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“On the whole pretty good. Staff were the best feature.”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Lincolnshire
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“On the whole pretty good. Staff were the best feature.”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We visited the hotel end of Nov / early Dec 2012 for 7 nights of our 12 night visit to Cuba.

Miscellaneous:
We were welcomed with a drink and then taken to breakfast. Our butler, Joel, showed us the facilities and our room and was very accommodating and helpful. Butlers alternate each day. Our other butler was Alien who was also really nice. There were a lot of Canadians and a few British people at the resort so most staff there spoke English and other languages as well.

We used the butler service to book meals and to report a lamp the was out outside our room (which was quickly fixed) but not for anything else. We'd have been happy to book our meals ourselves if we didn't have to use the butlers and, in all, found the whole butler thing a bit gimmicky but maybe that's just us.

We were aware we could visit the other Melia hotels in the vicinity and were going to do so for their water sports but as the sea was rough 6 out of the 7 days we were there and another couple said the place had been overrun with children (who were probably understandably stir crazy if they couldn't go in the sea) we didn't bother.

Room:
Our room was nicely decorated and the bed was large and comfortable. The fridge could be stocked with whatever drinks you wanted. We asked for beer and diet coke but only drank a couple of cans during our stay. There was a coffee machine rather than a kettle and filter rather than instant coffee. We had to request milk and were given a litre carton of uht which was better than those tiny sachets. The teas were herbal types rather than English I believe but as neither of us drink it we didn't pay too much attention.

Toiletries were provided - soap, shampoo & conditioner in one, moisturiser, shower caps, shoe shine. As I like separate shampoo & conditioner I used my own. We also used our own shower gels although the soaps were nice. There's a hair dryer, iron & ironing board plus robes and slippers. What was really puzzling was the lack of rubbish bin in the large living area. We had to move the one from next to the toilet (provided for sanitary waste) in to the bedroom.

The wardrobe only accommodated short items of clothing. I wanted to hang some long dresses but they were too long to fit. I suspect they were designed by a man ;-)

We got a few American channels and BBC World News on the TV. There was no iPod dock or speakers but we brought our own portable speaker. The plug sockets were 220v and took either US or European adapters.

The outside shower sometimes had no hot water but was good when it worked. It would have been nice if there was a shelf of some kind for toiletries. The bath was great but a bit difficult to get in and out of as the tiled space at the side was quite wide. The tiles are lethal if you have wet feet - I walked in from the shower and slipped, crashing to the floor. Thankfully I landed in a way that didn't cause me injury.

The cleaner did a really great job and both her and the people doing the turn-down service made you feel special with the way they presented the room. On our last evening Joel prepared us a lovely bath with flowers and petals etc.

Food:
The food was ok. I read mixed reviews and as I'm generally positive about hotel food, I had high hopes, thinking those who'd said negative things were just being picky. I wasn't disappointed but I wouldn't rave about the food.

At breakfast you could order eggs and there were hash browns, crispy bacon and some type of sausage to go with it. There were also pancakes with syrup or chocolate sauce. These were great at the start of the week but I think the chef changed as after a couple of days they were smaller and rubbery.

There was a wide choice of meats, cheese, breads, cereals etc. The staff were friendly and this was generally a good meal.

Lunch could be taken at the same restaurant as breakfast or Los Caribes (or the BBQ by the pool). There was a daily buffet with hot and cold choices plus items that could be ordered from the menu. It was all quite nice. Los Caribes served Italian and snacks. The pizza I had was ok. Again, the quality varied which I think depended on the chef. One day I ordered bolognese pasta. This tasted fine but the meat was really fatty and poor quality so I'd avoid anything with mince.

I had steak twice and both times it was cooked perfectly but tough as old boots. To me this indicates that the meat is not hung, not great quality and the chef is doing what he can but he can't work miracles. We had fantastic steak at the Parque Central in Havana so I know good quality meat can be purchased in Cuba - the steak, chicken and mince I had here though really wasn't anywhere near as good quality. Los Navigantes has the nicest ambience of the restaurants but the menu gets repetitive, even with the daily specials.

