We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great but not perfect yet!”
Review of Melia Buenavista

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great but not perfect yet!”
Reviewed February 28, 2014

I am going to echo the reviews from jjdish and Allie H.
We had a wonderful overall holiday. It didn't start very well though. We were very tired and hungry! Check-in was a bit weird....the receptionist just told us to take a seat and it was the bell boy who gave us the keys to our rooms. I would have thought our "Butler" should have been there to greet us. We had rooms by the quiet pool. They were fabulous, roomy, comfortable very clean (thanks to the chambermaid). The bath and outside shower were great. This hotel has three beaches for you to choose from....all good. Snorkeling was excellent. Pool bar was very good, the staff there were very friendly, but the drinks service on the beaches was a bit hit and miss. Entertainment was stylish. Lobby Bar was lovely. Piano is played whilst you are having your pre-dinner drinks.
My thanks to Jaysett and Navy for Salsa lessons and aqua-gym. Food was fairly poor.....but I'm not a foodie so it didn't bother me. I did have the best ever tomato soup in the international dinning room.
Butler service is weird....not sure I could ever get used to having one!
Tipping...I would prefer to put the money into a pot at the end of our holiday, it can then be shared out amongst all the staff. Therefore everyone would get top service.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have their own benefits
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SLM903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Dear SLM903,
We are so proud to know guests may get such a good impression of our resort! It feels really nice to receive such nice compliments! We are certain that future travelers will benefit from your experience when choosing their next relaxing hide-away. However, we promise you we are going to work on those aspects you say in order to offer you a better vacation next time. We will tell Jaysset and Navy about your kind words. They will be happy of helping you again with your salsa lessons!
Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with them.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,532 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,777
    460
    193
    68
    34
See reviews for
144
2,008
44
11
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (543)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014 via mobile

Alright, let's start by saying that I have been at least 10 times to numerous places in Cuba, several times to Mexico, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Tobago, Guadeloupe and a few others... I will explain why I gave this resort 5 stars.

Cuba is a particular destination, that is limited by what is available to the Country. If you expect Texas style Tbone steaks from cows that barely have fat on them...not going to happen.

This resort is for peace and quiet. No partying in evenings, no drunk people in the pool... Need to disconnect... This is it!

Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted with a great smile and given a quick tour of the resort before being showed to our room. Baggage swiftly followed. The room is spacious, clean and well equipped. Compared to nicest rooms in Mexico. The room fridge had the basics, but the butler will bring and adapt its contents to whatever you need. Now if you don't ask... You won't get. The outdoor shower is large and great...but a little chilly at night. Maid service was very good, never missed a thing. The turndown service was splendid and always timed to be done while you are out to your diner reservations... Nice touch.

The resort is small, a little over 100 rooms. You are close to anything, no matter where your rooms is. The resort was near capacity and we never felt crowded, waited in line or had to search for a beach or pool chair. You get to know the staff pretty quickly and like what another reviewer has said... You get what you give out, and I am not talking about tips. Although a minority (thank god), some people treat the staff as if they owned the place. I occasionally tipped for exceptional service, but no matter, I was always courteous and always received it in return and then some. Cuban'a are often very well educated and well versed people, and this hotel hand picked many of them, and it shows. The staff were always ready to go out of there way to accommodate anything we needed.

The food is the downside of Cuba, not the resort. It is the best I have eaten in Cuba and they made great efforts to make lemonade out of lemons. Since its all à la carte restaurants, you can choose to eat pretty much where you want, including other resorts (not recommended, but will explain) and they always accommodated any changes to our plate we asked. One night, they didn't have our reservation.... No fuss, no problem, sit and enjoy... Loved it. The included Langouste was a plus. There is everything for everyone. There's a bbq at the main pool, food was good, but was missing, descent plastic plates that don't melt when you put chicken in it and some sides... Like salads, fries, etc
We went to Japanese restaurant at sister resort.... Here is a hint. The food was really just ok + we sort of felt overwhelmed by all the people, bar lineups and loud crowds. It was like leaving a desert island and ending up in time square! We couldn't wait to get back.

