk and entertain you.

POOL/BEACH: VERY VERY clean and clear. Well maintained. If you like to snorkel, this is a great place. 2-3 feet into the water, fishes come to you; more will come if you feed them bread. Although they do provide snorkeling gear, I would suggest to bring your own.

BEACH TOWELS: 3 days no clean beach towels were available for exchange. The guy that worked in the area was really sorry and embarrassed that he couldn't provided us with any.

INTERNET: Dial-up; they give you 30minute interval internet cards with specific log in and passwords.

SHUTTLE BUS: There are times you could be waiting for 15minutes to 1hour to get to the other hotel. Lunch time is the worst, or if there are people leaving the resort to the airport because they used the same bus.

GYM/SPA: There are 2 treadmills/, 2 ellipticals and one bicycle. There also weights. All state of the art, you can play connect four, majong on screen of the equipment. Our package included a 25 minute neck and back massage. I cant comment on this.

OVERALL: My fiancee and I got the impression that certain workers clearly did not want to serve us partly because we are a young couple. We were not rude, always smiled, and said hi. We observed how some waiters/waitress would chit chat with other customers and by the time he/she came to us, the only thing he/she would have to say is if we were done with our food. What really made us angry one time was when a waitress went all around the tables to refill everyone's wine, except our table. We tip quite well, we spent about $100 in tips during our stay in this hotel, for the people that really deserved it. Overall we had an okay time, but could have been a lot better if we got the same treatment as the older couples per say. We really felt in some sense not wanted, and that our business was not good enough. We would come back to Cayo Santo Maria but not this hotel.

Our butler Michel was amazing, each day he would check up on us to see if everything was okay and if he can do anything. He did do his best to address any issues we had. Some of it are not his fault so we just dont bother telling him. Armando the gardender by the buffet is a great character, always chatting up with us and very friendly. I kind of wished he was also our butler for how friendly he is. Diego, one of the bell boys assisted us with the room change, very professional.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NickyandMichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Director General at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear guest;

Thank you very much for all your comments, as always we are taking all the feedback in a very positive way and we are using as a tool to improve our resort and the service that we offer.

I would like you to consider to comeback in the future and check the improvements done based in your comments.

Best regards;

The direction
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2011

The Shangri-La of Cuba!

On the week of April 1 to the 8, we decided to try out this new resort called “Melia Buenavista” in Cayo Santa Maria that was built in December of last year (2010).Since it’s been our 9th time to Cuba and we had already stayed in this region (Cayo Santa Maria) at the Melia Las Dunas resort in the past. I was not looking forward to the excruciating 1 and a half hour plus bus ride from Santa Clara airport to Cayo Santa Maria. True, there is the man made crossway that was built to help the sea environment of the region that leads to area of all the resorts. But first it’s when the bus has to pass so close to the homes of not one but two small very poor towns on its route. You’re so close to their homes that you get to see what’s inside and how they have to live day in and day out. So honestly, it does make the beginning of your happy vacation pretty sad as this is your first bus tour of Cuba. The worst part of it all is that you have to do it again …..Going back home that is. Believe me this is the right time to take a snooze and get your batteries charged for you have arrive in the most beautiful island in the world…CUBA of course!

As the bus starts approaching the resort, you notice that it’s a small resort and with lots of 2 story bungalows. Once passed the Melia Buenavista entrance with its beautiful beige marble floor and glass sensor sliding doors you are escorted to sit down and fill out some info. In no means time a gentleman from the resort offers you a well-chilled glass of champagne with an extremely well-deserved cold rolled up face cloth. He then says the sweetest words “Hola! And welcome to the Melia Buenavista! So relax for your vacation starts Now!” Just those few words that he said (and of course the champagne with the face cloth) made me forget the bus ride altogether.

After the introduction, we were asked to be escorted to our room by our butler. But the feeling in the air that we felt once we entered the compound was mystical. Everything around us was so relaxing just the soft spa music or New Age music like Enya type of music coming from the little speakers around the pool was heard. The pool chairs with its foam cushions begging for us to try them. Parked on the sides of the pool were these rubber pillow pool mats floating so gently. No kids, teenagers or people jumping in and out of the pool or even loud music could be found or heard. This was like we were isolated from the outside world……. Yes indeed, we stepped into a paradise of total relaxation!
But the best was yet to come…..our room….and what a room. From the entrance to the living room, king size bed with LCD flat screen T.V. facing it, a walk in closet, separate bathroom from the Jacuzzi and the best one of it all was the “outside shower”. If you haven’t experienced the feeling of an outside shower…. coming back from a hot but I mean hot day at the beach than you’ll never know what you’re missing. Totally Awesome is the felling! Why other resorts haven’t thought of this is unexplainable…. so more to you Melia Buenavista for having thought of it!
Our backyard (if you may call it) was the most picturistic view anyone could ever ask for. Turquoise crystal clear ocean water sprinkled with a white sandy beach would make every morning breath taking . We had the ground level with a veranda consisting of a stone bench with a small table and two chairs facing the beach.
Almost every morning we would have our butler bring these fabulous breakfasts (many kinds to choose from) to our room and prepare it on our balcony at 8:00am precisely. They (Edel or Javier who were our butlers) were never late and made sure that there would be fresh orange juice accompanying it with a small bottle of champagne. He would make the start of our morning perfect with his complementary smile and always reminding us if we needed anything he would be at our disposal. What closure could anyone ask for more in a vacation!
We had a mini bar with top quality liquors, Our fridge was filled every day without ever asking with bottled water, soft drinks, imported beers and a prechilled bottle of champagne. It was taken care of from a very polite gentleman whose only task was to make sure that we would have refreshments in our fridge every day.
One of our butlers on evening after supper surprised us with the utmost romantic surprise a couple could dream of. It was a candle light champagne bubble bath equipped with rose peddles. That surrounding the tub with an arrow shape towel on the floor covered with also rose peddles pointing the tubs direction. This of course was not expected but surly it was the cheery on top I have to say. This indeed is was a special way that the staff can make you feel real cozy at this resort.

The food at the resort was excellent which was to no surprise since their head Chef is of Italian origin. I spoke to him and he told me that he is eager to prepare many new dishes that are directly from his home land of Italy. We tried some suppers on the different resorts (Melia Las Dunes & Melia Cayo Santa Maria) to sample out and only one was worth trying (Japanese in Melia Cayo Santa Maria) but they could not come close to the Buenavista’s a la cart restaurants. Don’t miss “The Cuban Night” on Wednesday’s for it’s the only time that they get rowdy in the restaurant with real Cuban music….it makes a change. But once the music stops …. It’s back to tranquility.

If you are the exploring type, then there’s a bus that comes every 30 to 40 minutes and drops you off to other Melia resorts. If you don’t want to wait that long for the bus, you can always take a taxi which only cost 3 peso’s for the ride regardless if you’re 2 or 4 people. You are entitled to visit or even eat and drink at the resorts without any questions asked. But the other Melia resort guests are forbidden to enter or use the facilities of the Melia Buenavista. You’ll notice once you step inside the other resorts (once you’ve stayed a few days in the Melia Buenavista) that you can’t wait to get back and appreciate the difference of peace and calm.

The bartenders at all the pools in the Melia Buenavista are all great but some do stand out more than others. I am speaking of course about Orestes (Mario Lemieux) & Norge who attend the “Caracola Bar” which is the main pool bar facing the outside lobby bar. These are wonderful bartender/waiters who do their upmost in service. But there’s this particular young Orestes. In all my travels I have never came across a gentleman that serves anyone with the most heartwarming attitude than this man. He is totally the most delightful human being that you can come across in any resort. He is a young man always ready to intrigue your taste buds with some of his original drinks. If you’re not happy….he’ll create another one while still holding his big smile from ear to ear! He is defiantly a must to see in action when he brings the drinks to the chairs by the pool or even to the beach. He’ll spot you’re your drink from afar that is low and show up with afresh one immediately. Melia Buenavista should be proud to have an individual like him working in their establishment. Others should learn from him since its people like him who make our decision to become regulars.

The beaches are crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling but do bring some water shoes for its a little rough because of the coral that’s there. There are 2 beaches to choose from and one further down which is for nudists. We once walked from the Melia Las Dunes beach (which is gorgeous) all the way to our beach. That believe me is a hell of a walk but worth every step of the way.
We walked on the side of the water and made a few pit stops at every resort (Las Dunas, Melia Santa Maria & Sol Melia) to refresh ourselves. This also gave us a reason make sneak visits on them. It kinda made us look like “Resort Crashers”!!!