I'm not a fussy eater but I don't like squid and overly fishy flavours despite eating fish, lobster & shrimp. I found they seemed to add other seafood (like squid) to dishes that only mentioned lobster or shrimp and Chinese soup (which I thought might be wonton) was really fishy. I therefore left quite a few things which I wouldn't have ordered if the description had been clearer about what they were and/or contained.

If you are on a set menu at Los Caribes (as I was on the oriental night) and you don't like the courses you can find by the end of the night you've not eaten a great deal! My first night all I had was some pretty tough chicken but I was so hungry I put up with it.

The choice of spirits I thought was a bit limited but I'm not an expert so others may disagree. Certainly there was a much bigger choice and more mainstream brands at Parque Central. The drink I was served that was supposed to be Malibu and Coke was definitely not that and generally the spirit measures could be so big that I personally found the drinks to be overpowering and not all that enjoyable. As a result I avoided cocktails and spirits and resorted to wine if I wanted something alcoholic. The rose and white were good but the red was hit and miss.

If we'd have stayed longer than a week we'd have been bored of the food and gone to the other Melia resorts for some variety.

Entertainment:
There were various bands in the restaurants and bar all of which were really good. A guitar group, in particular, really impressed us.

There were daily dance classes by the pool, Spanish classes and water polo, which was good fun. The entertainment staff worked really hard to make sure people had a good time.

The bar staff, gardeners, maintenance men, waiters etc could not be faulted - all had a friendly smile, all worked incredibly hard to make sure you felt welcome and had a good time. We left a lot of tips over the course of the week, probably spending about 100CUC in all, by the time we tipped the butlers and cleaner. Given the poverty in general and the poor wages in Cuba (ask Cuban people what they earn and you'll be shocked) we thought they deserved it.

Facilities:
I didn't use the spa but used the gym. The machines were good and multi-language. The touch screen on one was temperamental but was fixed within 24hrs when I reported it.

There's a shop that sells souvenirs etc. The choice of postcards is poor and neither the shop nor reception sell stamps so you need to leave the resort if you intend sending any.

If you need the Internet, forget it! There is no wifi, the computers in the reception area have ancient operating systems and are powered by hamsters on a wheel. We attempted to use one then gave up. Another couple told us it took them an hour to receive and send one email. There's also no 3G signal.

I enjoyed our week at Melia BV. The manager took the time to introduce himself and ask how our week was going. I had nothing negative to report to him as my gripes (lack of food variety on an evening and mediocre quality meat aren't things he could fix really.)

If I was set on coming to Cuba, on the whole I'd recommend this resort and would probably go back. That said I've had equally nice stays at hotels closer to home (eg Turkey) which were cheaper and I'm not sure I could justify returning to Cuba in the same way many of the Canadians could, for whom it's only a short flight away.

Room Tip: Our ground floor room was sea view but there were quite a lot of trees and shrubs outside so actuall...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank riceburner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for the very kind feedback and for staying with us at Melia Buenavista. I am very proud of the outstanding team I have working for us.

We hope you give us the opportunity to welcome you back on your next visit to your new home in Cuba, so we can once again create great memories for you.

Warm Regards

Ernesto Osuna
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English first
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Melia Buenavista December 14th to 22nd, 2012. We had a wonderful stay. The resort is quiet and beautiful, the room comfortable and well appointed, and the food was really good. The staff and management at this resort are top notch.

We enjoyed the beaches. The resort was not full when we were there so it was like having a private beach - there are three to choose from. There were always chaises and shady spots available and the pool bar staff were very helpful. The snorkelling was great.

It was nice to have a "butler" to look after dinner reservations, etc. Geraldo and Edhil looked after us and they were great!

We will definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your lovely comments about your recent stay with us in Melia Buenavista. I’ll be happy to share your impressions with our staff who seems to have provided a caring service.