The pools are great, one main pool and a quiet pool. Now... The main pool is quiet, a bit of ambient music (please change it everyday, it gets repetitive) , one aerobic class and one hour of volleyball.... That's it. The pool side beds are great and comfy. There is a bar that serves almost only top shelf liquor... Can't see how they would call the drinks watered down... If you want them strong, they will make them strong. The pool area is maintained, and CLEAN all the time. No glasses in or near pools, water clear and clean. Hats off to Osmany at the pool bar, he never runs, never looks stressed, yet serves everybody quickly and with a smile. A definite asset to this resort. The entertainment team was excellent. They are never in your face but always there willing to keep any downtime busy... If you want.

The main bar offers probably the best cappuccino I have ever had. I would sit outside in the morning facing the pool and enjoy the view and great coffee.

The beaches!
There are three beaches. One beach is not for swimming, beautiful still the same. The call it the sunset beach and every night, a saxophone player plays some tunes in front of a beautiful sunset.
The second beach near the main pool is called the snorkelling beach, you can take some sun in the loungers there and enjoy the view. You can also wade in the shallow parts.
The third beach is fantastic, beautiful water, sand and a beach you can walk for miles on. Loungers and shade is always available, no matter what time you arrive. Bar service is offered at your chair, about once an hour. I don't blame the bar tender, the sand is deep and hard to walk in, i was tired just watching him walk from one end to the other.

As you noticed, I didn't talk much about our butlers... Our main Butler was Alien. He always was available, gave us our reservations as we asked for them and was always stopping us to ask if we needed anything else... But we didn't!!! So did we use our Butlers to their full extent, no, could we have, yes. But like I said before, any staff member would help... For anything. ''Not my department'' didn't exist at this resort.

The manager was always around, asking about our stay, what we needed, if he can make our stay more enjoyable... Wow!

So, that said, I want to compare oranges with oranges, and this resort deserves 5 stars compared to any other resort in Cuba if you are looking for a place to chill, not stress and do the least possible. The resort is beautiful and well maintained.

Recommended for couples who just want to wind down like we did.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
13 Thank jjdish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Dear JJdish,
We very much appreciate your detailed and well focused characterization of Buenavista. We believe that your review may certainly help other travelers while choosing a destination that would really suit their needs and expectations. Your nice praising comments constitute some valuable motivation for all our staff to keep on working on providing guests a memorable vacation. Thank you so much!
Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

We just arrived back from the Buenavista last night and we had a great time at this resort. The staff are bar-none the best we've experienced, the entertainment was great, the room was clean and spacious, the outdoor shower was heaven... in all this was a great resort.

We read through the reviews listed below before we arrived and we noticed that just like every where else in this world, you get what you put in. If you are rude and short with people, speak to them like they don't understand you and refuse to tip for good service... you might not like this place or any place for that matter. If you are kind, you are grateful, you enjoy the sun and sand and you are looking for a week of relaxation made even better by a team of people that are hell bent on ensuring you have a good time... this is probably where you want to book your trip.

We saw people barking orders at the staff and they in return didn't get awesome service. That much is true. We spent our week saying thank you, enjoying the experience and taking in everything the resort had to offer and we had an incredible vacation and we will absolutely recommend this place to a lot of other people.

The food was just okay, the bartenders were so much fun and they made awesome drinks, the snorkelling is out of this world and the beaches are sandy, sunny and have turquoise water for you to gaze upon and dive into. This was paradise.

HUGE BONUS: You get access to the other Melia resorts if you get restless... better bonus: they don't have access to yours!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Allie H
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, February 26, 2014
Dear Allie H:
We sincerely thank your showing so much respect and appreciation for our staff. Be certain that we will pass your comments onto them. It makes us really happy to acknowledge you have had a very good time. In any case, it stimulates us to keep on working on our staff performance and attitude so we can really achieve the high levels of satisfaction we want to offer to our clientele.
Needless to say: it will always be a pleasure to host you at Melia Buenavista.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didcot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

This is a very comfortable hotel with good beaches and snorkelling from the beach. The rooms are large and the beds very comfortable. The food is average but quite good by Cuban standards. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The only point against is that you do not get the feel of the real Cuba in this hotel. You could be in any Caribbean resort. However if that does not worry you, it represents good value for money.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Ian P
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, February 26, 2014
Dear Ian P:
It has felt very good to read your synthetic review. We understand you have had a really good time, even when your experience has not been exactly as expected. We have been working very hard in the improvement of all our services and we will continue doing our best to make our guests feel relaxed and satisfied while under our care.
In the area of entertainment we are working to incorporate some typically Cuban artistic presentations in order to offer a richer picture of our culture.
Thank you so much for your comments. We will be looking forward to your next visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

