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“Great value for price.”

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Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Blainville, Quebec, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great value for price.”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

If you have never been anywhere else but Cuba you will find it amazing. I have been to Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Aruba, Bahamas etc... at four star hotels. Well if I compare those with this it was not amazing. But this year the prices went up so much that we decided to try Cuba again. I got such a fantastic deal for the whole family that I will not complain at all. Food was good, restaurants a la carte were great. Beach is very beautiful, water is cold though at this time of year. Weather was not amazing, it was extremely windy and 25 degrees. The room service for our building was terrible. I never complain about that but one day i needed toilet paper, another day missing soap, another day towels. The service at the Buffet is bad. You have to be patient, long line-ups. It was spring break and they felt overwhelmed. The drinking glasses were always dirty and the forks were often not clean. It was my fourth time to Cuba in 12 years and this is always what it is like there but I saved $3000 going to Cuba so I did not complain and enjoyed it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sabrina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

This review will be short and sweet. I stayed here from March 2nd to March 9th. This was the most modern and clean hotel I have ever been to in Cuba. Pools are all amazing, the food was decent for Cuba and lines were long at prime time. I think people are forgetting their on vacation. Beer and alcohol is always available. Snack bar is good, just don't order the chicken fingers. Beach is good but not the best of the resorts on the island, as there are big rocks on the way down to the water. It's a long drive to the airport which isn't that bad, better then the 401. 80% of staff is great, 20% little to no interaction. I saw no cockroaches or any bugs at all. One thing I really loved was that they had a couple of guys that carried around a hawk that you can take pictures with for free, so why not drop a couple bucks in their hands. They deserve it. I would return to this hotel without a doubt.

I hate hearing people complain about minor things. I think they are this way because they live a miserable life.

You are on vacation!!!!!! Enjoy the Cuban people. And also a dollar can go a long way for people so don't be a penny pincher and give out tips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Kevin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We travelled with our daughter, son-in-law and their 3 year old. The hour and a half bus ride to the hotel from the airport made it a long day for the 3-year old. (Note to parents that there is a not-very-clean, non-flush toilet on some of the buses but not on all of them. Make sure the kids use the airport washroom before getting on the bus.)
The resort staff was very friendly and helpful and the hotel was clean. We didn't see any bugs at all, not even a mosquito but we were there when it was quite cool and windy. They fog the grounds with pesticide twice daily - at about 7:00 in morning and evening. Mmm - pros and cons for the spraying but we managed to always be inside with the windows closed.
The food was good in the a la carte restaurants but the buffet - one huge room - was a zoo! We hated the food frenzy and having to line up and then sit in a very noisy room so we ate at the snack bar instead, where breakfast is peaceful and quiet and you can get freshly cooked omlettes along with buffet hot buffet foods, fruit, toast etc. The toasted ham and cheese sandwiches at the poolside were just right for lunch. We also found the main lobby bar very noisy and smokey, so stayed away from it in the evenings.
The towels were changed daily and the beds were clean and very comfortable - we all slept exceptionally well. They brought a bigger than usual travel-cot type of bed for the 3 year old and she slept happily in that.
We read other reviews that talked about problems with the resort's money exchange/bank but we didn't have any issues and it seemed to be open every time we passed by.
We didn't do any of the excursions but we did go on the open top double decker bus to the Touristic Village Pueble de Estrella and it made a pleasant outing. However, we didn't buy anything there as it was mostly cheap and tacky souvenirs.
We all enjoyed the resort and agreed that there was something for everyone at a reasonable price. We'd highly recommend it for families but not so much for a romantic get-away.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank ganddoutoftown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria Feb 16 to 23rd. Very nice hotel but not enough staff so service was slow, especially around lunch at the pool bar. Food was typical Cuba offering but from what we heard, better than other hotels nearby. Only shortages were bacon the last 3 days at breakfast and butter the last morning at breakfast. Best A La Carte we had was Romantica (lobster excellent). Would recommend this place. Beach nice but windy most days.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brian E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed from March 1 to March 9. I was very sad to go. I must say I was not disappointed with the experience. I travelled with my Husband, daughter, another couple their daughter and a single friend. It served us all well. The resort is beautiful clean and modern. Very nice for a Cuba vacation. We paid $929 all incl. and got more then we paid for. Most of the complaints I read here prior to leaving were about line ups the bus ride to the resort and rude staff and generally things that are out of everyones control i.e. the weather. Were there line ups... Yes!.. I guess people forget that they line up everyday back home to wait for their Tim's or in traffic so I don't know why they think it wouldn't happen elsewhere? You're on vacation...RELAX ! You're on Cuban time...their time ....their pace! Remember that and you'll have no problems waiting! As for the bus ride to the resort. Yes its long but the guide does their best to make the most of it! Get a couple of beer and relax, you're almost there and remember how long it took you to drive from your house to the airport. Is it something you can fix? It's just another complaint on an issue that can't be changed! As for rude people, the one's I experienced were the self serving vacationers who cut lines or pushed their way through, treated staff as their personal servants, over indulged in the free drinks or placed their towels on chairs they never returned to.

