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“Butler Royal Services!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Butler Royal Services!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

We stayed at many 5* hotels in the Caribbean before but the Melia Buenavista was the best!!!! We were really impressed with the "butler staff" who worked really hard to ensure we got the ROYAL SERVICES treatment daily.

The property was quiet, private and immaculate. The rooms were huge and we really liked the outside shower provided in each room. The food was excellent and the staff was great. The beach was amazing. It was the first time we swam in an ocean where we saw so many beautiful species of fish who allowed us to feed them.

Very scenic drive from the airport to the hotel and we would highly recommend the Buenavista to our family and friends.

Room Tip: Ocean view
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 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?
2 Thank Sattee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

Muchas gracias for taking the time to write about your recent stay with us at Melia Buenavista. Reading about wonderful experiences such as yours inspires us to continue providing first class facilities and warmth service. It seems that you enjoyed our beach and snorkeling. It´s really great!

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Sincerely,
Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Sale, England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2012

We travelled with Thomas Cook on a 2-week package at the end of September so this review will probably be of more interest/help to English potential/future guests.
First of all the flight from Manchester was delayed by just over 2 hours and several of us on the flight were told by airport staff that this is not uncommon for this particular flight (scheduling issues possibly?) When we eventually boarded, the flight was a nightmare from beginning to end. We had not pre-booked our seats and even though we were at check-in three hours before departure, we were not given seats together (on a cynical note is this a ploy by Thomas Cook to influence people to pay extra in future for pre-booked seats...?) There were two large wedding parties on our flight (not going to Buenavista thanks goodness) who were noisy, rowdy and downright rude. Their idea of keeping their small children entertained on the flight was to encourage them to run up and down the aisle knocking passengers' elbows off the arm rests. It's just a pity they don't do adults-only flights as well as hotels! Don't get me wrong, I have three children and know how difficult it is to keep them occupied on a 9hour flight but they need to be kept under control. Matters got worse when the pilot announced that someone was smoking in the toilet mid-flight!! (Why was this man not arrested on arrival??)
Although we were the only flight arriving that evening at the (very small and humid)airport, it took over an hour to collect luggage and clear customs before we boarded the coach. The transfer is long (and in the dark not very interesting...) but we breathed a huge sigh of relief as we arrived at the hotel. The lobby is minimalist, cosy and intimate. There was a solo saxophonist playing while we checked in and we were given a very welcome glass of champagne and cold flannel. We were greeted by one of our butlers and taken with our luggage on a golf buggy to our room (0512) and advised that a table had been booked for us at Los Navigantes, so after a quick freshen-up we went for dinner then collapsed into bed after a long, stressful day. I have to say though that I was a little disappointed on returning to our room to find that our luggage had not been unpacked as this is one of the services that the hotel advertises and I assumed it would be done as a matter of course - we had left our suitcase open and the butlers knew we would not be in the room - they had booked our table after all...
After waking early (04.30 - still on English time :) I had the opportunity to have a proper look around our room when it became light. The outdoor shower was fab - completely enclosed with a large outdoor drying area. Inside was a separate bath with shower attachment and jacuzzi jets, separate toilet and bidet, large basin area and separate walk-in wardrobe/dressing room. The usual stingy supply of hangers (why do hotels do this??) and not long enough to hang up my maxi dresses, ingeniously resolved by my husband removing the shelf near the bottom :) Plenty of alternative storage space with shelves and drawers in the dressing room and bedroom. There is also a (free), good-sized digital safe. Stepping out on to our balcony was a disappointment - it must have been one of only a few within the hotel that had no sea/beach or pool view (unless you leaned over the balcony and craned your neck round the corner to catch a glimpse of the sea). It became apparent during our quick look around the place to familiarise ourselves with what was where that morning that the hotel was nowhere near full (I would guess there were no more than 60 guests staying at any one time during our stay). We therefore spoke to the staff in reception regarding a room change and were told that it may be possible the following day - although, given the very low occupancy we didn't argue and decided to wait and see what happened. We also met our second butler later that morning (they tend to congregate outside the breakfast buffet to catch their guests to arrange restaurant bookings for that evening - more on that later).