It appears the week we were here (Feb 14-22), was a bad week for them from reading the reviews - this resort cannot deal with even the small number of visitors there; it appears this place is badly managed. We were very disappointed in the service and our stay stressed us out - it started from check-in when we arrived - the receptionist did not want to see us, instead some other man told us to take a seat on the couch - she gave him the envelope with our room keys and he then told us to wait for the butler. We were so tired from our trip, the last thing we wanted was a butler taking us around the resort showing us where everything was. The resort is so small, you do not need that service. We just wanted to go to our room, change and rest. The first room he showed us was not acceptable but after arguing with the receptionist, we received an acceptable room. I have to say the rooms which are large, clean and well maintained by the wonderful maids, plus love the outdoor shower), and the beach was beautiful - those are the best things about this place. The butler service needs to be removed as it's useless - all they did for us was make dinner reservations - just put a couple of concierges at the front desk to do that job. Pool service was terrible (they were not working but fooling around all the time or on the phone), the towels are so old, ours had holes in them and bad blood stains (those should be thrown out and if this is a 5 star resort , they can afford to change them. . The beach bar another problem as we are beach people, not pool. They have one guy which was never there when we wanted a drink. Sometimes he would wander off and then we noticed he'd take orders on the beach. You would think they would have 2 people staffing the beach bar one taking orders on the beach and another filling them, but they waste they manpower on the butlers (some people I guess like that service from reading the reviews), but we could never find ours. They open the towel service at 9:00 a.m. which is so late if you get up early like we did and wanted fresh towels. They close promptly at 5:00 so if you get there at 5 to 5:00 they tell you to come back tomorrow. The food in the a la carte is terrible. The beef is the worst - the chefs all need cooking lessons. The waiter at the Caribe restaurant was so rude to us one night, we were so upset. Please do not think that because this is Cuba they cannot cook decent meals - they can. We were in Veradero years ago and it was really good. Be warned there are lots of mosquitos there, so bring bug spray - I came home with so many bug bites. This resort is nice, but we would never go back simply because of the bad service we received. Not sure how this place is #2 in Santa Maria, but I guess the other resorts must be worst than this one. I have to say, the last day we were there, there appeared to be a big change and everyone was very nice. Not sure why that happened.

Room Tip: Unfortunately there is not a tip that would help
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoanneV095
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, February 26, 2014
Dear JoanneV09:
We are deeply sorry to have made you feel the way you describe in your review. Please, accept our apologies for it. You can be certain that your comments will definitely be taken into consideration to reorient our efforts in order to be more consistent with the service and satisfaction we provide to our guests.
It seems that the period of your stay was not exactly our lucky week but so far, we seem to be recovering, with some very hard team work.
We would always be really honored to have you back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

My husband and I were at the Melia over the Christmas and New Year's holiday. Although I wanted to be able to rave about this holiday sadly I cannot. For the amount of money you pay for so called "Royal Service" save your hard earned money and spend it elsewhere where you will get the same or better service.

We were celebrating our tenth anniversary in Cuba as we were married in Cuba. Also, we are not fussy people and we have been to many places (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Grenada and Jamaica) most of them 3 stars and we had friendly service without all the workers expecting tips ALL the time.

Starting with breakfast... They have several workers standing around but guests would be ignored for 10 minutes or more before they finally felt like serving you. If you did not leave any tips they would ignore you for even longer. On top of that the food at the buffet was always cold as they did not have the burners turned on to heat the food. I understand that this is Cuba but the food selection was very limited. We appreciated being able to take the shuttle to the other two resorts for other restaurant choices. Oddly enough we found the service friendlier and better at these places.

I also agree with the other reviews that some areas of the resort are not being maintained. The umbrellas on the beach are ripped and the sun bed mattress are filthy. The only way the beach personnel would help you is if you tipped them. This includes the so called included snorkelling guide.

As far as the "friendly" manager goes I really did not feel that he cared one way or another how we felt as guests. He would ask how we were doing but never stayed around long enough to really listen to suggestions for improvement.

Our butlers were okay with the exception of our first butler who was very condescending and like some other employees I sometimes felt like we were an inconvenience. However, are other butlers, Joel and David were great. They went out of their way to make our anniversary unforgettable.

