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“6 Star resort 3 star food”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 29, 2013

It was difficult to mark very good if looking from a food standpoint. I would give it 6 stars for the resort itself and the service, room and pool. What a beautiful place! We took the Royal Service and was not disappointed in any way. We were assigned a butler (Geraldo) who was absolutely fantastic. He couldn't do enough for us and if we asked for something he made sure we got it. The room was spectacular. In the front we were just feet away from a gorgeous swimming pool and out the back we had a private outdoor shower, very private. Every morning we went to the beach (the one on the right which we found to be the best one) and each afternoon we spent around the luxurious pool. Lunch was always at the main pool's grill. You have to get there early (12:00) as they ran out a few times of good things on the menu. We went in May so it was the quiet season and we knew not all restaurants would be open. Breakfast was always delicious. Perhaps a little slow for service. I ended up ordering 2 cappuccinos at a time so I didn't have to wait so long for my second cup. Lunch was okay but not great. Dinners were the worst. We are pretty easy about the food when we travel. We are in a foreign country and it's not Montreal but holy moly just couldn't understand why the "recipes" were so bad as they have all the right ingredients to do it right. I felt like writing to Chef Ramsey as the resort has everything going for it. It's so beautiful and the service is top notch. Example.... Italian Night. They have pasta as the appetizer (by the way all the soups were great) so the pasta arrives as a precursor to supper. Excellent. It's Italian night. So far so good. Then they bring the main course and it's shoe leather beef, over cooked vegetables and I can't even remember what came with that it was inedible. Why didn't they serve the pasta as the main meal? Great ingredients, poor preparation and presentation. The mango ice cream is to die for. Anyways, breakfast was fantastic. Eggs any way you want it, lots of fresh fruit, bakery goods, smoked salmon and cheeses. Very nice. I would have eaten it again at supper time! I'm thinking now that maybe we should have ordered more dinner time room service. lol Each afternoon we ordered a bottle of champagne and cheese plate and had that on our patio beside the pool. That was very nice. All the musicians are home grown and the music was always great. Perhaps way too loud in the restaurant at dinner time. We especially enjoyed the saxophone player on the beach at sundown (they call it their Sunset Ritual). They serve champagne and you experience a beautiful sunset on the beach. Very nice. Good time for Watkins bug cream. There is also a double decker bus that passes every hour and will take you to Pueblo d'Estrella. It's the best place to go for cigars. The cigar store was amazing! They had hundreds and hundreds of different types of cigars. Just going into their huge humidor room is a treat. It is worth going in just to see the decor. Tons of pictures of famous people smoking cigars all nicely framed. Big old leather chairs and even many old empty cigar boxes nailed to the ceiling with all the lids hanging down! Quite an impression. They accept credit cards. Coming back from there we took a taxi in a 1931 model A roadster in the rumble seat for 6 pesos and we gave him 10 as it was worth every peso! There is also an outdoor market but nothing much other than a lot of souvenir stuff. A nice little side trip. As for mosquitos, there were some in the evening and one lady got quite bitten up falling asleep out there on her lounge chair (had a few too many). Don't do that! A little Watkins goes a long way. The bars were good. The drinks were great. The entertainment great even though there are no "shows". Every night in the piano bar there was always something wonderful and relaxing. Would I suggest going there? Yes. It was a beautiful resort. We loved the beach and our room and our pool. However, if I do go back I will eat more soups and a bigger breakfast lol Maybe even bring some snacks from home. Again, it would be hard to beat if only they would change the menu a bit. Don't let it stop you from booking at the Melia Buenavista with Royal Service. We didn't starve and you could always order something else if you don't like the main dish.

Room Tip: Our room was at pool level and just outside our patio. The ocean view were nice but we really enjoy...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Celry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Gerente at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2013

Dear Celry,
We have been delighted to receive your review. It feels very rewarding to acknowledge, through your words, that you found Melia Buenavista as 6 start resort.
However, we are concerned about your opinion regarding our diners in the last month of May. We inform you that since then (June), Buenavista has a new manager and executive chef who will be so pleased to show you the positive changes we have done since your last visit in the food offer.
Hoping to be able to serve you again in the near future!

