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“Lovely place - but it doesn't justify the price...”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed in this - what they call - 5 star luxury-resort for 4 nights. All the staff is very friendly and our Junior-Suite is spacious and lovely with the outdoor-shower & the jacuzzi-bath. We recommend to ask for a Junior-Suite leaving not to the North, better to the West or the East. Around there are 2 beaches (North & West) with lots of spaces beside the 2 lovely pool-areas for relaxing and having a swim. Unfortunately we had mostly a strong wind and the sea in these 4 days was with lots of big waves (no sight for snorkeling).
BUT the staff has to work hard to justify the European Price level: in our appartement 1 light was not working, 1 light was working all night long, the sink was not properly working - in the breakfast-room we had to wait more than 45 minutes to get a simple omelette - although the personal was standing aroung chatting: typical for a state ruled business - none shows interest to work more or the best!
But to recover the honor I have clearly to admit, that after a talk about my complains to the managing director everything in our room was fixed immediately with lots of honest apologises.
What is really a huge lack for this kind of hotel-standard: there is no WiFi at all in all the area...and this for the highest category of hotel in the year 2013!
>>> After we travelled through Cuba for 3 weeks, so we recommend this place with restrictions!

Room Tip: Junior Suite but not to the North - reserve one to the East or West side!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank world-traveller8725
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 January 15, 2014

Dear World-traveller8725:
We are really sorry to acknowledge we were not able to meet you expectations. It is evident that your experience was not exactly perfect but we really appreciate your help in identifying our improvement opportunities so we are, eventually able to provide a real Royal Service feeling to our customers. You can be certain that all your comments have been taken into consideration.
By the end of 2013 we were finally got wifi installed in our lobby area which has definitively made things easier for most of our guests.
We will keep on working to make our guests feel pleased and satisfied. Please, give us another opportunity to serve you in the near future.

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Reviewed January 1, 2014

We were looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation for our third trip to Cuba, after Varadero and Holguin. The Melia Buenavista is a small resort, with long beaches to explore and ample beach chairs if you want to walk or simply stretch out and read by the ocean - none of this nonsense about reserving chairs for the day. We took advantage of the free shuttle bus to visit the other two Melia resorts down the beach (Las Dunas - huge, Disneyworld atmosphere; and Melia Santa Maria, midrange) and were so thankful to be staying at the Buenavista.

The service was outstanding: we always felt that hotel and restaurant staff were doing their best to make sure we had a good experience. The beds were comfortable and came with a 'pillow menu' (but the pillows we started with were great), and the room was easily the best we've had in Cuba (loved the outdoor shower!) This is a new resort - 3 years old - and this shows in the facilities.

The only downsides: tiny no-seeum bugs that bite. We'd read the reviews and hoped that they would be gone by the beginning of December, and so we didn't put on the bug spray until it was too late, they'd got us. I also like taking photos in early morning and late evening - favourite mealtimes for the biters, too.

We had also hoped to do some snorkeling, but the snorkeling lagoon is very shallow, and the Atlantic side was quite rough for most of the days we were there. This didn't stop others, but they looked more expert than we'll ever be. We did enjoy swimming, and watching the pelicans dive near us.

Room Tip: From the 2nd floor of the 6th villa - we could watch the sun setting over the ocean, and listen to t...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Jan A
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 January 8, 2014

Dear Jan A:
Happy New Year 2014!
It has been a pleasure to acknowledge, through your review, that you have had a pleasant stay at Melia Buenavista. We specially thank your praising our staff friendliness and professionalism and we will extend your comments to them since they can be some very nice motivation to keep up the good work.
We heartily thank your having shared your feelings about our resort with potential travelers who will benefit from this first-hand information. It will be a pleasure indeed to welcome you back soon at Melia Buenavista.

