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Melia Buenavista
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Reviewed November 16, 2013

This property is a very quiet, relaxing, place to spend a week.
First of all, every room gets a butler here when you check in. Butler, a big word for having someone who doesn't do much but, book your dinner reservations, which is nice you don't need to stand in line everyday. We had one his name was Javier and he asked if we wanted to go on an excursion and he booked us a taxi with a driver who didn't speak very good english, but we made do with him. It was nice, to see the way of life for them.
This resort is a few years old, but still in excellent shape. The service at the pool bar was excellent, as well as the lobby bar which is open 24 hours and has excellent coffee selection.
The selection of liquor and beer was pretty top of the shelf.
The three restaurants was very good, however, the one which we got turned off was the La Caribe, which not sure why but the service was terrible. It may have been just because the waiters are inexperienced?
We never snorkelled, but this resort doesn't have a big beach, but apparently good for snorkelling. The beach was nice near the beach bar, this one you can walk to the sister resorts, where you can go and spend the day and even have dinner. There are shuttle services, that you can take back to the hotel. Unfortunately, we enjoyed the resort so we never ventured off to the other resorts.
When we got there, our butler told us we had the best room on the resort, we get to see the sunset from our room. He was right, everyone came down to the beach and sat and watched the beautiful sunset. They even served champagne to you during the sunset, this beach was small but very nice, the last two days it was extremely windy but this beach was well protected by the reef.
The room was huge and if you go you will see what I mean. The bed was quite comfortable, slept good every night.
Overall, the food was good, I was never disappointed, the drinks were good as well, the service was excellent.
It's an adults only and no vendors bothering you, you have to go and look for your gifts.
After all you at in Cuba, enjoy you are on vacation!

Room Tip: the lower rooms from 0400-0900 hrs, we had 0712, excellent for the sunset every night,
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank zeked
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 November 27, 2013

Dear zeked from Manitoulin:
We heartily thank your taking the time to post such a detailed review on your recent experience at our premises. We appreciate your honesty and we are glad our potential travelers will benefit from all your comments.
We will extent your compliments to our employees so they feel motivated to keep up their good work.
Needless to say, we will be honored to welcome you back.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

We moved to this hotel after initially checking in at the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, where we stayed only one night. When I say 'set your expectations about the food' - this is one of the reasons we moved hotel.

The Melia in our opinion is much more 5 Star than the Royalton. In fact as seasoned travellers, one has to wonder about all the utterly amazing 'reviews' about the Royalton.

On to the Melia Buenavista. The place just has a more upper class feel to it and the suites are way ahead of the other resort. All of the staff were absolutely superb and our butlers Joel and Michael were brilliant.

We're not ones for a lot of entertainment and shows when we're in a beach resort but we have to give a huge mention also to Lily the entertainments manager who works incredibly long hours to get people engaged in the feel of Cuba. She had us speaking Spanish and dancing (almost) Salsa from day 1. She's an absolute delight.

We found the food hit and miss in most restaurants in Cuba. It seemed very odd as it appears they often have good ingredients to work with but some of the execution was very average. Saying that, we also had some of the best meals ever (tempura lobster and fillet steak to die for). We were intrigued about this so mentioned it to the Hotel Manager who told us that they sometimes cannot get the staff, let alone the food if transportation breaks down on any given day. This made complete sense when he explained the the logistics on the Island could be very hit and miss. After all, we were in Cuba.

Saying that, the service was always top notch, be it in the restaurants or at the bars. Those boys at the Pool Bar should have their own show.

We thought we were in for a rough trip after checking into the Royalton, but this place turned our whole holiday around. I'd go back in a heart beat.

Thanks to all the guys there who made this a wonderful stay for us.

Room Tip: We had a room facing the pontoon which for sunsets was the absolute best. The mozzies are a nightmare so make sure you take plenty of spray and keep your doors and windows shut. The outside showers are fantastic - very liberating!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andy B
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 November 27, 2013

Dear Andy B from St. Helier:
Thank you so much for your review! We are glad to know you have so much enjoyed your vacation at Meliá Buenavista! It feels indeed rewarding to receive such nice comments knowing that our future travelers are also reading about your experience.
It is a fact that food is very sensitive aspect of our services since it depends on availability of many products, equipment and also, specialized staff. We devote time and efforts everyday trying to improve the quality of this important service. We heartily appreciate your letting us know your impression about specific details in this area since this feed back is crucial.
Be certain that we will be honored to welcome you back and provide you another memorable holiday.

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Reviewed November 13, 2013

A lovely place to stay. Relaxing with excellent food and service. Quiet and secluded it offers a tranquil stop after a hectic tour of the island. Staff are accommodating and the manager is always around to ensure continuity. Rooms are spacious and private. We had a superior ocean view which was not overlooked.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank MJT50
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 November 27, 2013

Dear MJT50 from Perth:
Thank you so much for reviewing your experience at Meliá Buenavista. It feels really good to receive such nice comments regarding our services and facilities. We are glad you felt so comfortable while under our care.
We hope you honor us with another opportunity to serve you and offer you another memorable holiday.

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Reviewed November 12, 2013

My new husband and I went to the Melia Buenavista for our honeymoon and it was not disappointing. All of the staff were so attentive and helpful. The resort was beautiful and had something for everyone. The entertainment was fantastic, we especially enjoyed the evening music and bands - the ones that played in Los Caribes were so good!!! We also liked the classical piano player in the bar - very talented gentleman.

