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“There's only ONE like it!!!”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
St-Lazare, PQ
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“There's only ONE like it!!!”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

What will we always cherish?! The natural beauty of the wild, untamed and fabulous beaches...clearest waters as can be! Hospitable, dedicated and very charming staff...to name and thank a few; Joel, Osmany, Orestes, Javier, Yuni (sorry if I spelt your name incorrectly, esperanza de la mamá y el bebé están haciendo bien!!!) and cannot forget mi BELLA with her beautiful smile each morning for breakfast....they work so hard at taking care of you...Love you all, thanks guys!!!!!
Everyone talks about the outside shower...if for ONLY that reason, it's worth it!!! But, no there are so many!!!! YOU gotta to go to discover for yourselves!
LOVED and ENJOYED every minute of it...and of course, my husband would strongly agree!
Muchas gracias Melia Buenavista <3!

Ps...Last but not least, we met wonderful guests and even in this quiet little haven...danced the night away!

Room Tip: LOVE the oceanviews!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 259Linda
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, May 11, 2013
Dear friends:
I very much appreciate you share with other travelers all these magical experiences lived at our resort. It feels nice to receive all your praising words regarding our facilities and services and most of all, our staff.
Hoping to welcome you once again at Meliá Buenavista for another memorable stay,
Ana L. Castañeda
Quality Control Representative
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Guelph Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was our second visit to MB. It was a pleasant surprise when we arrived that we were recognized by so many of the friendly staff. Everything was as we expected, the room, the butler service, the bartenders, the grounds were well kept, BUT the food was so so. I was really disappointed with the choices. Lunch at the pool was very good, but breakfast and dinners were not that great. This may or may not be the resort's fault i.e availability of ingredients, but unfortunately we won't be returning.
We had spoken to other repeat guest who felt they may not return for a third time as well.
So in summary a fantastic first visit, but I would advise not to return for a second visit....in my opinion.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jomazur
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, May 11, 2013
Dear Clients:
I heartily appreciate your honest review. Even when services received have not fully met your expectations, you have been able to point out those aspects you have really enjoyed at our resort.
We are working hard in the improvement of our services and your opinions constitute a great help for us to orient our efforts. Thank you so much.
Kindest regards,
Ana L. Castañeda
Quality Control Representative
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Thanks to the great people from Melia Buenavista we were able to transfer from another resort.

Daylin was extremely nice and helped us to change resorts, found us a room and made sure everything was ready for us. She arranged a taxi to pick us up and cold refreshments and our butler Michael and Lucas were waiting for us at the reception. Daylin is extremely professional and we thank her for all the help.

Osmany and Orestes are the best bartenders in the resort. Their service was impeccable,they make great drinks, super fast service and they even prepared a nice surprise for my sister on her birthday.

The whole staff made our stay extremely enjoyable.

The rooms are great clean, spacious, outdoor rain shower was amazing, great room service as well as turn down service, in room mini bar with good selection and very fast room service.

Food was amazing and the service at the restorants was impecable. Different vine selection every night, great fish, shrimps, steak and lobster.

We were here last year and had a great stay and this year we saw a lot of good improvements.
Compared to other 5 stars on Cayo Santa Maria, Melia Buenavista should be a 10 star.

We will be back soon and I suggest this resorts to all who wish to have a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Liliana-V-Montreal
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, May 4, 2013
Dear travellers:
I have been delighted to read your recent review regarding your second vacation at Meliá Buenavista. Your praising words addressed to our staff speack very high of their proffesionalism and human values, for which I heartily thank you.
I certainly hope we can have you back in the near future so you may enjoy another pleasant stay.
Kindest regards,
Ernesto.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grande Prairie, ab
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This was our first trip to Cuba and instead of two weeks of lounging we choose to travel onour own for six days before going to Melia Buenavista. Before our trip we had talked to many Cuba travelers and heard many different stories so in our choice of resort we wanted adult only with a nice beach and pool, really just a good place to relax. Melia Buenavista exceeded our expectations ten fold. Upon arrival we were met by Javier who took us to our room and explained everything to make sure we were well looked after, he let us know his day off and that Lucas would be available. We had a main floor room that walked out onto the quiet pool, the word room does not come close to describing the large Suite, huge bed, walk in closet, jacuzzi tub,outdoor shower(way to cool), sitting area and four meters from the pool, again we were amazed. This is truly a bueatiful resort and although full all the time, we could be alone anywhere to relax, three beaches, two pools plenty of space to explore. This truly is incredible.