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Reviewed August 27, 2013

This is probably the best hotel we have used in the Melia chain very select and secluded with a great deal of personal service. Staff were excellent and always at hand. The manager especially was on site every day and was open for conversation on his rounds...always made you feel you were the only guests on site..... The rooms were fabulous to say the least with the luxury of an outside shower which was well used. The 'personal butler' system was we thought a bit over the top but they were always very pleasant and helpful......Unfortunately dining in the evenings was a bit of a disaster and we took to getting the shuttle bus and going to the nearby hotels for our meals....We did bring this to the Managers attention so hopefully this problem has been addressed. Entertainment in the evenings was limited but what there was was very pleasant. Too quiet for my wife but I LOVED IT!!!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms were of excellent quality but I believe the rooms near the smaller had the edge for am...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Clivealiveo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Gerente at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2013

Dear Guests:
Thank you so much for your review describing your experience at Meliá Buenavista one year ago, in September, 2012. It feels really good to receive such nice comments regarding our Hotel. We are pleased to announce you that since July we have a new manager and a new chef who will take care of any detail of your stay if you honored us with a new visit and you will love to taste our new menus for sure. It will be really nice to welcome you back in our resort for another memorable vacation.

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Reviewed August 27, 2013

Partner and I stayed at BuenaVista for 6 nights when it first opened. Some opening pains, but overall a good vacation with some unique features.
Rooms - we were given one on main floor overlooking the garden. The patio was not finished at the time and there were insects in the room so we phoned reception and asked to be moved. They moved us the next day to a room on the top floor overlooking the water and with the lovely outdoor shower which we enjoyed thoroughly in spite of the occasional passer by. Butler service - we only saw ours once or twice and unfortunately one of the times we asked for a dinner reservation (italian) he was unable to help. Beach - amazing, amazing, amazing! We spent some days on the beach and some we chose to walk further away for a more private sunbathing experience (walk towards Melia Cayo Santa Maria). Absolutely delightful! Pools were ok, the main one could get busy at times but we were able to secure a cabana when we chose to spend time at the pool. Food - well, this is Cuba so we adjusted our expectations accordingly. I must say, we went to Melia Cayo Santa Maria on a few occasions and had very yummy lunch there. One evening we got back late, tired and hungry from the beach and ordered room service. It arrived 2 hrs later and some of the order was forgotten. I think food was the biggest letdown. Drinks were ok, nothing spectacular.
Would we return? We absolutely love Cayo Santa Maria (even with the long bus transfer), and would love to go back, although we would look for a slightly better property.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CURIOASA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Gerente at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2013

Dear guest:
We heartily appreciate your honest review of your stay in Buenavista this last month of May, even when the gastronomy offer received did not met your expectations;
We are working really hard in the improvement of all our services (we have a new manager and chef since this month of June) and your opinions constitute a great help for us to orient our efforts. Despite your said you would look for another property, we are sure that if you give us a new opportunity to serve you, you would be very delighted.
Thank you for your contribution.

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Reviewed August 26, 2013

A perfect place for a couple to relax and leave the world behind. All of the staff were fabulous to deal with, friendly and accomodating. Our butler Edel went out of his way to make our experience there memorable arranging two in-room meals. All the extra little touches like a drawn bath, flowers on the pillows, etc. Food was excellent; good variety, freshly made and excellent quality. The lasting image we have is of the peace and quiet and the ability to unwind. Recommend this resort to anyone looking for that experience.

Room Tip: An oceanview room is worth the extra few dollars; we watched a spectacular nightime lightning show o...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TR1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Gerente at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2013

Dear guest,
We have been delighted to deserve your review. It feels very rewarding to acknowledge, through your words, that you found exactly what you needed while staying at Melia Buenavista. We will extend your comments to Edel since he would certainly be very happy by your compliments.
You will love to return, that is for sure!

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Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I enjoyed our second visit to Melia Buenavista. The hotel was very much the same as we remembered it from our first trip two years ago. Most of the staff were still there, too, which is a very good sign. The resort has a lot going for it: the location is absolutely amazing with beaches on three corners. The water is so incredibly clear that you can see the bottom as well as the many different fish that are so friendly and swim right up to you. Although we didn't snorkel, I would highly recommend bringing your gear. You won't be disappointed. The main beach is very large. You will not have difficulty finding a palapa. In fact, De la Torre would make up your beach chair for you, putting the cushion on it and tucking in your beach towel. The entire staff is very friendly and will do everything to make your stay enjoyable. If you need something you just need to ask your butlers who are assigned to you. Every morning they took our restaurant request, they drew a romantic bath one day for us and brought a bottle of champagne to our room. We had Edel and Gerardo as butlers and they were both great. Yami at the front desk is a real sweetheart and really took a shining to us. She even offered to have box lunches prepared for us for the long bus ride back to the airport. The new manager Jaime came by one night at the restaurant and told us that we could order anything we wanted to from the kitchen. He allowed us to keep our room without charge until we were ready to leave (several hours after the normal check-out time). The cleaning staff were really nice. They left notes every day and created beautiful towel arrangements that they would leave on our bed. The food was pretty good. The fish was always very good. When we were there they only had two a la carte restaurants open. The food choices were very limited and they did not have a buffet at either restaurant. The portions were very small. However, if you ate every course offered, you wouldn't leave hungry. However you could order room service if you were still hungry. The food at the main pool is quite good. It is open for lunch only. They have a cook grilling meat and fish and they have really good pizza that you can order from one of the many bar tenders who come around to take your drink orders. Apparently you can order a club sandwich, shrimp, burger, etc. The important thing to remember is to ask. They don't tell you what you can order so we had to discover this by noticing what other people were eating. The spa is beautiful. We enjoyed an hour massage, sauna and steam bath. You can use the facilities free of charge once per week but you have to pay extra for the massage. The gym is also nice. We were particularly impressed by the musicians who played during dinner and in the piano bar. Their voices were unbelievably great. All in all, we had a very relaxing time and would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: Second floor ocean view rooms cost more but very worth the money. We stayed in rooms 1222 and 1422...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dlba
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Dear Repeating Guests:
Receive our most respectful greetings from sunny Cayo Santa María.
We would like to thank you for this nice review expressing in details how it felt to stay at our resort and experience our natural environment, personalized service and human warmth.
We are certain that other vacationers will find your comments very useful while choosing their next holiday destination.
We will definitivelly feel much honored if you visit us once again.