We cannot thank you enough for choosing to stay with us and hope that you will come back soon or at least next year to again celebrate your anniversary here at Melia Buenavista

Regards,
Ernesto Osuna
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London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the resort as part of our honeymoon (which also involved going on from Cayo Santa Maria and touring around Cuba by car, which I do recommend. The resort is lovely, but it's not the real Cuba). It was fabulous - the resort itself is small, and has been designed in such a way that you are afforded a lot of privacy. The best aspect, however, was the staff. They went out of their way to make our stay special, including arranging for a special dinner in our room to celebrate our honeymoon (including bringing in a three piece band to play just for us!), running bubble baths for us, dealing with special dietary requests; everything. They were so friendly, so helpful and really made our stay at the hotel that much more enjoyable.

(the only lower rating I'm giving for food, which was good by Cuban standards)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Basilcat81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear Basilcat81 from London:
Thank you so much for you kind review. We are glad you enjoyed your in-room dinning experience which happens to be one of the services designed for our Royal Guests and most specially, our honeymooners.
We will extent your praising words to all our staff. They will be, for sure, very proud of having inspired such enthusiastic comments.
We would be very pleased to welcome back to Melia Buenavista.
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canada
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

small resort with great rooms many which face ocean. three beaches one very sheltered but to shallow and muddy for great swimming, one sheltered with a natural breakwater and great snorkeling and one out on the open water , which on days can be very wavy but beautiful sand on all. Beach chairs on all and bar service on all. Two pools which were freezing cold, not sure why. Buffet for breakfast and lunch and then dinner is sit down in two resteraunts which offer average cuban food with great presentation. Wines are ok but not a great selection. Mostly from spain and a few from Chile.
There is a lobby bar in which at night some music is played with customers in mind so you can carry on a conversation while enjoying premium beverages No floor shows so thats great.
Room service varies from day to day. Great for when you want a burger or feel like watching tv and relaxing. Sometimes when you order its there very fast, other times an hour can go by and it all will arrive cold. Staff does not seem to be concerned about this
Found staff mostly very good with the exception of the room service. They do not seem to understand that we expect this resort to be above othere resorts in the area.
Manager was always available and very visible making sure all things were great and he worked hard at that.
If you go make sure to bring insect repellant for the no see ums. They bother some but not others mostly in early morning or evening.There is daily insect control.

.

Room Tip: IF you have trouble with your room ask to move to another one It can take a long time to fix . There...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank restleswanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
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 a relaxing vacation 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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Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We prefer adult only, all-inclusive resorts like this because it matches our lifestyles. We’ve had our eyes on this resort for quite a while, but due to the high price, we never went. We finally found a great deal and jumped at the opportunity to go. When we got there, we discovered why the rates had gone down – Hurricane Sandy had wiped out 2/3 of the main beach. It was still usable, but it felt a lot more rustic than a 5 star resort should feel. At least the beaches were uncrowded and topless was allowed. The tides were still quite rough so this hampered our snorkeling experience to some degree. At least we did manage to do some snorkeling in the shallow waters and there were quite a few fish to see.

Many of the reviewers complained about the food, and that’s normal for every review you see on this site. While I wouldn't give the food 5 stars, I don’t have many complaints about it either. There isn't a buffet and your choices are fairly limited. What you do get though, are small delicious meals. We had lobster 4 nights and loved it. We finished our meals feeling full, but not stuffed, and that’s a good thing. The wines and champagne are excellent, unlike many of the other resorts we’ve been to. The drinks aren’t watered down either. At other resorts, I could drink all day and not feel it. Here, a couple of drinks and I was feeling the alcohol!

Our suite was beautiful with a great ocean view. The pounding waves provided us with a photo op every morning when we got up. The outdoor shower was a neat experience. It was cool being able to shower outside, but it could get uncomfortable at night when the temperatures dropped. Still, showering under the moon and stars was neat.

