Just got back from this resort on Jan. 20th from Transat Holidays. First impression of the resort was amazing something unexpected for cuba. Very modern and updated look from what I have been used to travelling to Cuba. This was my 3rd time to Cuba and my boyfriends 4th time.
Flight- The flight through transat was great we even got to cuba a little earlier than expected and then half an hour early on our flight home.
Check-in - Check in was very fast as once you get off the bus they take you to a room near the recption desk and they hand out envilopes with your name and room number on it and welcome drinks. In the envelope there is a map of a resort and your wristbands for the week.
Rooms- The rooms are very clean and modern. From what I noticed the rooms are a little bit dfferent from each other mainly the bathrooms. some people had tubs and showers and some just showers. Also the mirrors in the bathroom are supposed to light up to give you more lighthing for getting ready but none of them worked. We were given a room with 2 twin beds and we tried a few times to get moved to a room with a king size and each day we were told to come the next morning and there will be one available but there was not. So we eventually took the nightstand out of the way and pushed the beds together. We were however given an oceanview room that was absolutely beautiful to wake up to every morning. Also they need to work on the maid service a little better. The first day the maid came late in the afernoon after we got back from the beach and having our afternoon siesta and kept coming back till we told her to come back in the morning and then after that they came around 10am and if we werent out of the room the would keep coming back and knocking till you get out or they will call your room to see if you are still there and hang up on you if you answer (not impressed with that part) At around 5pm every night there is a couple of guys with water, pop, and beer going down the halls banging on doors to see if you need your fridge stocked up. I think they need to find a better way of doing that as well. Oh and bring facecloths with you as they dont give you any and the pillows in your room are very stiff (I wish I brought my own)
Beach- The beach was absolutely beautiful white sand and clear blue water. When you get down to the water you just have to wave over one of the guys and the beach and they bring you lounge chairs to where you want it and then dust all the sand off for you. The last step onto the beach however is quite a step off so becareful not to fall. Also we did see a few jellyfish come in on the last couple of days once the water was really calm. There is very little shade there as well. They have a few things put up on the upper level before you come down the steps to the beach but not many so I would suggest that you get there early if you would like one.
Pools- Right now only half the resort is open so they only had 3 of the 4 pools opened but they were beautiful. Off to the sides where the rooms are is a longer pool with a bar and a server that goes around and the pool goes from really shallow to about 5 feet deep. It was also more of a quiet pool and no shade. Then in the cenre of the resort there is 2 pools one on either side of the snack bar area. The one has a swim up bar and a centre island where there are loung chairs but no shade yet till the palm trees get a little bigger. They also have some dance classes and water arobics there as well and volleyball net and basketball. On the other side of the snack bar there is another big pool looks like it gets around 5 feet deep as well I did not go in this pool at all but there is some shade by this pool. But it was nice and all of them were nice and warm so no big cold shock.
Food- The food was good but not much variety. It was the same thing everyday and in the buffets not much choice for children. No fries or chicken fingers was the parents complaints there. But they did have an omlete area in the morning with very long lines. At dinner they had a pizza area (pizza as better at the snack bar) and a meat and pasta spot where they cook in front of you. My tip for that is if you want pasta as well as everything else go to the pasta line first since it is the longest or the rest of your food will be cold. At lunch time the main buffet was closed and you had a choice of the snack bar or the buffet by the beach. At the beginning of the week they had the food in the beach buffet in the centre and it was always cold because of the wind but then they moved it in doors and people said it was a little bit better. But still not much to choose from. They also have a small menu there as well if you dont like the buffet. Then the snack bar which was our main choice most of the week. They had menus there but if they had the ingredients they would make you anything. We had our omlets there quite a few times as we missed the buffet in the morning since it closes at 10am for breakfast. They have really good pizza there and ham and cheese sandwhiches but some people got inventive and would have them make all sorts of different sandwhiches. They would occationally have french fries and hot dogs there but ran out quite often and wouldnt have more for a couple of days. The a la cartes do need a little bit of work though. The first one we went to was the creole and we waited forever in there and the server ignored us most of the time. We waited an hour and a half just to get out main course and other people that were there an half an hour after us were onto there dessert. The food there was not very good either and we left before dessert and went to the buffet as we were starving. The itallian was our next choice and it was good but small portions of food and we asked for more and our server gladly brought us some. The 3rd one we went to was the Japanese and there were a lot of mixed reviews from people there for us our server was fast we were done our meal in 45 mins while others there before us were waiting over an hour and a half. We really enjoyed our food but others said there food was cold and over cooked. Also we noticed that the food for most of the a la carts was coming from the buffett. Our food at any of the a la cartes did not look anything like the food that people were posting on pictures from the first week they opened.
Bars- The bars were great! the servers were amazing we spent many nights hanging out in the lobby bar with our favourite bartenders. If you happen to see Pascual or Barbaro they were the best ones there! and we got to celebrate Pascuals 30th birthday with him as he was on a 16 hour shift over night.
Shows- When the shows start they all come dancing and playing music through the lobby and start a parade down to the show. However we found that the shows were the same thing everynight so really had no interest. We would have preffered crowd involvement shows instead of them just dancing in a different costume each night.
If you want to go to a disco there is a bus that comes around and takes you there for 1cuc and it opens at 11pm and its 3 cuc to get in and then you still have to pay for drinks as its a disco for all of the resorts not just yours.
Also while we were there two people fell into the fountains over the pathway as there was no railing so after the second person and 2 remembersed trips later they finally put something there so people couldnt fall in and hurt themselve.
We did have an amazing trip and it was very beautful there but it still has some growing pains. They do need more staff in the buffet and reataurants. But rather than get upset over the small things we did not let it get to us and we had a blast. Also when giving gifts to staff please make sure you give them a note with it so that security doesnt think they are stealing it. One of our bartenders got into some trouble when people gave him a gift and they left without giving him a note so we offered to sign one for him. Also for the confusion with the name of the resort since sirenis did pull out. Right now it is being run by Gaviota which is the government who owns all of the resorts while they are waiting for a company to come and manage it. So if going there please keep an open mind it still needs some work and a company to manage it but will be a great resort in time.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, South African Hotels and Gaviota Hotels so you can book your Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria 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.