There are two pools within the complex - the 'activity' pool and the quiet pool. I can honestly say that during our two weeks we saw someone using the quiet pool on only two occasions... Although the hotel prides itself on being a chill-out place to go, activity is somewhat optimistic! There was some gentle music quietly tinkering away in the background and once the Brits had become more acquainted with each other a game of pool volleyball was arranged in the afternoon but otherwise you are left to your own devices. The guys on the pool bar work extremely hard, bringing drinks around the pool and down to the beach, always with a smile and a friendly word. They have a 'slush' machine at the pool bar and I can particularly recommend this with a good measure of Amaretto or melon schnapps - yum :). There is also a soft ice-cream machine behind the bar and fruit kebabs always available.
We tended to stay on the beach more than around the pool - especially on the hot and sunny days, the breeze was lovely and we preferred the 'snorkel' beach (accessed from the activity pool). Although it is smaller than the long, main beach, the very low parasols on the main beach didn't suit us and it was a long dash back to the hotel when it rained (and boy did it rain...)
Unfortunately the weather became quite an issue for us during our stay. The middle four days of our trip the weather was not great (raining practically non-stop one day) and this raised several issues: there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do when the weather is bad. We had a game of bean bingo (and I am not joking) one afternoon but otherwise it was a case of sitting in your room and watching the rain or sitting our outside the lobby bar wrapped in (damp) towels when it starts to rain (guests are not permitted in the lobby bar in bathing costumes). Because of the problem they seem to have in obtaining clean/fresh linen and towels we weren't even able to exchange our damp towels for dry ones until the following day :( In addition the mozzies and no-see-ums come out in force in the wet weather. You could actually see them buzzing around each others heads and although the hotel was 'fogged' every evening it was a real problem - worse than we have experienced anywhere else and we have been to lots of Carribean destinations.
We were informed incidentally the following day that we could move rooms and we were then given room 0712 - with a perfect view of the sunset every evening. It was lovely to get back to our room and after a shower, sit on the balcony and catch the last of the rays as the sun went
down :)
Another facility the hotel provides is a nightly turndown service - which we have had at other hotels, but it was consistently at about 6pm! Who would want their room turning down at that time? Surely this is the time the majority of guests are getting ready to go down for dinner - would it not be more sensible to do this at about 9pm when I would imagine the majority of guests are having their evening dinner/drinks...?
This was not the only issue we had with the maintenance of our room - we had to actually ask on several occasions for the ashtray provided on our balcony to be emptied, our hand towels were not changed once during our stay (that's two weeks remember), bed linen that was obviously stained (from a mozzie being squashed by my husband as he rolled onto it in his sleep - yuk) not being changed and used drinking glasses not being washed/replaced. This is not the standard I would expect in a 5*hotel and have never experienced before... On a positive note, slippers and waffle dressing gowns were provided and we had some nice towel art going on :)
A quick note of advice for any ladies (and maybe some gentlemen with more hair than my husband lol) - I found it difficult using my GHDs on some occasions - very frustrating when it was soooo humid :( - not sure if this was due to power cuts/shortages?
Referring to the title of my review, the biggest disappointment about this holiday as far as I was concerned was the so-called Royal Service. I had been reading the reviews on Trip Advisor for months before our holiday and was sooooo looking forward to all the personal attentiveness (my husband and I have had a stressful last year for one reason and another and wanted two weeks of being spoilt). I think as far as the butlers go it's pot luck with what you have done for you. Another couple we made friends with got FOUR bubble baths, a romantic meal in the room etc etc. We got none of this extra attention :( Literally all our butlers did was booked our restaurant for that evening, which to be honest in itself became a pain. We were on holiday - we didn't want to be having to meet deadlines every night (we do that every day at work...) and having to decide every morning where we wanted to eat and at what time started to become a real issue for us - if it had been a gorgeous day we would want to stay in the sun for as long as possible and not be thinking that we needed to get back to our room to get ready for a specific time... One small change that I think would make a massive difference to this hotel would be to make one of the restaurants a buffet-style where you could go as an alternative to the a la cartes. There is far too little choice as far as the food is concerned. The Navigantes restaurant has the same menu every night (yes,really)with the chefs special changing every night and the Los Caribes changes the 'theme' every night on a weekly basis - ie every Monday night is the same, every Tuesday night - you get the picture. So while the idea of an a la carte dinner every night sounds appealing, it extremely repetitive at this hotel. We actually went to the Japanese at the Cayo Santa Maria twice (very nice) and the buffet restaurant at the Las Dunas (not so nice) during our second week, we were so fed up and disappointed in not only the lack of choice but on occasion, the quality of the food. The Italian night was especially poor - so much so that we (and I believe some other guests) walked out of the restaurant before we had finished our meal :(
Some of the other butlers picked up on the dissatisfaction in the food and on our penultimate night the hotel arranged a special poolside dinner for all the English guests (it was also the 10th Wedding Anniversary of two of the guests) and this was superb - they really pulled out all the stops - candlelit table, delicious food, fabulous entertainment - a real night to remember, it's just a shame it wasn't to that standard the rest of the time :(
Talking of entertainment, this was extremely low-key to say the least. A three or four-piece band in the lobby bar in the evening was as exciting as it got - although they had a band on a few times that was superb - the lead singer got everyone joining in the singing and even attempting a bit of salsa dancing (English men dancing - wrong in so many ways... :D)
This review has turned out to be very long but I hope it has been realistic. I have never been as disappointed in a holiday as I was with this one. Maybe my expectations were unrealistic but on reflection, I think most of the reviews are by Canadian guests who visit for a long weekend or a week maximum. For a short chill-out break this hotel would be perfect but unfortunately us Brits going on a package deal don't have that option so it was two weeks or nothing. I love my holidays and usually don't want to leave but I can honestly say I was glad when our two weeks were up here :(
To add salt to the wound our flight home was delayed by two hours again (bit of a coincidence?) so we had almost six hours waiting at the airport for our flight home (the coach collected us at the normal time even though the Thomas Cook rep had informed us at 9am that our return flight was delayed). Knowing we were with the same passengers on our way home filled us all with dread - the cabin crew must have been 'tipped off' as they didn't come round with drinks on the flight (not even soft drinks other than with the meal) - so again we suffered as a consequence of other people's inconsiderate behaviour.
If you have already booked this hotel, my advice would be to use the restaurants at the other hotels as much as you can and be a little more pro-active than we were and should have been if you don't get what you expect (and have paid for) from your butlers. I believe it is more than £2000 per person to stay here next summer. In my opinion it is not worth any where near that amount of money. We paid £2500 for the two of us and to be honest I don't think we got particularly good value for money. We have been to Barbados, Mexico, Dom Rep and Jamaica previously so dont skimp on our holidays but this has really left a sour taste in our mouths, so much so that we will not be going long haul next year and are looking at Egypt!!!
Sorry it's been so long - hope you persevered and thatnyou found the review helpful :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank aceandace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Valued guest,