Snorkellers and swimmers be aware of the jellyfish. As well, the bugs that you never see bite a lot. We were covered in bites. Also, they fog around 6:30 -7:00, right when people are out and about or showering getting ready for dinner. How healthy is that?

The grounds of the resort are beautifully kept especially by the wonderful gardener Armando.

Our maid ( Digmelys) and night service person were outstanding. Probably the hardest working people on the resort.

Also, Lester at the Caribe restaurant is an amazing person.

Again, I hesitated writing this review for a long time but I feel that fellow travellers like us work very hard for their money and should know all the facts before spending an exorbitant amount of money on a so called five star.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JC T
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, February 26, 2014
Dear JC T from Winnipeg:
It feels sad to acknowledge that you left Meliá Buenavista bearing in mind a rather somber image of our staff and services. Please, accept our most humble apologies.
You can take for granted that all your comments will be taken into consideration and will definitely help to improve our staff performance and attitude. Likewise, we are very seriously committed with the improvement of our gastronomical services; being the food temperature and hygiene some of the issues more paid attention to.
I would like to mention that the product used for foaming against mosquitoes has been certified by our health authorities. Being Cayo Santa María a reserved area, we are not supposed to constantly pour chemicals into the atmosphere. That is why it is recommended to do the spraying against mosquitoes at the most critical time of the day: sunset.
We sincerely hope this recent experience does not discourage you from visiting, once gain, our detination.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

The highlights in this small, quiet, adults only, 3 STAR (MY RATING) resort include (1) large rooms/suites which are better than most in Cuba and being a newer resort that is well maintained with good housekeeping, most everything works in rooms including AC/lights/room safe/flat screen TV. Our coffee maker didn't work but they quickly replaced it and ceiling fan didn't work but we did not need it. Nice having a bar sized fridge which was supplied with soft drinks and water everyday - not always consistent with same brands everyday however. Hot water is heated with rooftop solar units but beware if other guests in your bldg. unit drain all the hot water before you get up in the morning! Some insects & cats, remember your spray and Benadryl. (2) the beaches are beautiful, although no hard packed sand for walking just lots of soft sand so if you have knee or hip problems take care, lots of shaded chairs and service on beach for drinks - a real bonus. You could see many species of colourful fish just standing in the water up to your waist - no snorkel needed, just a banana or bun from the breakfast buffet table. A few activities of interest around the pool including yoga, Spanish, dancing and volleyball but very few people were interested/or participated. No entertainment with exception of a few musicians during evening dining hours. Public washrooms were well maintained with supplies all the time - unusual for most resorts anywhere! (3) the royal service butlers try their best to please booking you into one of the several restaurants on site or at the other 2 nearby resorts. Butler gushing and smiles are over the top at times with high expectations of getting big tips from you when you leave.
We found the food average with not enough salads or vegetables especially in dinners. Lunch with buffet was somewhat better with a few more healthy choices. Breakfast items were below average with exception of eggs! Don't expect snacks. Soy milk is available at breakfast and if you ask.
We paid about $1500 each for 1 wk package but price went up $600-$800 the following week and I would say the experience would not be worth paying over $2000 for a wk.

Room Tip: Although the outside balcony showers are private, beware of critters on the ground floor. We had a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hummingcrane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, February 20, 2014
Dear Hummingcrane,
We have really loved your review. Everything about your recent experience at our premises has been described in a synthetic, matter-of-fact and honest way. We are sure our potential customers will benefit from it, and especially, from your simple and wise recommendations to make their stay more pleasant.
It would be very nice to have you back in MBV so you may enjoy all the privileges of our Royal Service.
Thank you for your contribution.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Cayo Santa Maria
6.0 mi away
Ocean Casa del Mar
Ocean Casa del Mar
#11 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,113 reviews
3.3 mi away
Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
#1 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,968 reviews
2.5 mi away
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
#3 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 6,349 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.6 mi away
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
#9 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.0 of 5 bubbles 4,218 reviews
3.0 mi away
Starfish Cayo Santa Maria
Starfish Cayo Santa Maria
#8 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,061 reviews
233.1 mi away
Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Melia Buenavista? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Melia Buenavista

Property: Melia Buenavista
Address: Punta Madruguilla, Cuba
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 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Cancelon and TripOnline SA so you can book your Melia Buenavista reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing