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“Great Trip to Playa Cayo Santa Maria”

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Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 20, 2013

My boyfriend and I visited from Feb 10 to 16/2013. We had a great time at Playa Cayo Santa Maria. The resort layout was great with easy access to nice pools, great food and the beautiful beach. There was plenty to do from water activities, meals, drinks, snacks or entertainment but quiet time at the pool or the beach was easy to find also. The resort staff were very helpful and friendly and there were plenty of choices of delicious foods available in ths buffet, snack bar, sandwich stands and 4 à la carte restaurants. There were a few lines at the grills or stations at the buffet but they moved quickly. There were many bars available and we never had to wait for drinks. The beach was incredible with soft white sand and turquoise water. The only issue I had was with my shellfish allergy on lobster night at the buffet and at an à la carte. I was able to eat outside at the buffet, but I had to leave one dinner early. Check the menu when booking dinners if you have an allergy, the seafood aroma was too much for me to handle, but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. I really recommend this resort for couples and families.

Room Tip: Not many rooms had an ocean view but the resort was very easy to get around on. A pool or thw beach...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Alanna D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,093 - 3,099 of 6,838 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2013

Went to Play Cayo with my husband February 7-14! Had an absolutely awesome time!

Positives - beautiful crystal clear water with complete sand and you could walk out quite far before it got deep, food was really good from what I have heard about cuba - but if you like ketchup - bring your own - theirs tasted weird! There were two "towns" close by - just a glorified place where you could buy souveniers and a bus would pick you up for 1 peso each way.
very modern newly done resort!
We stayed in building 7 - i would recommend staying in either building 7 or 5 - they are right by the big pools and snack bar as well as some of the rooms have complete ocean views (we were in room 773 and had a side view of the ocean and was on the opposite side of the pool)
If you want to get a gazebo or something covered at the pool - go put your towel on early in the morning - they get taken pretty quickly!

The only negative i found was the language barrier...it was a little bit hard but the people there were absolutely awesome! nobody was begging for tips they were just so awesome you always wanted to tip :)

things that we brought to give to people there (maids, gardeners) nail polish, gum, coloured pens, candies, tooth brushes, individiual flavoured beauty face masks....

*** the banana crepes were to die for! my husband really liked the crystal beer and i loved the miami vice! (slushy red and white drink

there is a banker there everyday starting normally around 10 to exchange money as well as there is a little souvenier store

it is a bit of a bus ride (an hour and a half) but the way there it was dark so i slept and on the way back it was light out and nice to go through the towns and see all the culture and their way of life.

already thinking of going back there next year :)

Room Tip: we like building 5 and 7 the best (close to everything and some rooms have a full ocean view)
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Talya_25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

My fiance and I went to this resort Feb 9-16 2013. We had a great trip. The resort was clean with lots of places to sit at the pool - never had to fight for a chair. The beach is a bit small, but the ocean was amazing and clear. All of the staff are very friendly and very eager to help you with any problems you have. Pasquel and Juan Miguel at the swim-up bar were both amazing. Very friendly and entertaining - both were always happy and easy to talk to - they made our days fun and both made great drinks :) The resort does not have a ton of night-life and is not a "party" resort. There were mostly couples there, which was perfect for us. The weather was perfect - 30C every day with no clouds or rain. It was a little cooler at night, had to wear a little cover-up sweater, but was still comfortable in a skirt and flip-flops. The food was okay... there was never a shortage and they do their best, but it is cuba. There is definitely enough to get by on for a week. Our room was nice and big and clean. I e-mailed the resort a week in advance to ask for a 2nd or 3rd floor room and to ensure we had a king size bed - we got both of those. There is sometimes a language barrier as I do not speak spanish, but if you are patient the staff will try to figure out what you need and please try to remember that you are in their country - not vice versa. Overall we had a great stay. Next year I would like to go try another country, but I would definitely return to this resort.

Room Tip: We stayed in bungalow 12 and it was great. Quiet at night and close to everything. E-mail the reso...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nuttjes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

AMAZING!!!!!!
Resort was beatiful ! The staff were great! Gorgeous beach !! THis is definitely 5 star Resort!! HIghly recommend this resort to anyone! Many pool choices !! Many bar choices and food!

There is a great flea market to go shopping ! Offer alot of great choices . Cigars are cheaper at Santa Clara Airport.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank travelerlover1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

My boyfriend and I just came back from a week at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria. It was our second time in Santa Clara (first time was at Melia Las Dunas 2 years ago). Let's start with the positive : beautiful beach (sand + water) I know some people didn't like the 2 level beach but I didn't mind at all it's quite charming and not complicated access-wise, buildings are modern looking.
Then the negative : small rocks in rice 3 days in a row (we stopped eating rice after the third day), food in general was not great even for Cuba, room and building cleanliness not very impressive, 4 cockroaches in our room during our stay, one woke me up at 2:30am crawling on my arm(we were on the third floor). Service was very slow but the employees were nice when they actually show up!!
It's the first time in my life I say I wouldn't go back somewhere... But we survived, didn't get sick, had fun and anyway it was better then being at work :)

Stayed: February 2013
1  Thank Julie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

On vacation at Playa Cayo Santa Maria from February 7th to February 14th with my sister and a friend. We chose to stay in the same room, so we requested a cot shortly after check in. Within no time, the cot was in our room and set up for us. This cot had a regular type mattress, so it was very comfortable.

Rooms: Very nice and clean. Large bathroom with awesome shower head (water fall type)
We stayed on the 3rd floor and had a very nice view of the ocean (without having to pay extra!), because our building was closer to the lobby than the beach. But for us, it was a perfect location. Building 2, room 0276.

Beach: I've been to Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba and DR and this was by far the most crystal clear water I've ever seen. The beach area is a bit different as it's kind of on a dune...but you get over that pretty quickly when you see the beautiful clear water. The sand is pure white and very soft. Even at approx. 20 feet deep (from the catamaran offered by the resort) you can still see the bottom.

Food: The food was delicious...my last experience with Cuba was Varadero and the food was pretty bland. But at this resort, the chicken and porc where awesome. The pizza and french fries at the Snack Bar were very good and the pasta and the omelets at the buffet were delicious. No complaints from the 3 of us!

Location: In order to get to Santa Maria, you have a 1.5 hour bus ride. We didn't mind this at all as it was like getting a free tour. The guide was very good and pointed out things we should look at and gave us some history and details on the location. So just sit back, relax, listen and have a beer $2.00 (on the bus).

Staff: The staff was exceptional! Each and every one of them were extremely friendly and accomodating. They always had big smiles and seemed very happy.

Tour: We went on the Catamaran tour $103/pp. It was well worth it. We stopped for about an hour to snorkel and saw some cool fish and star fish. There was also a dolphin there that I got to touch while it swam by. Then we went to a private beach to do some beach combing, then off to interact with the dolphins. Very impressive how smart these dolphins are!

Some things that are recommended to bring: ketchup, peanut butter and milk if you use it in your coffee.

I would definitely go back to this resort and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Janice B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed at this resort from Feb 3rd until the 10th. Went as a couple and had a fantastic time.

What we liked:

The pools - they are stunning; cleaned every morning and there were always chairs available.

The room - We stayed in bungalow 15 and is was great. No bugs and was fairly quiet. Room was very modern and we always had hot water.

The food - Was very good for Cuba. Snack bar food was amazing. We ate breakfest there every morning, and got our late night snacks there as well. For dinner we always waited in line for the made fresh stuff. It wasnt that long of a wait, dont listen to some of the other reviews. We would go for dinner at peak time and would only wait MAX 20 mins for anything. We went to the asian and romantic a la cartes. Both had great service. We liked the asian one more tho.

The service - it was great. From the waitresses to the bell boys to the 'technicians' who came and fixed our bathroom door after we locked it by accident. Hard working individuals who are very dedicated to customer satisfaction. Except for the front desk. Dont ask them anything.

What we didnt like:
The beach - it had a few rocks and was a bit hard to climb down but not that big a deal.

The maid - Yes she did a great job at cleaning and making our bed but would often come between the hours of 5pm-7pm. We had to turn her away twice because of this.

Overall I would recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank NCOCSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria

Address: Las Dunas 5 | Cayo Santa Maria, 50100, Cuba (Formerly Hotel Gaviota Cayo Santa Maria)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria 5*
Number of rooms: 769

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