We do thank you for your recent visit and more over for your full detailed feedback.

I am sorry to read your comment and finding out that your stay with us was not up to your expectations in some parts.

Concerning your comments about the service provided by our butler team let me tell that we are doing constant training with them and we appreciate your opinion about their performance. Just I want to ask that the unpacked of the luggage is done only under request.

Thanks again for your comments and rest assured that all your feedback have been shared with our team and that measures will be taken to refresh all colleagues on our standards of service.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna

Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

This was our 6th All-Incl vacaction in the Carb/Mexico and the second in Cuba.
We came to Cuba for the most beautiful beaches in the world with no crowds! Cuba delivered this hands down ..again! While on this trip we also got two things we really didn't expect.
- A fantastic resort that wasn't so big that we would be lost and forgotten.
- And that we are wind sport enthusiasts and were blessed with 3 epic kite boarding days at two of the best kite boarding beaches we have been to in almost 10 years of searching!.

The Butler service: We don't care to be fussed over, but having a Butler that would speak with us daily even if just to make dinner reservations made us feel we were taken care of.

Resort security: Though very transparent, we never felt our ground level ocean view room nor our expensive sporting gear were were at risk of being stolen. All the resort staff played a role in this. Maybe because the resort was small enough that all the staff personally knew the guests, or maybe it was just the caring staff or the butler, or simply a combination of all the aforementioned.

Front line staff: Won't mention names, because everyone contributed equally to making our stay very enjoyable. The smile from the grounds keepers placing a white flower in my wife's hair, to the young pool bar tending gentlemen who would trek out to the hot beach crisply dressed in black pants and white dress shirt to deliver us our expertly prepared drinks, to the pool side lunch time chef who really knows his stuff when cooking a very fine Cuban style lunch.

We came on this vacation to re-charge the mental batteries, make a few memories and have some fun. Thank you Melia Buenavista for making that all happen!

Kara & Darren

Room Tip: Don't usually care about an ocean view room, but this was well worth it!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank darrenpara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us, and especially about our staff.

It is very satisfactory to know you enjoyed our beach and I am really please to read your comments about the security. Being Cuba a safe country our hotel is not an exception. I`m glad that you appreciate it.
We are also pleased to know that our butler team, whom we are very proud of, were always helpful with your requests.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

We just came back from this resort which we chose on the basis of many reviews from this site as well as recommendations from friends. Our overall experience was positive, but there are a few things one should be aware of when heading to this resort.

Yes, it is true that the service is very good, the staff is very friendly and accommodating and I don’t think that it is their fault that the resort does not truly deliver what one would expect from a 5 star place. The beaches are beautiful, the place is very quiet and not crowded, small, does not require too much walking, a perfect place to rest one would think. But think twice. For this price!!!

This is your place if all you want to do is to lie down on the beach or by the pool and read a book. Otherwise the place is depressingly isolating. It is in the middle of nowhere. The first three days of our stay were very windy and there were huge waves on the main beach, the tail of the hurricane Rafael brewing in the Atlantic. Forget swimming in the sea. What’s worse is that you can’t have a decent swim in the pools either because they are simply glorified ponds!!! Small and shallow (the one by the bar especially). They are very nice to look at and have pictures by, clean and all that, but they are not for swimming, just to soak your bottom in. So, once you find yourself with a weather that does not let you use the sea or the pool (because of their design) the only thing you can do is lie down and do nothing. If that’s what you like, this place is for you. Otherwise you get very moody on day 2 or 3 and that’s where the true problems of this resort hit you.

The main one is the food. People on this site that are so enthusiastic about the food here have simply never been to a true 5-star resort. The food selection is mediocre and extremely repetitive, way too many canned items in the buffets. Not enough vegetables and fruits, or really anything. If you like eating the Spanish ham (jamón serrano) it is always there, so are nice pastries for breakfast, but there is no variety, the same staff the day in and day out. Lunches are even worse. Very repetitive bordering kingdom of boredom. To hear on day three the waiter repeat with the same angelical smile that the only dessert that can be had is a brownie or an ice cream (or sometimes rice pudding of some sort) one truly wants to smack that smile from his face but refrains oneself knowing that it is not his fault. Brownies I have in Canada and the ice cream, whatever kind, has not even been close to the real thing, strawberry ice cream has not seen strawberries or vanilla vanilla. Just a typical industrial mix. The Ensenachos next door (under the Royal Hideaway brand; we traveled there in 2009 and 2010) used to have a selection far better than this, of desserts and everything else, fish, meats etc.

Five star hotel? What about something as simple as French fries that typically are very good in Cuba and were very good here when we were lucky enough to have them. They are in the menu as an option to rice, but each time you order them you can’t have them because the place is out of French fries. Five star hotel? What about mojitos? You can’t have them because “there is no mint in Cuba at this time of the year”!!! Excuse me? Friends of ours just came back from another resort in Cuba (with no claims to 5 star status) boasting their pictures with beautiful mint leaves in their mojitos. Where were they imported from? Canada? Spain?