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Reviewed January 1, 2014

Very happy with our Xmas break. Totally influenced by tripadvisor who really got it just right.
Perfect setting. We are a gay couple and felt extremely relaxed and not out of place as can happen in some resorts.
Great rooms and amazing staff . Felt obliged to tip everyone as really not used to such great service though have been warned previously that we shouldn't . ( increasing rich poor divide etc but hey....tho Doctors can earn less than resort workers if you believe what you read)
Our only minor gripe was the food but maybe we are too fussy. Most of the food was pretty tasteless, or overcooked which is a shame as the ingredients were amazing. Lobster every day if you wanted but mostly overdone and tough . Sort that out and the lack of WIFI ( though being disconnected for a while was relaxing for me but not everyone) and you would have a resort like no other in that area. If your want to snorkel or play tennis bring own equipment as no snorkels on site and tennis equipment falling apart
( also don't bother visiting the other resort eg the one with the Japanese restaurant - awful)

Room Tip: Overlooking sunset beach
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SC3005
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 January 8, 2014

Dear SC3005:
Happy New Year 2014!
We have been very pleased to receive your opinions regarding your recent vacation at our resort. It feels very rewarding to acknowledge, through your words, that you have felt pleased and pampered while under our care even when we have not fully met your expectations in certain aspects. Be sure that we will pay very close attention to your comments in order to be able to provide a higher quality service to our clientele.
We will be more than happy to welcome you as faithful guests. Thank you for your contribution.

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Reviewed January 1, 2014

A wonderful vacation resort, aimed at mature adults wishing to enjoy a pleasant, restful week in the sun. The rooms, beaches, and facilities are well appointed. The staff are especially friendly and courteous. The various music groups in the evenings were a particular highlight, and of top quality. The resort is exceptionally peaceful and relaxing.

Christmas dinner was truly memorable and with a wide variety of foods. Their suckling pig is magnificent, both that evening and at lunch by the main pool.

The only minor drawbacks were the constant winds, the no-see-ums (until we realized the need to use insect repellent), and for two weekend nights per week, the groups from the U.S. on some kind of exchange, who disrupted the otherwise peaceful atmosphere (of Canadians, Latinos, and Europeans) in the restaurants.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Alister C
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 January 6, 2014

Dear Alister C:
Our best wishes to you in this New Year.
We heartily thank your posting this positive comment which makes us feel, once again, so proud of our staff and facilities. We will keep on working to provide our guests a very professional and personalized service in a relaxed and natural environment. Having a group staying at our resort is quite an unusual event. However, we will do our best to avoid any disturbance to our major clientele in the future.
Needless to say, it will be a great pleasure to welcome you back at Meliá Buenavista for another memorable vacation.

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Reviewed December 29, 2013

Third trip back to Cayo Santa Maria, and first time staying at Melia Buenavista. From the moment we arrived we were greeted and directed to the front desk for check in. The attendant at reception was able to move rooms for us to accommodate what our travel agency did not notify the resort about. We were given a lovely room on the ground floor facing the pool. The room was large and clean with modern amenities, including a Jacuzzi tub and outdoor shower. Aside from a few minor maintenance issues that were addressed, and corrected quickly, the day and night maids kept the room clean and stocked, including fresh towels in the evening. The three beaches of the resort offered a variety of settings..... from the main beach with a small island you could snorkel around, to the small lagoon with power white sand, or the relaxing sunset beach. We mainly stayed on the main beach that had a breeze to keep the bugs away and was comforting in the hot sun. Felix and Luis were great bringing refreshments to our loungers on the beach. Lobster lunch on Christmas Day at the beach bar was excellent. Beaches were never crowded and lots of loungers were available. This was a welcomed treat from larger resorts where finding a chair can be a challenge. Darisbey's nightly greeting with a smile and glass of champagne, listening to live music, and watching the sun set at the sunset beach was both peaceful and inspiring. Food was very good and we really enjoyed the quiet a la carte style of the resort versus a loud buffet. There was a variety of choices on the menu and also having access to the other resorts restaurants increased selections. Evenings spent at the lobby bar, listening to live music, watching Spanish dancing and other performances was an enjoyable way to end a perfect day. Service, as with most of the resort, was top notch here too, always willing to accommodate. The manager was always visible throughout the resort, getting to know guests and sharing information about Cuba and beyond. He wanted to ensure everyone had a great stay and quickly addressed any concerns or questions we had. The butler service is a great idea, they will book your meals and such; however, we felt they should approach guests more readily offering ideas, rather then the guest having to call for them. We really enjoyed the quiet and relaxing nature of the resort and look forward to returning.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Todd S
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 January 4, 2014

Dear Todd S:
First of all: Happy New Year!
It has been great to receive your opinions through Trip Advisor. We heartily thank your compliments and your detailed description of our facilities and services, which will certainly provide potential travelers some valuable information. Likewise, we will also keep in mind your suggestions regarding our butlers´ approach in order to make our guests feel welcome and attended.
We will be really honored to have you again as our guests for some nice and relaxing vacations.

