Very friendly and trying staff making the resort truly hospitable and inviting.
Fantastic buffet with great variety of meals prepared just for you, and to your taste, at various stations plus four proper (but not necessarily outstanding) a-la-carte restaurants.
Nice bars with great mixed drinks using international brand name liquors plus Becks beer and 3 popular cuban beers available at all times (24 hours a day) at the Snack Bar.
Accommodation is more than acceptable as I got a very clean and large room with balcony and a large bathroom with all the amenities, on the top floor. The small flat screen TV therein has many international channels, a welcome add-on on stormy days.
Onsight nightlife is limited to a piano player at the Lobby Bar (after 6:30pm or so) and rather average nightly shows; no disco onsight but there is one in the Pueblo (5 minutes away by super nice double decker bus costing only 1 peso each way).
Several outstanding swimming pools for all ages, some fitted with various nets types for playing water games.
The beach is white sand, safe with clear water weather permitting; the damage caused by hurricanes still shows. Snorkeling is doable in front of the resorts Sol Cayo Santa Maria and Melia Buena Vista but one has to get there first (quite a long walk, especially for the latter, but you probably can manage to hire a Hobbie Cat....probably....).
Finally it should be said that the area of Cayo Santa Maria, just like that of Cayo Coco, is secluded, away from 'Cuban Life' and is meant more for quiet restful holidays than, say, 'Adventure Travel', but suits families very well, in my humble opinion.
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