The people that were in place to look after us are fantastic, Javier was always around and talking with everyone and took time to talk to us and make sure we were booked for supper each night, a really genuine gentleman. Lucas is the quiet giant, again a real gentleman, his english was not as good as Javier's but he made the extra effort to help. They would make a point of finding us to see if we needed anything. Both of these men exemplify the words Gentlemen Butler, calm, generous and more than capable in making your stay comfortable and amazing.

The two happy hard working young men at the pool bar, Osmany and Orestes do a fantastic job. They always made sure we were well looked after with drinks and they always seemed to be smiling. they would stop and chat or answer any questions we had. They made our trip a lot of fun. When you go tell them Hi from Cowboy in Canada.

Eva, our maid and the two young ladies that prepared the room each night THANK YOU.

The wonderful people at the front desk, always friendly, helpful and very good to talk with.

The Restaurants and the food WOW. I wish i could find more words to impress upon you how great everything was. The best thing I can say is THIS IS A MUST VISIT resort.

We met so many wonderful and genuinely freindly people both at the resort and in our travels around Cuba we are already planning our next trip back.

Room Tip: Learn some Spanish
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank George E
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, May 4, 2013
Dear Cowboy in Canada:
Receive our warmest greetings from Cayo Santa María:
I am really glad to to know you so fully enjoyed your vacation, not only at our resort but also, in other places of sunny Cuba. I am sure there are still many things for you to explore in our beautiful beaches and many nice people to meet.
Thank you so much for your lively review!
Hoping to welcome you back to Meliá Buenavista,
Ernesto
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

We enjoyed our stay here but cannot say that the butler service was as snappy as it should be. Certainly when talking to other visitors who have experienced similar resorts offering the same service further south they were disappointed. But there is a lot to like about the resort. Many areas to sunbathe although areas round the pool get towel occupied very early. It is a shame that this is allowed to happen in what is supposed to be a superior location. Our standard of room that we had booked was not available when we arrived which was disappointing. They did half compensate us with a couple of massages but its still a nuisance to move luggage etc. Worth noting is that having been moved there really was not much difference in standard of room.
In summary the resort is good but, certainly better than the other two Melia locations in the vicinity but my main criticism would be aimed at The Royal Butler service. In a lot of cases I felt the gentlemen that were appointed to our room were elusive and really only going through the motions without trying to be outstandingly helpful.
Would I return? I would certainly continue my research to see if there is better.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are nice but suites are not worth the extra money
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FuntimeFreddy69
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, May 4, 2013
Dear Guests:
Receive our most respectful greeting from sunny Cuba.
I heartily appreciate you honest review. I understand some of our services did not exactly meet all your expectations but I thank your giving us the chance to identify these improvement opportunities. Our guests comments are well taken into consideration since they help us to improve our performance in all areas.
I would like to mention that eventhough you first stayed in a room which did not have the exact categorie of the one you had actually purchased, most of the amenities and added values of the Suite Romance were indeed, provided. I believe it may have been the reason why you did not feel there was a great difference between both rooms.
It will always be a pleasure to welcome you at Melia Buenavista and serve you as our guests.
Kindest regards,

Ernesto
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2013

This was our 8th visit to Cuba, including our 4th to Cayo Santa Maria. One of our visits included a family wedding at Melia las Dunas 5 years ago. On this visit we wanted a quiet, relaxed, comfortable location with good service and decent food and drink and this is exactly what we got.

Some other excellent reviews have been posted recently so I wont go into detail. We really enjoyed the Melia Buenavista. Our room was great. We found our two Butlers - Javier and Lucas - available when we needed them but not obtrusive. They took care of our dinner reservations where and when we wanted them, and also threw in a few very pleasant surprises. We spent most of our time on the east beach. We snorkelled almost every day there. Plus Michael and Yaromil provided the best service from the beach bar. They made great mojitos! Pedro was always happy to find a couple of beach chairs for us.

Once we got the hang of the breakfast routine, we enjoyed our breakfasts with eggs made to order. Lunch was a bit more of a challenge. We found we had to go to the buffet early at Los Marinos. A few times we had pizza at Los Caribes and it was good (esp. if you like thin crust). The ala carte dinners were very good at Los Navigantes, although the beef tended to be tough.

Thank you to Mari at Los Marinos, Edlys at Los Caribes and Katherine at Los Navigantes for their service.

One comment - Internet is available. You get a card from the desk which gives you a user name and password. But service is verrry slooow. It was great for a quick check of email, but do not expect to visit multiple websites, etc.

We did have dinner at Melia Cayo Santa Maria one night, and did go over to Melia las Dunas twice to visit friends. Both resorts were very hectic and we were very happy to return to Melia Buenavista.

Would we return to Melia Buenavista if we had the chance? Yes! Was it perfect? No, but for us, it met and surpassed our needs.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank digitalcamera
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, May 4, 2013
Dear Guests:
Receive our warmest greeting from sunny Cayo Santa María.
I feel much honored to receive your compliments regarding our services and most of all, our staff. They are, undoubtedly, our most appreciate award for our everyday work. Likewise, I thank you for the future travelers who would venture to visit our destination after being encouraged by your review.
Hoping to welcome you again at Meliá Buenavista,

Ernesto
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

My wife and I spent a week at the Melia Buenavista and came home relaxed, refreshed and most importantly, tanned.

This wasn't our first trip to Cuba, we stayed at the Paradisus Princesa Del Mar in Varadero in 2008. If you've been to Cuba, skip ahead. A few things to know about Cuba if it's your first time: It's not Mexico or Jamaica or any of the other sun destinations, it's unique and important to remember that. In Cuba they run out of things and there's nothing they can do about it (read up on the trade embargo to understand more). The resort ran out of mangoes on day four. Bananas disappeared day three and reappeared again on day six. They don't always know when/if they're going to get more of some things - best advice: don't ever say "I'll have that tomorrow", have it today because it might not be there tomorrow. Laundry on the island isn't reliable so there won't be fresh towels everyday (think about it though, do you really need a fresh towel everyday?) They don't have everything you want so it doesn't hurt to bring a few comforts from home like ketchup or peanut butter or even chocolate (also a great gift for staff).

RESORT: We chose this resort for the peace and quiet and the snorkeling and it lived up to our expectations. It's a small resort (only 105 rooms) so if you're looking for a party, look to the other Melias. If relaxation is desired, this is where you want to go. You can snorkel right off the beach - the fish will come right up to you expecting food, the reef is quite beautiful and if you head out to the little island you may see a barracuda or two (it's safe, don't worry). TIP: bring your own gear! TIP: bring a small can of bug spray - there are sand flies at the beaches because of all the coral

ROOMS: The rooms are very large with a lot of great little amenitiies. We had a ground floor room in building 26 - we backed onto the pool which was fantastic - wake up and pop in for a quick dip before breakfast every morning. The rooms have big walk-in closets, a nice jacuzzi tub, an outdoor shower that's private (enough), a large king size bed, flat screen tv and a personal fridge. The only problems I had with the room were that our phone died on our second last day which made getting an early morning wake up call/bell boy a bit problematic (it wasn't fixed before we left) and they use some pretty powerful cleaners so best to stay away from the room for a bit after the maid has been in there. Also, you'll find that there's a lot of people coming in and out of the room (maids - both in the morning to clean and at night for turn down service, butlers, people restocking the fridge). Nothing went missing from our room but for your own peace of mind, use the safe and throw the "do not disturb sign" out front when you want some private time.

FOOD: The food was pretty good. Cuba isn't known for it's cuisine but what they had was pretty good. You can get an omelette every morning if you like, lots of fruit and cereals, breads, usually crepes (don't expect real maple syrup - if you're that desperate, bring your own), french toast and usually a couple of different sausages. Lunch was the weak point. The BBQ at the pool area was nice but it's just meat and maybe a few slices of cucumber or lettuce. You can order a pizza whenever you like or try the lunch buffet but I didn't think much of it. Dinners were pretty great - two restaurants. Los Navegantes has the same menu all the time with some good options (rabbit, gnocchi, steak, lobster tail, soup, fish, etc,) The other restaurant has a theme each night - Cuban was very good, Mexican was pretty good, Italian was OK.

MELIAS: the great thing about staying at the Buenavista is that you get access to the other two Melias on the island - this includes their beaches, bars, restaurants and entertainment. The beaches at Las Dunas and Santa Maria are gorgeous and better for swimming and sailing (no snorkeling there). The buffet at Santa Maria was a good option for lunch and the Japanese restaurant was fun (not authentic but a nice change from the regular food at the resort). There's a shuttle that connects all the hotels so it's easy enough to make a day trip or just head out for dinner and a show. Worst case scenario, a taxi from Las Dunas (the furthest) to Buenavista is $3 CUC. There aren't a lot of taxis on the island so give yourself plenty of time to get back. We spent a couple of days at the beach at Santa Maria/Las Dunas but coming back to Buenavista really makes you appreciate how small and quiet it is. Also, Buenavista is the only adults only of the three so take that as you will.

Entertainment: There are three bars at the resort: lobby (open 24hrs), pool and beach - these close at 5pm. There's no swim up bar and the pools themselves are quite shallow and there's not a lot of activity going on. You'll see a poster of activities but other than snorkeling and volleyball, there's not a lot going on. Also, it was really hard to get clean pool towels (ask your butler for help with this). The sunset ceremony though with the sparkling wine and saxophone player was really nice.

SERVICE: With a few exceptions, the service was fantastic. Our two butlers - Javier and Lucas - were fantastic and really helped to make our stay memorable. I got the impression that some butlers are better than others but I have no complaints about ours - we never knew what treasures awaited us in our room whenver we came back from the beach or dinner (a bubble bath one night, fruit plates during the day, nice turn down service). The butlers can really make or break your stay here so it's important to let them know if things are/are not up to your standards so they can do something about it. Most of the staff are really friendly and will take great care of you - just flash a smile, learn to say "hola", "por favor" and "gracias" and I'm sure the service will be great.

Overall, this was a really nice place to go to relax. This isn't the place to go if you're looking for a party or if you're looking to be entertained. Entertainment is best found off-resort, peace and quiet on it. If I was looking for a nice quiet vacation again, I'd go back.

Room Tip: Ground floor around the pool is a great option if you don't want to fight for a chair
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank o2wntravels
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, May 4, 2013
Dear Guests:
Receive our warmest greeting from sunny Cuba.
It certainly touches me to see how guests are able to enjoy our facilities and services and still take the time to write a detailed review, even when their experience has not been exactly perfect. It is indeed very rewarding to all our staff to acknowledge that our efforts to achieve our guest’s satisfaction have been worth it. I hope other travelers are able to use your review as a truthful guide when choosing their holiday destination.
Looking forward to provide you another memorable vacation at our resort,

Ernesto
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts 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 
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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