The staff from the front desk to the housekeepers to the gardener greet you with a Hola! They are great, polite, hard working people. Tip them well! You are the one there to experience their culture not the other way around. If you have issues with the language barrier ... Learn Spanish!

Overall, I was very pleased with the selection of this resort! I vacationed in Veradaro and had reservations on returning to Cuba. This resort offers good service, good food, Good drinks, good cigars, pools are lovely, beach is picture perfect, always hot hot water in the room, We were on the ground floor and did have ants trying to come in ... Quickly fixed with an empty beer can filled with water and candy placed just off the patio.

We did the Catamaran tour with the dolphin interaction ... Great deal!

I would recommend this resort to friends and family and would even return myself.

Go... Relax ... And Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Goobs8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013

My sister and I stayed at Playa Cayo Santa Maria March 1st- March 9th. I read many reviews before going and most are pretty accurate. The 2 hour bus ride from the airport to the hotel is a killer after a long flight and there was only one person working the front desk check-ins so it was a lengthy process. We lucked out getting a room on the 2nd floor. Make sure you request 2nd or 3rd floor rooms because the main floor room doors are flush with the ground and all bugs walk right into your room, including cockroaches. Beds are also very hard on the back.
Pool: the two side quite pools were our favorites. People get up at 6am to reserve there chairs with towels and sometimes they do not even use the chairs all day, it’s pretty rude and annoying.
Beach: beach boys are excellent at getting, placing and cleaning the chairs. The beach is very narrow and should be leveled out, huge sand banks. Beautiful water and sand.
Food: worth the little extra wait to get the food cooked fresh in the line. Fresh pancakes and omelets were great, pizza, pasta. You definitely will not starve at this resort. We waited in line for 2 hours (not exaggerating) to book our A La Carte meals, this was probably because it was a rainy day and people had nothing better to do. They were okay, but I found the quality to be just as good as the buffet.
Phone calls: I bought insurance for a week from RBC and on the travel slip they give you to bring it says toll free call from anywhere. I got a really severe sun burn on my forehead that caused my eyes to swell shut and I had to go to the hospital, which was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Before you use the insurance you must call the toll free number and make a claim, so we went to the lobby phones (where you buy internet passes aswell) and asked the lady working in there how to dial out to that number, after the call was complete she told us we owed $23 CUC’s for the toll free phone call (which was less than 5 minutes long). She said that you cannot make ANY toll free calls from Cuba. Why wouldn’t she have told us this before we made the call when I told her I was making the toll free call. Why would this not be written anywhere, why wouldn’t RBC have updated the form by now if this was always the case? She was the only staff member I had a problem with, her attitude was AWEFUL and rude. She had no name tag on and when I asked to get her name she all of a sudden didn’t speak any English and didn’t know what I was asking her, even though I asked her in Spanish as well. I told her she needs an attitude adjustment to work with traveling customers, she seemed to understand that and didn’t take it well.
Hospital: I had to get an IV injection, cream for my burn and two different kinds of medications. This all only cost me $63 CUC’s and my eyes looked better within hours. It was neat seeing the hospital, no line ups there! Ha I had to stay in the shade for the rest of the week. Wear LOTS of sunscreen.
Fog: They drive a cart around the resort and fog at 7am and 7pm every day, try to be indoors when this happens because that’s not meant to be inhaled, it’s pretty potent.
Overall it’s a very nice, modern, clean resort.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Perrfect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innisfil, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

Went to this resort with family, mostly couples and had a blast. The beach was amazing, drinks good and food even better. No complaints about the food whatsoever, but I waited patiently in the lines to get the fresh cooked to order food. Was it annoying to wait, yes, but to have good, fresh food it was worth it. The buffet, a la cartes and the buffet by the beach was amazing too, best seafood I have ever had!
Most of the time if you were in a rush, waiting for your drinks, food or service would get annoying, but you are on vacation, whats the rush? Relax and enjoy. Some got annoyed but you have got to remember, the staff work from sun up to sun down, everyday, and they arent used to our busy world.
The tours were amazing. We went on the Catamaran and the Jeep Safari, recommend both! Our Hola Sun representative was a little rude sometimes, but Im not sure if it was out of poor humour or she really was moody alot.
The resort was beautifully maintained and the room was clean. Found a couple of bugs being on the main floor but nothing I wouldnt find in my home in the summer. The only complaint I had was the towels. If you wernt there by 9 am they would be out for the day, but shouldnt they have enough for every person anyways? How can they run out? Anyways only complaint I had!
Would definitely recommend this resort to anyone!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank lbell86
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

Property: 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 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 769
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