The staff was great. They were all very friendly and helpful. The one thing lacking among some of them was experience. Some of the waiters didn’t know proper etiquette when serving. A shining star among the servers was a waitress named Seydel. She was extremely friendly and was very professional. Even when she wasn’t our waitress on some nights, she would drop by the say hello and talk to us a bit. The resort should use her to train the more inexperienced staff on how to serve food.

For us, the best part about this resort is the clientele, which is a more mature crowd of Canadians and Europeans. There were no noisy and rowdy teens or 20 something’s to disturb the peace and quiet.

There are two pools at the resort – an activity pool and a quiet pool. Both are fairly quiet, but the water temperatures were too cold. They were great spots to lie in the sun and read a book.
There are only 2 PCs in the lobby where you can access the Internet. The PCs and network are extremely slow, so you need patience to use them. I noticed they were installing wireless routers in the rooms and I read elsewhere that Cuba was running a fibre optic cable to Venezuela. So hopefully that improves soon.


Good:
Adults only
Mature clientele
No noisy kids or rowdy people
Quiet classy resort
Nice, clean and spacious rooms
Great sunsets
Beautiful, well landscaped resort
Excellent, friendly staff
Delicious meals, especially the lobsters
Uncrowded beaches and pools
Talented and entertaining musicians
Drinks aren’t watered down
Free shuttle to sister resorts

Not so good:
Beach wiped out by Hurricane Sandy
No buffet, lack of choice at meals
Spotty service
Very slow internet PCs
Pool temperatures not warm enough
Biting “no see-ums” at the beach at sunset
Noisy, smelly, smoky fumigation truck that passes through the resort around 6PM
Poorly designed shallow sinks in bathrooms
Cheap toilet paper

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Thonger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
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.

I understand there are certain comments that require some improvement, so we are already working on them. The beach is full recover.

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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Hamilton
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We had our holiday from October 21-28, 2012, and as some of you may recall, this coincided with Superstorm Sandy making landfall on Cuba on the 24th (Day 3). This was the first major hurricane to have hit the resort since it was built three years ago, and except for a few puddles in the restaurants, a few leaky balconeys, the buildings were more or less intact. The frenzied ocean was a stark contrast to the calming atmosphere that the staff maintained at the resort, especially at the Piano Bar, where almost all of the guests visited at one time or another. But despite the inclement weather, my husband and I had one of the most relaxing and satisfying holidays ever.

It could easily have turned into a nightmare! The torrential rains with gale-force wind made it impossible to swim, lie in the sun or even walk on the beach for five of the seven days of our vacation. The causeway that connected Cayos Santa Maria with the island of Cuba was closed because of the hurricane, and therefore, some of the staff had to work 24+ hours since the staff buses were not running. Without the buses, we were running out of some staples--but the English-speaking guests were unaware of this for the most part. No one in our party suspected that we were in the middle of a hurricane. Cuba is notorious for having poor internet connectivity--I'm talking dial-up speed. And so we were in some sort of media bubble. I did not know about Sandy until I watched a newsclip on CNN at the Piano Bar. Everyone at our table were amazed, but since we did not feel any danger, we drank a toast to Sandy instead of getting worried!

So, why did we have one of the best Caribbean vacations ever? The main reason for this is the superlative service we received, and the still unspoiled state of the Cuban countryside and beaches. There are no peddlers or bill boards, and no one trying to sell you timeshares. The small size of the resort was conducive to making friends easily, and there was literally a small army of staff to cater to our needs during that week. On the two days when it was sunny, there were always plenty of chairs and towels. We walked from the Main Beach east towards the nude beach on Day 1 and found lots of private spots in which to sun bathe. We also received personal dance lessons by the pool, and were soon joined by a few other guests. My husband had Tai Chi sessions every day at 8:00 (led by Pedro, the gardener) and this was either on the beach or in the gym. Needless to say, the staff knew us all by name after Day 1.

The Cuban people, as you have already heard, are very friendly, proud, and eager to serve. They did not serve with the goal of getting a tip, and in fact, on one occasion, one of the servers at the restaurant refused to accept my tip. They were all exceptional--from the butler, the gardener, to the room maids and servers at the restaurant.

