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Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Nice resort for rest and relaxation. We enjoyed the buffet food more than the a la carte restaurants - the service in the Italian, International and Asia was top notch; however the quality of the meat served was disappointing (beef, pork and chicken all tough). The snack bar offered good pizza, fries, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches etc. For the buffet I would recommend the following stations:
Omelette & Waffle
Rice
Grilled Meat
Pasta
Pizza
It is Cuba so the food was as expected - does not compare to the buffets/a la cartes at the all inclusives in Mexico and the D.R.
The pool near the snack bar offered shade (low season) and was quiet and refreshing; however needed some cleaning and maintenance as there was sand on the bottom and various broken tiles.
The rooms were modern, comfortable and spacious - never had a problem with toilet paper!
We found the staff friendly but not always quick to take your order or clear your table (and yes we did tip!)
As others reported - lots of mosquitos at dusk - take spray and some calamine lotion to treat the bites.

Room Tip: Room on ground floor in buidling 7 - great location.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank jojo4jojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Dear Guest, we appreciate your comments and hope you visit us again soon, so you may find that our service is a lot better. Please, do not forget to contact us. Thank you very much and best regards, Jorge Calderín, Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,847 - 2,853 of 6,670 reviews

Reviewed June 20, 2013

Been to Cuba a dozen times, I must say this is a superior and spectacular new hotel. I will not repeat all the amenities described on the website, but rather focus on things you need to know. This hotel will not disappoint the most discerning traveller, very clean, fresh linens and towels daily, even the pool towels are ready for you in your room, just have to exchange them at the spa center when you need a fresh one. Nice supplies in the bathroom, boxed toothbrush and paste, shaving kit, and loofa sponge, never expected a clean white bathrobe and slippers, great pampering!
Food was very good, fresh meats and fish to grill to you liking including lamb occasionally, smoked salmon in the buffet at breakfast and supper, rum flambé bananas and crepes with ice cream every night was a highlight! I would have like to see more fresh fruit like mangos but they had excellent pineapple, but seeing we were there during low season they had limited variety. There is no perfect place on earth, I would say these are the irritants we encountered during our stay: the animation was very loud at times, we asked to turn it down and they obliged immediately, the beach directly infront of the hotel is a little rocky you have to watch your step but a 2 minute walk to your left or right you will discover the most beautiful sandy white beach and turquoise ocean. I think that having your own umbrella will make a world of difference, and it would be a wise thing to bring as there is no shade immediately on the beach...you can walk infront of the Las Dunas hotel but it is a good walk and people save their long chairs early in the morning and its frustrating to look for a shady spot when you feel the burning sun on you! Fellow travellers, please sit your butt down if you want that shady spot, otherwise don't park your towel there while you are elsewhere. In general, these are the drawbacks of Cayo Santa Maria...1.5 hours bus ride, doesn't seem like much but when you add the time at the aeroport...its a very long day in and out. We left 4pm for the aeroport to finally be home in Montreal at midnight 20 minutes...very long considering the flight is only 3.5 hours! Depending on the season, nasty mosquitos even with repellent we got lots of bites, usually early morning and evening. Most resorts spray for mosquitos, avoid the fumes when they spray two or three times a day, the diesel truck woke me up a couple of mornings around 7am...not an issue if you sleep with air conditioning, but I love sleeping with the patio door open with adequate screening, avoids getting colds from extreme temperatures. A second beast to watch out for is the jellyfish...after a stormy night a dozen people got painful burns...but that lasted a couple of days. We knew what to look for so we stayed safe but only 2 days were bad out of 2 weeks.
The hotel is excellent, they are still working on the walkways and putting up more sun shelters, it is very quiet if you want a more active night life and party place, go to the Melia Las Dunas, but I left after a couple of nights there and came to the Playa because the rooms at Las Dunas were absolutely unacceptable (sorry but I have to say disgusting, blood stained pillows, musty smells and very cheap old matress quality) I changed my room 3 times and decided to go to Playa, what a world of difference! Hotel Playa Santa Maria is by far a fantastic resort, I will be going back, solo or romantic next time, its great for everyone!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank OdilePrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Stayed here 2-16 June

This was the most relaxing holiday I have had. Everything was so laid back and calm (just what I went away for!)
You can always get a drink or food no matter what time it is! You don't even have to rush around in a morning to make breakfast as you can always go to the snack bar for a tasty omelette and coffee. You also didn't need to be up at 6am to rush and put a towel on a lounger by the pool as there were always plenty to choose from.(This may have been due to the time we went to the resort.)
The staff at this hotel were fantastic, they look after your every need and are very pleasant and polite, and work extremely hard around the clock to ensure you have a good customer experience.
The pools are great and the beach is absolutely gorgeous!
There is plenty of food to choose from at the buffets and the A La Carts were pretty good too, the Italian was superb (we went twice we enjoyed it that much!) the snack bars are also really good!

Overall I really enjoyed my holiday here nice and relaxing. If you want to partake in activities then you can, if you don't then you can go relax at another pool. The catamaran excursion was brill too! You can make this holiday what you want it to be!