So mint does not grow in Cuba in October or at least so we were told by the barman. Neither do potatoes? How about tomatoes? Why are they tasteless? Why there is no trace of garlic anywhere? Everything is served with rice and tasteless mixed fried vegetables (mostly onion and pepper). Calamares a la romana (fried squid) that were very good at Ensenachos, here were overcooked to a gummy something smelling of old frying oil. No limes or lemons in site to serve with them – this is a classic dish always served with lemon, not only in Spain!!! And yes I know, one does not go to Cuba to have a gourmet experience, but we are talking about a five star resort! Not just any place. And I know it is possible even in Cuba.

To finish off with the buffet lunches and breakfasts, it is true that there are no crowds and the atmosphere is very relaxed, but is this the reason not to change the table cloths between guests? Are you or you not a five star resort and priced as such? Even the napkins seemed like reused ones, stained all over. Does not give you the confidence and experience you
expect.

The a la carte restaurants’ selection is not much better either. You are handed a menu as you are seated, but mostly to inform you what will be served, because there is no choice or very little choice. Very odd for a 5-star place. And again those brownies! Or a fruit salad that was kind of ridiculous, the same papaya you had for breakfast and tasteless melons and something that wanted to be an orange.

Finally, the rooms. Yes, spacious, modern and clean. The idea of outdoor showers is interesting, but here is the dilemma. We were on the ground floor, and it was more than obvious that guests in the neighboring building on the upper floor could see us in the shower area, and even worse, they could also see us in the bathroom (I mean bath tub) while having their afternoon beer on their balcony. So what was the idea here? This of course clearly is a design problem and not the staff problem.

And beware, what bites you at night are not mosquitoes as some here suggest. What bit me every night (but not my spouse, interestingly) still bites me here in Toronto, so these are definitely not mosquitoes.

Finally, when the weather improved, the beaches were indeed magnificent and snorkeling excellent. And this was the only reason we came to this resort. Will we go there again? Highly unlikely. Overpriced and over glorified for what the place delivers otherwise. This is a typical one time experience. There are places where we used to be going back, Ensenachos was one of them, or where we would go back to again without hesitation (Barcelo Palace in Riviera Maya) or under some conditions (Palladium Riviera Maya. Buenavista did not cut it, unless someone invites us and we go for free, but on our own account the money will go somewhere else. No buts or ifs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Stefanjw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

I would like to thank you for sharing with us your opinions about your stay in our Hotel, it really helps to improve our daily work.

We will check very carefully all the details you are writing in your review, concerning the problem with the lack of some ingredients you must know it was an eventual situation totally out of our will, that’s why you could not find the variety you were expecting for.

I’m offering my sincerest apologies for all the inconvenience you had during your stay with us. We will really appreciate your confidence vote in your next visit to Cayo Santa María; we assure you that you will be received with the excellence have always distinguished us.

My best regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A Prairie Person
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

We were there from 06 to 13 Oct 2112. This hotel was worth every penny, so stop reading other reviews and just book it. The service was excellent and the rooms were beyond expectation. Everything from the free room service menu to the free pillow menu and our own concierge answered every need. As per other reviews, food was never an issue. We utilized the free shuttle (5 minute drive) to the other resort and ate a buffet style supper three times. The food choice was amazing even thought we enjoyed our meals at resort. Our only complaint had to do with checkout. Check out is at noon. Our airport shuttle came at 3:30 pm. In order to keep our room, they wanted more money albeit minimal. My point is this, the resort is a 5 star Cuban resort that just bent over backwards to make you feel like a million bucks, then they resort to a 2 star motel by charging you more if you want to keep your room for a couple of hours. Ironically, they will give you free access to another suite to change and shower before you catch the airport shuttle. We just found it odd to drag your suitcase to a clean suite when our own suite was still empty and uncleaned. Plus, the resort was half full at best. Other than this very small point, the Melia Buenavista gave us the most relaxing vacation we ever had. Out of all our vacations, this is resort will get our first recommendation to our friends without hesitation. We own two different timeshares and we would sell both of them if this place offered it. It's value for the price is unreal.