There were a few very unique things at this resort: an outdoor shower. I can still recall us standing under the outdoor shower during the hurricane, hearing the waves crashing against the rocks on shore, and seeing the sun (yes, the sun) dance in and out of the rolling clouds. We didn't need to turn on the tap since there was so much rain water. I doubt we will ever be able to repeat that experience. Around the main pool, there were two lovely round "beds" for lying in the sun and we managed to get our hands on one of these around 3:00 on Day 1. On Day 2, we explored and walked on either side of the resort. To the east, we were able to walk quite a distance beyond the resort prior to Sandy; after Sandy, the water level had risen too high for us to walk very far beyond the boundary. To the east is the nude beach, which is several km long (3 - 5?), and ends at one of the other resorts. We met some folks who said they had walked for a couple of hours from the Las Dunas. For those who do not want to walk there, there are free shuttle buses to the other Melia resorts and to the local market. The local regular buses also take you there, and costs about 10 pesos one way ($1 Cdn = $1 pesos).

I will also mention a few things that they can improve on:

1. Food: There was no decaf coffee. For those of us who get heart palpitations from drinking half a cup of caffeinated coffee, this is a pretty big deal. The mini buffets that are at the main restaurant where you eat breakfast and lunch have a limited selection of N. American fare. The leaf lettuce salad does not exist at this resort, although to be fair, this may be a Cuban thing. The bacon at breakfast was thick and soggy, rather than thin and crispy--and this was a big disappointment to me. If you don't want to eat boiled eggs, you can order eggs a la carte--done any way you want and as long as the cook understands what it is. I ordered scrambled eggs, but got something that resembled more like a plain omelette. Many other items were prepared Cuban style--plain and not very tasty.
2. Safety concerns: There is no hook in the outdoor shower area to hang your towel, so you either lay the towel on the floor (and let it get wet), or you throw it over the fence and let it get dirty. There is no mat on the tile floor after you get out of the shower, and therefore it's easy to slip and fall. My solution was to use the mat that was in the bath tub and I also took a chair from the other balconey to place my towel during the shower. If I had one with me, I would have rigged up a clothes line.
3. Dinner reservations: All of the dinner reservations HAVE to be made by the butler, but since there is no telling when he will actually do this, you don't really know if you got the reservation you wanted. One day, we had to wait until 5:00 pm (too late to make any changes) before we found out from our butler that we did not get our reservation and had to go to another restaurant that we didn't really want. I would have preferred to make all of my reservations myself.
4. No liquor in the mini-bar in the rooms: There is only beer in the room fridge. If you want liquor in your room, you have to get it in the 24-h piano bar or order it from room service. It would have been nice to have one liquor of our choice in the room bar during the stay and not have to order from room service for every drink.
5. No restaurant to serve quick snacks: At the other resorts, there was always a place we could go to get a limited selection of snacks between meals and after hours. There is no such place here--again, you have to order from room service.

Before closing, I will say a few things that are the best we have ever experienced at an all-inclusive Caribbean resort:

1. Best espresso coffee: According to my husband, they serve the best coffee, regular, espresso, capuccino, half and half, etc. They serve this at any time of day in the restaurants. High praise coming from my husband.
2. Easy to get around: The layout of the resort has been well thought out--you cannot get lost because everything leads you back to the main lobby and the piano bar. The piano bar is one of the best ones we've been to--not too large, but yet still has several pockets where you can have an intimate conversation or a party with 5-6 friends.
3. Great buns!: I cannot say enough about the dinner rolls at the restaurants. They came (sometimes steaming hot with butter) at every meal, and were also available at the mini-buffet.
4. Cuban music at dinner: We had two Cuban-themed meals at the resort, and on both occasions, really enjoyed the Cuban band, which took requests for special occasions. They got the whole restaurant signing at one time.
5. Professional management: Ernesto is a very good manager, and is used to walking about to talk to guests during dinner. He was very keen to know what we liked and didn't like about the resort. I know that he cares about his guests because I wrote him an email before arriving because I had a few questions about the nude beach, and he answered my email personally.