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Reviewed December 29, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Melia Buenavista. Our flight was delayed in Toronto due to snow on December 14 and our landing delayed in Santa Clara due to a power outage. We were quickly checked in upon our arrival (after midnight) and were given a quick tour of the resort on the way to our room. We were tired and hungry when we arrived and were pleased when we ordered some food and it was quickly delivered hot to our room.

The room was very nice, big and kept very clean. The air conditioning was already set to a comfortable temperature (this is not always the case with key card a/c). We absolutely loved the outdoor shower. Our only quibble would be the mattress. It was much too firm for our taste. We realize it is Cuba but a high quality hotel needs high quality mattresses.

The resort is small which we loved. It is very easy to get around and get to know. it is also quiet. The water was very calm during our first few days. It was quite strange for me and I fell asleep on the beach my first day (in the shade luckily). I quickly got used to the quiet and enjoyed unplugging for the week. The resort has some amazing snorkelling and we snorkelled the first few days when the water was calm. We saw some amazing fish. Take a mask and snorkel, you won't regret it.

The beach bar with Luis and Felix was great. Get to know them, they will look after you as well. The pool bar with Orrestes and Osmany was also awesome. Again they are great guys and will make your stay nice with great drinks and service.

The staff really make this resort stand out. We have been to many resorts in Cuba, Mexico and the rest of the Caribbean. The size of the resort makes getting to know the staff that much easier and they really go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. A special shout out to Jysette the activities coordinator and Armando the gardener who never seems to stop working unless its to welcome you with a smile and to ask how you are enjoying your day.

Do watch out for the sand fleas. Hey we have mosquitos in our back yard during the summer. Take some bug spay to the beach.

The big beach is phenomenal. The small beach off the pool is nice as well and offers some great snorkelling. You will want some water shoes at the small beach.

The meals were good. I had a steak that surprised me being the best I have had at an all inclusive and cooked to a perfect medium rare. They need to work on proper seasoning but all in all very good. The sea food is great. Remember you are on an island, eat the seafood. I must say the lunches were the best.

We were looking at booking into the Royalton and it got sold out so we came here. We didn't regret it. We had friends who were at the Royalton and we did visit them for a few hours and the resort looks fabulous. The difference from my perspective would be the Buenavista is secluded and quiet where as the Royalton is sandwiched between large resorts and a market. It did look top drawer and our friends were very satisfied.

We enjoy travelling and love Cuba. We had a wonderful private tour of Santa Clara and Remedios. We enjoy discovering new places and trying different resorts. We are returning to Varadero in the spring for a wedding. We would return to the Buenavista in the future.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
6  Thank Joel S
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 December 31, 2013

Dear Joel S from Oshawa:
We have been delighted at reading your review on your recent first stay at Meliá Buenavista. It feels nice to know you have had such a good time, even when there were a few not-so-bright- points such as the insect bytes or the mattresses. Peaceful environment and personalized service are definitively the aspects guests most appreciate from us so, we really treasure them.
We certainly hope this has been just the first of many pleasant visits. Thank you for your contribution and Happy New year!

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Reviewed December 28, 2013

Went back to Melia Buenavista with my husband. Had trouble getting into Cayo Santa Maria because of the weather but once we were there had a great time. Great staff, rooms and beaches! Our butler Alien was awesome, took us into Santa Clara on his day off to tour the city. Still our favourite resort in Cuba! Only negative are the bug bites we always get in Cuba but still better than snow and cold! Miss our friend Julio from the beach :)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Krista W
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 December 31, 2013

Dear Krista W:
Thank you so much for your synthetic and lively review. It is evident that our staff can really make the difference with their personalized and professional service, which makes us feel really proud. It will be a pleasure to have you back to enjoy another memorable vacation.
Have a Happy New Year!

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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 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $277 - $658 (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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