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Reviewed August 11, 2013

This hotel was amazing. Here is a breakdown:

Service: was exceptional. The staff went out of their way to accomodate our needs. Whenever one of our butlers (Alien and Edel) ran into us they always asked how things were, is there anything they can do.

They even had someone that would come over and set up your beach umbrella and chairs for the day.

To my friends: Osmany and Orestes I miss your smiles and mojitos. These guys work very hard and ensured that we always had water or drinks or whatever we needed and provided that service on the beach.

Facilities: We had the royal ocean view room. It was definately worth the upgrade. Could not have asked for a better view. Was skeptical of the outdoor shower at first but it was great. The gym was actually very good for the size of the hotel.

Hotel: This is a small hotel and not meant for people who are looking to party. It is a place to relax and enjoy a quiet stay. My only con was the distance from the airport. It was a bit of a trek.

Beach: There is more than one beach. One meant for swimming and another for snorkeling. The snorkeling beach was incredible. I brought my own gear and spent everyday there. The reef and wildlife were amazing.

At the time there was plenty of room on the beach. We did not have trouble finding chairs.

Every night, weather permitting, they served champagne while someone played the saxophone. Breathtaking.

Food: I have to say food has come a long way. It wasn't the greatest for breakfast and lunch but we discovered that the room service menu was very good. We lived off of that for breakfast and lunch. The pizza was amazing. The a la carte restaurants were great.


Sunwing: will be looking for another travel provider as we touched down at another airport in Cuba before landing in Santa Clara. This delayed us another hour and was not mentioned at time of booking.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Anne1965362
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Dear Canadian traveler-friends:
We really appreciate your having taken the time to write this review with such a detailed description of our facilities, services and staff. We feel very proud to acknowledge you feel so enthusiastic about your vacations at our premises last month. We heartily hope this will not be your last visit.
Thank you for all your kind words and the good promotion we may get from them.
We hope to receive you again for another memorable vacation.

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Reviewed August 10, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a fabulous two weeks at the Melia Buena vista Resort on the Santa Maria Cayo. This trip was our about our twelfth visit to Cuba and the seventh time to this area. In the past we have stayed at five star resorts in this area and in Varadero. The Melia Buena Vista is by far the best couple’s resort. There is great attention to detail and all of the staff members are very service oriented and willing to go the extra mile to make your experience the best it can be.

Each bungalow has four suites. Two upper and two on the lower level all with separate private entrances. The units are very well constructed and we never heard any other people or noises in any of the other suites. The suites each expand from the front to the back of the building. You have a private balcony on one end with a comfortable padded rest area and a small bistro set.(ours overlooked the quite pool) On the other end of your suite you will find your shower is very private and outdoors – so you get to have the most amazing showers. (Don’t worry – it’s very private and no one will see you.) Your washroom also has an amazing Jacuzzi tub, separate washbasin area, walk-in closer and toilet room. The king bed was comfortable with a flat screen T.V and a few T.V channels. (Enough for the amount of time spent indoors) there was also a sunken living area complete with a well stocked mini bar which is attended to each day. Just let your butler know if you have any special request regarding what you prefer. You may also request to have a bottle of wine, champagne, etc. left in your room for when you return from the beach or pool to enjoy before dinner.