The rooms were stunning and very clean - we had a beautiful sea view Junior suite. The beaches were so picturesque and the resort grounds were very well maintained!

The restaurants had great atmosphere and food - our favorite restaurant was probably Los Caribes - as there was a different menu every night and entertainment. The food in the international restaurant was very good!. Our favourite waiter was definitely Jose at Los Caribe. Room service was also very good and quick - the Pizza's were our favourite room service treat!

A special thanks to Alien and Gerardo our butlers - they did everything possible to make our stay special - from romantic meals and baths to arranging flower deliveries.

Whilst on at the resort, we completed a survey and by the time we had returned home we had a response from the hotel - It is so refreshing to see that the management take the time to review our comments and feedback.

I would highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Vicky K
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 November 26, 2013

Dear Vicky B from Cardiff:
It has been indeed a pleasure to have you as our guests. You make us feel really honored with all your kind comments regarding your recent experience at our resort.
Our hotel is certainly committed to achieve our guests satisfaction based, most of all, on personalized customer service. Your review makes us feel really proud of our staff and encourage us to keep on working to meet our guests’ expectations.
We will also extend your compliments to our staff so they feel rewarded for their daily efforts.
You will always be welcome at Meliá Buenavista.

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Reviewed November 11, 2013

First of all, please bear with this review and take a look at the ‘rant’ at the end of the review. I do not want to take away from the review and decided to put the rant at the end.

If you want to vacation in Cuba and want relaxation and pampering, we highly recommend Melia Buenavista. Absolutely a wonderful all inclusive resort. What you want and need is all here if you are looking for chill downtime.

Meals
Not your typical Cuban resort food. The meals were well prepared and not a buffet restaurant on site. Our favourite restaurant for dinner was Los Caribes. A wide variety of meals and you do not have to eat the same thing twice if you move around the resort. We did want to go to the Japanese restaurant at the other resort, but left our reservations too late. Seems they only allocate a small number of reservations for Buenavista and we could not get in. If you want to go to other restaurants at the other locations, make your reservation early. Room service is great and the food is well prepared and comes to your room hot.

Rooms
Really there is not a bad location on site. There are rooms that have their balconies or patios facing the quiet pool area, not a location for us, but still the same well appointed rooms with plenty of room for 2 people. We had room 1012, a ground floor ocean facing room. The outdoor shower is real cool [as in neat] and we did not have any concerns about privacy.

Royal Service
The Royal Service is just that. The butlers put in 16 hour days and they are they to ensure you have what you need. Our wedding anniversary was the day after we arrived and we asked your butler what we could do to make the day special for us. Well, within 15 seconds, he suggested we have a private lobster dinner in our room. He arranged the table in our room with linens and crystal and promptly served the meal at the agreed time. He also planned surprises for us. Coming back from the beach, we followed a trail of flower petals up the stairs, into the room and through the living area into the bath area. He had prepared a bubble bath with flower petals floating on the bubbles in the shape of a heart. During dinner he delivered an anniversary cake and behind him a saxophone player came in to serenade us. Javier, you did everything you said you would do and more. Thank you very much for making our anniversary special.
There is not 1 staff member that is not committed to customer service and they are always ready to assist you. That is Royal Service. Have a problem, dial 700 and the problem is solved. That is customer care and service.

Beaches
The 3 beaches are wonderful. Always a place for you to lay on lounges and enjoy the beach and ocean. They say they have great snorkeling [we took our equipment] but due to weather fronts moving in and out, the ocean was red flagged the entire week and we could not get in the ocean. The life guard on the big beach was always there making sure people respected the red flag. The grounds are well maintained and the crew will always say hello to you and you may just get a fresh coconut to drink the milk from it.

Entertainment
There may not be the traditional evening entertainment shows at this resort, but the entertainment is absolutely fantastic. Nightly, in the lobby bar, a wide variety of music and groups. [Catch the guitar concert – wonderful] Music groups are in the restaurants for meal times. Even at breakfast! Sometimes there are groups outside the lobby bar at night. When was the last time you saw a synchronized swimming group for entertainment? One night we had the traditional ‘Cuban cultural’ review, but done by a synchro swim team at the pool.
I have probably missed some things about this resort, but nevertheless, consider our recommendation for what it is worth. It is our opinion and we have been to Cuba 4 times in addition to 15 other resorts in the Caribbean and Central America countries. This resort takes the award from us in all aspects.

And now the rant. Resorts ask people to dress for dinner at the a la cartes. They ask gentlemen to wear long pants and collared shirts. But it always happens, some men show up wearing shorts and T shirts. The resorts are too polite to not serve them but people – show some respect to the majority of people who like to dress for dinner. Take that BUBBA mug out of your suitcase before you leave home – that will give you plenty of room for a pair of dress pants. Show respect to the resort for giving you a special place for dinner.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank Ken L
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 November 26, 2013

Dear Mertzkj from Ontario:
We have been delighted by your review! We feel really proud of having inspired such nice comments even though there is always a lot that can be done to make guests happy. We especially appreciate your compliments addressed to our staff since we very heartily believe they make the difference! It is also very kind of you to encourage other travelers to abide the dress code, showing respect for the hotel regulations and also, for the rest of the clientele.
Needless to say, we will always be happy to welcome you back.
Thank you for everything!

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