Room Tip: Room 1722 was excellent. Second floor. Pool side. Big balcony.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 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?
4 Thank RU4Real_204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

I wish to thank you for the compliments that you kindly made on this Web site. I am pleased to read that you had an excellent service at Melia Buenavista.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us if you are thinking to come back in the near future for a bit more pampering. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back.

Kindest regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

We were at the Buenavista from October 7th to 14th. It was a memorable week.

This was my 4th time in Cayo Santa Maria first at the Buenavista. This place is perfect for couple who want to take it easy.

STAFF:
This is the first reason we would return, the staff is simply amazing. Everyone is friendly and are willing to help you even if you don't ask. From the gardeners to the bar mans the service is way up there compared to all the other hotels we went in Cuba. Truly deserves it's 5 stars.
The main pool bar mans Orestes (call him Mario Lemieux) and Orge will make sure you will never have an empty glass, you want food? no problem they will get that for you. You're at the beach? they will come also to meet your needs. Awsome!!

FOOD:
Excellent for Cuba, all the meals we had were all very good, of course this is not Mexico or Jamaica but you will be pleasantly surprised. We mostly ate at the Los Caribes, they change the theme every night, one day was Cuban, the other Asian, the menus are constantly changing. You can also reserve in the other resorts, we went to the Japanese restaurant at the Melia Santa Maria the food was also very good.

ROOMS:
Nice and big rooms, the maid will make the room at least twice a day, taking a shower under the stars is fantastic.. We had a ocean view it is nice if you can afford it, but there are some very nice pool view rooms also if you like to do a late night dip.

BEECH:

The beach wraps around the resort and is divided in 3 sections. Heading left from the lobby there is a quiet small beach with only one palapas and maybe 12 chairs it is the quietest portion, there are a lot of algue in that area. if you want to sunbathe alone this is the spot, waves are less present because of reefs.
If you go strait from the lobby this is the spot if you like to snorkel I was told, we could not make it because of the strong winds over a few days. The barmans from the main pool will also take your orders there.
Make a right you will find the biggest stretch there with a dedicated bar. The staff will prepare a palapas for you and meet your needs. If you like to take long walks on the beech, the Las Dunas is better, flatter with a more gradual slope.

ROYAL SERVICE
you will be assigned 1 or 2 buttlers, some are more pro active than others to look for you in the resort, we were happy with them despite a slow start in the week, but the last 4 days we had breakfast, dinner in the room, special bath.. it was great.
If you want something, ask for it, you won't be disappointed.

On a side note, there are 2 computers in the lobby with free slow internet, you just have to ask for a pin card.

Overall the experience was awesome and this is a true Cuban 5 stars ! We will be back

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 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?
3 Thank discoboy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we want to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us.

It is very satisfactory to know you enjoyed our food, rooms, beach and service in general. Specially the service of our bartenders. Oreste. I`m glad you liked it.
We are also pleased to know that our associates, whom we are very proud of, were always helpful.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us if you are thinking to come back in the near future. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back.

Best regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

We just came back from the Melia Buenavista. If you wish to relax in a spa style resort this is the best you can get in Cuba. This is NOT a party resort. Average age 40-50. The service and room was beyond all expectations. Butlers always present to help. This hotel has everything to be an outstanding resort but the food at the restaurants in the evening is far from being 5*. Everywhere you look is beautiful! Beach private. This is for couples who wish to spent time in a quiete environment. The breakfast and lunch at the beach resto are amazing. Live music each day even for breakfast and each evening at the bar. Go see Oreste at the pool bar for the best drinks and outstanding service - He is the best! The staff priority is to ensure the guests are as comfortable as possible. This is a really nice resort. Will certainly go back.

Room Tip: The rooms close to the beach are quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Frazoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your lovely comments about your recent stay with us in Melia Buenavista.

However I’ll share your culinary impressions with Stefano, our italian chef.

Thank you for recommending us, we are looking forward to welcome you back on your next visit to the paradise of Cayo Santa María.

Regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Buenavista 4*
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 
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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