Maid service/ turn down service was excellent; rooms are very clean and well kept. You will have the service of two butlers (they work alternate days to book your evening dinner reservations and to help and assist you with any other services, excursions, or special requests that you might have. My husband and I had the pleasure of having Havier and Lucas as our butlers. They both did an excellent job with our requests/ dinning reservations and even helped to repair suitcase that was broken during the flight. (Thanks again! I made it home with the repair staying intact.)

Even though this is low season. There are many options for food. Seeing that we were there for two weeks we decided to try out a few other options at the other nearby Melia Hotels. We tried the French, Japanese and Romantic restaurants.
The food was good but once you have eaten and been served at the Melia Buena Vista you will have been a bit spoiled so you might find that the other locations are not quite as attentive. But this being said if you would like a change of scenery or to try something different, you make take the free shuttle buses to the other Melia Hotels in the vicinity to check out their restaurants, beaches, recreation activities etc.

Breakfast was available at the Restaurant near the main beach. There is a very extensive selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, pastries, and cereals in addition to the typical breakfast selections that can be ordered from the menu and prepared fresh in the kitchen. You may also request smoothies, coffee, tea, expressive, fresh juices cappuccinos etc.

Lunch is served at the same venue and has a number of items in buffet style, salads, fruits, luncheon meats, a variety of cheese selections, fresh bread pastries, etc. Or if you prefer you may visit the pool grill. The chef here is OISBANI and he is an amazing cook. The grill is charcoal and the food is delicious. There were a variety of options including the following, hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, chicken, and pork, pulled pork sandwiches, seafood, and vegetables. A number of interesting kabobs with a medley of vegetables, seafood, fish shrimp, calamari which was all delicious. You may also at any time order room service. See the menu in your room – You may also ask Orestes or Osmany at the Pool Bar to order items for you to be brought to bar for you.

There are two pools. A more quite one (if you want a really Zen area) or the Main pool with the grill, bar and activities. This area is quite fun if you want to get involved with some water volleyball or earlier morning activities such as Thai Chi or Yoga. It’s a fun atmosphere with two of the best pool bartenders we have ever seen. ORESTES and OSMANY. They make great drinks and have the most wonderful personalities and service to go along with it. You will always get service with a smile and they will always make sure that you are being served as promptly as possible. Be sure to ask Orestes to see his bottle juggling routine.

You will receive a schedule of the offerings from the two evening restaurants from your butler. Both are excellent and you will have excellent service at both. We found ourselves booking the Los Caribes – there is a different theme each evening and there is usually very talented musical entertainment.

Beaches- Follow the boardwalk from the breakfast/lunch restaurant and you will find the main beach. This is probably one of the best snorkeling you will find anywhere. I would advise you to bring your own equipment if you own some. There are many palapas and chairs and we never had to worry about getting a good spot to sit with or with out shade. If you are a weak or non swimmer – please be advised that the water gets very deep within a few steps – unlike other beaches (like the ones on the Cayo Ensenachos) This being said, the water depth fluctuates a great deal so just be careful as at one moment you may be over your head and then if you go further you may be overtop of the volcanic stone and the water may become more shallow. This beach usually has some waves and this can intensify quickly if the wind picks up.
The other two beaches have shallow water, great umbrellas, seating, and hammocks and are great for quiet relaxing.
The gym has two treadmills, two elliptical machines and a recumbent bike with a full compliment of weights, good air conditioning and access to water.
Internet – Is dial up and probably a bit (a lot) slower than you are used to but you’re on vacation!..... The up side is…. you can ask the front desk access card and they will provide you with a complimentary access card if you really need to check in online.
Mosquitos – the resort does spray at dusk for these but please bring some repellent to be on the safe side.
Lobby bar – This is the place to go after dinner for musical entertainment. There is a resident piano player and a number of different Cuban musicians. The Cuban Ensemble on Tuesdays and Fridays is very high-energy, well rehearsed group consisting of a trumpet player, bass player, hand percussionist, lead vocalist and two guitarist. Another act that we really enjoyed the guitar ensemble that consisted of six guitarists. (A very talented and well rehearsed group)
This is an excellent resort for adults who want to relax and enjoy the beautiful environment. The staff do their best to make sure that you have a wonderful time – so please be generous with your gratuities as they are a very had working and dedicated team. Thanks once again for the great vacation!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JazzKeys73
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Dear friends of Meliá Buenavista's:
We have very much enjoyed reading your review. We heartily appreciate your taking the time to describe your whole experience at our resort in details and also, your having praised our staff and facilities in such a touching way. Thank you so much.
You can be sure we will extend your compliments to all our staff so they feel even more motivated to provide some really personalized and professional services. We would be very pleased to host you again in the near future.

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Additional Information about 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
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $279 - $631 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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