It's not necessary to tip, but the service is so wonderful, and the people so warm, that you will want to tip, not out of obligation, but because you want to say "thank you". If you tip, don't give them Canadian $, because they cannot use them without changing them to Cuban pesos first. I recommend that you get your Canadian $ changed to small denominations--1 or 3 pesos. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, away from the crowds, and before the Americans get there, you should head to Buenavista soon.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the second floor facing the main beach. You will be very close to the main restaur...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Phoenix224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Trip Advisor´s Member,

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

One of the purposes of Melia Buenavista is actually to create that relaxing ambiance that provides you with all the necessary elements for a nice experience, we do thank you for letting us know that you enjoyed our associates’ efforts. Comments like yours encourage our staff to be better.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

My husband and I were at Melia Buenavista from December 7th to 14th. My husband has a high stress job and for our purposes we couldn't have chosen a more perfect place to decompress.

I know you've read enough of these reviews to know that this place is a small perfect quiet gem. The three beaches are serene and situated in different locales so that there is always a sheltered spot. White sand, azure waters,beach service, and lots to see if you snorkel. Our little secret, don't tell anyone, is that we would go the sunset beach and walk a short distance westward, past a small mangrove outcrop and there are two more beaches. We loved to go to the third beach where we saw a total of two other people all day. The water is very clear and shallow;we must have walked out a good 500 meters and the water was no higher than our knees. We could see lots of fish, sea urchins ( wear water shoes) coral, conch and starfish. No snorkel equipment was necessary, just look down. Paradise found indeed.

We had a magnificent view from our comfortable and well appointed room. It was always kept immaculately clean. The food was consistently very good. Not good for Cuba- just plain very good- all the time. My favourite things were the red snapper at Mexican night- delicious- and Cuban night. There is excellent entertainment at Los Caribes most nights.They have picked very talented performers, but hands down, without exception, was the band playing on Cuban night. They were magnificent and the singer was absolutely superlative. His passion for the music was evident and his range and breathe control spectacular. Stupid me I didn't think to ask at the time if they have a CD. Wish I had.

My husband and I have been to Cayo Santa Maria 3 times in 3 years and the reason we always return is the Cuban people. They must surely be the nicest people you will ever meet. Hospitality is of course their profession and good customer service is to be expected, that being said they really do go above and beyond and their warmth is genuine. Everyone, simply everyone, is charming and gracious and I believe this is a direct result of excellent management. Ernesto, the manager is a true gentleman. He makes a point of being visible and involved; he stops by for a chat to see if everything is satisfactory, or, just to say hello. But what left me gobsmacked was his swift response to a small problem we had at checkout. The taxi we had arranged for to take us to the airport didn't materialize. Yikes. The staff immediately set about trying to resolve the situation and reported it to Ernesto who had someone drive to another resort to try and find us a driver. He even promised to drive us to the airport himself if he couldn't find one. They did find us a driver and we made our flight with time to spare. Whew. Thank you Ernesto and staff. Heads up Melia Hotels head office;
you should do whatever you can to retain this man, he does your brand a world of good. You can't buy PR like this.

One small caveat. I planned to pack the bug spray, really I meant to pack the bug spray--forgot to pack the bug spray. Deeply regretted not packing the bug spray. Now the little biters may be cyclical and no problem at all when you are there, but, take some advice from the nice lady and pack the bug spray anyway. Can't hurt can it?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank Patricia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernesto O, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write of your recent experiences at our hotel. On behalf of our staff, I thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

It is our pleasure to assist you. We take pride in ensuring that all of our guests receive top-notch service.

In closing, we welcome you back soon to Melia Buenavista. It is our aim to do our utmost to serve our guests and to ensure that we can make your next stay even more memorable. I feel specially pleasant with your review considering your previous experiences.

You know where we are and I will be more than happy to assist you in a near future.

Warm regards from Sunny Cuba,

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
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 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach 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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