The only disappointment I had in the Melia Buenavista was the internet. It was as slow as molasses…no, I think molasses is much faster! Let’s say pigeon courier would have been an improvement, LOL!
I spoke with management and they are aware of this problem and are working hard on this problem. They are trying to get wireless for this resort in the coming future…..God’s speed!

In all, this was way past my anticipation of a 5 star resort. For its quality service and perfection towards its awareness of it guests is a delight to be part of.
I would like to congratulate the wonderful cleaning staff (day & night) for their sincere work they did every time. We would come back to our room and feel the freshness in the air that they created for us. The cleanness and freshness of our rooms were as perfect as one would have expected in one’s own home. Gracias Senioritis!

The entertainment staff which consists of the charming Yaiset and aerobics teacher Navy are great at making people feel relax and have a great time at the doing water aerobics and salsa lessons. "Shine on guy’s" because you're that extra sunshine we get at the pool!

If anyone would ask me to if I would recommend this place……Hell yes in a heart's beat!
They say Shangri-La is a fictional place of tranquility and relaxation in our minds. Or it’s a harmonious, mystical, synonymous and earthly paradise. Either way you look at it ….to me this is what Melia Buenavista is all about! Can’t wait to go back and restart it all over!!!!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Al2all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 26, 2011
Dear Friend of MBV,

Thanks for your comments and for sharing your experience at Melia Buenavista with Trip Advisor members, I´m sure your review will help other people what to expect with us. Thanks for that!!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2011

Recently I was so luckey to have won a trip through the company Roots Canada. How amazing it was in itself to have been given such a great oppourtunity to attend any trip to a destination, we were told we would be heading to Cuba! As I have been to Cuba before and had a great time, I got excited. I quickly went online and googled the resort,
at which we would be attending and my excitment went through the roof! The Melia Buenavista looked to be such a great looking resort with beautiful beaches, resturants and of course the rooms. Arriving at Melia Buenavista I can tell you the pictures do not let you down, the resort is gorgeous. We were given imediate attention and with such a warm welcoming. What more can you ask for. The staff are to be commended and I can give a personal thank you to all who made us feel so at home. The rooms were spacious with outdoor showers!! How cool!! Loved it and used it everyday. The food was great and we were definatly not left hungry, and I can be known as picky. Everyday we went to the beach the resort had our group attended to and set up our daily routine of realxing in the sun and accomodated us by providing eighteen louge chairs all ready with our towels for us to relax and enjoy. They really do take care of you!
when our last day arrived we were all sad to say goodbye, as we had not only enjoyed our stay but had made great friends as well.
I highly recommend the Melia Buenavista, go soak cuba all in!! THANKS ROOTS!!

Room Tip: Walk out to the beach, sunsets!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank EmilyTrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 23, 2011
Dear Friend of MBV,

Thanks for your fantastic review, we hope to see you again next year... or sooner...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 19, 2011

Wow, what an amazing experience! The beaches were beautiful and very private, great for swimming and sun tanning! The rooms were very luxurious and what an amazing outside shower! The staff at the hotel were very welcoming and hospitable.
I was in a large work group (Roots Canada) and the hotel staff went really above and beyond to make sure we had an amazing experience. Thanks to all the staff for making my Cuba trip a memorable one!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank govermentvictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 23, 2011
Dear Frienf of MBV,

Thanks for taking the time and post the experience you had at Melia Buenavista.I´m glad knowing we have covered your expectations. We hope to see al the ROOTS group next year...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 17, 2011

This was one of my favourite trips to Cuba!! The staff at Melia Buenavista were all so friendly and would go out of their way to make us happy and comfortable. It was so nice to walk through the resort mid way through our trip (maybe missing home a bit) and the staff would be greeting you by name making you feel like you were home. The rooms were beautiful, the pools were perfect and the beaches were very clean. I can't wait to head back again next year!!!

Miss you all!!!!

Lori

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lorimarrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 20, 2011
Dear Friend of Melia Buenavista.

Thanks for your great review. say hi to all my friends of Roots, we hope you come back next year.
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 Buenavista

Property: Melia Buenavista
Address: Punta Madruguilla, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Buenavista 5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located west of Cayo Santa Maria in a privileged ecological environment, and surrounded by beaches and coves. All-Inclusive five-star resort with 105 junior suites and suites, and the Villa "Zaida del Rio." Designed for adults over 18 years. An entire hotel featuring Royal Service. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and wellness/spa. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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