Something for everyone.
Hope to visit again :)

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank Sallan90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

Dear Guest, we are very pleased to read this positive review you have written, especially to our staff. We are glad to give our best service. Thank you very much and I hope you are back shortly. Best regards, Jorge Calderín, Director

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Reviewed June 19, 2013

The hotel is amazing my husband and I stayed there between 2nd and 16 th June we were on the top floor in bungalow 7 room 773 which had a lovely view of the ocean and was very quiet, the rooms are very nice and kept immaculately clean by the maids who clean and change the bed linen every day. The buffet restaurant had a good choice of food and the 4 a la carte restaurants are very good our favourite was the Italian.
The pool areas are beautiful with choice of activity or relaxing pools and plenty of sunbeds or if you prefer the beach this is just a stone throw away and is superb with White sand and crystal clear water there is a beach restaurant were you can eat buffet style or fresh from a menu. There is also a very good 24hr snack bar were you can also order fresh cooked food, customer service is very good throughout the complex and guest relations are excellent just see them if you need anything.we were looked after exceptionally well and on returning to our rooms there was always notes or poems from our maids and little gifts from guest relations like flowers, fancy cakes, chocs and fruit. A couple of nights before we left we were invited to a meal with the managers and we were treat to a superb meal and entertained with music and singing, I even joined in with the dancing!!. I can honestly say this has been an amazing holiday in a beautiful hotel and thank Jorge and his management team and staff for making this possible.
We look forward to holidaying with you again in the near future.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank Scottx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

Dear guest, your words are very beautiful and encouraging. It has been a great pleasure for us to have customers like you in our hotel; this is your second home. On behalf of our team thank you very much and do not forget you are always welcome. Best regards, Jorge Calderín, Director

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Reviewed June 19, 2013

We are just back form a weeks all inclusive and I must say we all had a wonderful time. The hotel rooms were immaculate and the grounds were beautiful too. This is a new hotel so in a couple of years the grounds will look even better.
The food was great, there is so much choice we never went without and with a 6 yr old and a 9yr old that was a worry for me.
The pool areas were beautiful too with plenty of loungers to go round, that being said we were there in the "off season" but I cant imagine there would not be enough to go round.
The staff were friendly and most would go out of there way to help you.
We had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend this hotel for families.

Room Tip: We were in bungalow 15 which is so close to everything so I would recommend that once and on the sec...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Julz73_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

Dear Guest, it was a pleasure for us you have been here in our Hotel. Your review in this popular forum fills us with pride and encourages continuing working full, trying to satisfy our clients. Thank you very much. Best regards, Jorge Calderín

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Reviewed June 18, 2013

With the awful weather in Montreal and the price for a week all inclusive at 550$ it seemed quite a good option for me an my friend.

We were lucky enough to get into a small 8 passenger van as I guess there was not enough places in the big buses so we were at the hotel first and did not had to queue for checking in and got our room pretty quickly. Something I found sometime funny is that they always ask extras for room with better views, which is understandable when your occupancy is high but when your resort is at 25% capacity, you may want to make sure that the people you have like their stay and it does not cost them anything to do so, or to offer...just a thought. We were in Bungalow #1 on the second floor with a pool view and a small tiny glimpse at the ocean. The 2 smaller version of double beds were some of the worst I have slept on, reminded me of some awful night in youth hostel in Europe. Every morning my body and my friends' one were in pain and could not sleep all night trough waking up to change position, seriously. We thought about changing room but talked to several other people and it was the same for them too. So we slept in most of the morning, but no do not disturb sign on the door, every single day they woke us up and could come back 3 times inside an hour to see if we were still in, and of course we were... the whole week they have not giving us any more soap or shampoo so had to look around to find a staff who could provide us with some and if your picky, bring some towel as I have not seen any one without machine stains on.

The beach and the water was amazing, just a jelly fish problem the two first days we were there...and not too hard to find a place in the shadow as I said the resort was pretty empty. There are also so many pools on the resort, some calmer, some with animation, the one with the bar of course... really really nice.

It is not the most animated place I have been too, but that is what we wanted, koodos to the animation teams, the shows were really good and the some of the dancers like professional standards, really impressed. I must have heard YMCA and the Roof is on fire like 20 times during the stay though...

The food was ok to me, my expectations were not really high...the worst thing for me was the quality of their fruit, the water melon and the melon were disgusting and they serve canned fruit for the rest which is a bit weird, but again, its Cuba.

Maybe we were not lucky with the staff but I did not find the general service to be that good, we could wait forever for a drink at lunch or dinner and most of the time it's because they had forgotten.

The mosquitos were also a big problem, so bring some mosquito repellant and don't wash at all... I must have had 25 bites at one point and couldnt be bothered staying in the lobby after dinner for a drink as I was being eaten alive!! so we were going back to the room every night quite early...to our uncomfortable beds!

So all in all, it was worth what I paid for, but would have been disappointed if I had paid more.

Room Tip: Ask for a comfortable bed!!!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank doumdoum6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Dear guest, thank you very much for leaving your comment on this website. We have reviewed your comments and we are very sorry for the inconvenience. We are a team that works much the recommendations of our customers and make assured that your opinion will be taken into account. We invite you as soon as you can to return to the hotel and contact us personally; I am convinced that your vacation will be unforgettable. Thank you very much and best regards, Jorge Calderín

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Reviewed June 18, 2013

Loved it! Will go back for sure, everything was perfect for a relaxing family vacation, was there with my huband and our 7 yrs old daughter. The entertainment staff is great, rooms are very nice and clean. Resort is very safe and clean. Just finished reading a negative comment about this resort, I never felt presured to tip anyone, I even offered a tip to one of the girl of the entertainement staff because she did braids in my daughter's hair, she refused it !!! the staff at the Italian restaurant were very friendly. For shopping, there is a great Market (Pueblo) , 5 minutes away by bus from the resort they have amazing hand made crafts, much more than just Cigars !

Room Tip: Building 7 and 15
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Francine_B155004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge C, Director General at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Dear Guest, we are very pleased you have passed an enjoyable stay with us and give you our best service. Thank you very much for your comments. I hope you have the opportunity to return soon. Best regards, Jorge Calderín, Director

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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
Price Range: $99 - $289 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 769

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