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“Almost perfect (but we will go back next year)”

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Sol Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Almost perfect (but we will go back next year)”
Reviewed July 9, 2011

We arrived on the saturday evening and went straight to the lobby bar for a few refreshing beers after a long days travelling,we had been many times before and knew our luggage would be safely taken to our room by the bellboys.After a quick shower and change of clothes we went to eat at the buffet,there was plenty of variety so no problem to find something good.After dinner we usually relaxed a while in the piano bar,the staff here appeared to be new we did'nt recognize any of them and the service was very slow,we persevered and did get served eventually.The weather was great apart from the first couple of days when we had the monsoon but everyone enjoyed themselves despite the rain,the animation team ran a lot of fun competitions around the pool bar keeping all entertained,many thanks to Alex, Marbey and Jaiki from all our guys here for your excellent work.We never did any of the excursions this time as we had done most of them before,i did,nt here any complaints from the people who did go they all enjoyed them.The customer relations lady was extremely helpfull and very professional about her work,we had only one reason to see her our room was very nice and had a seaview but we like to be in the thick of things and this room was a little far so we asked if any chance of a change to one a bit nearer in,as it was a busy week there were no other rooms available but the lady said some people were leaving in a few days and she would see what she could do for us,sure enough two days later we were moved to a room next to the activity centre,thank you Malvia xxx.During our stay we tried all the restaurants and all were good some really nice pizzas at the bar there also the a la cartes very good,thanks to all the staff there.The beach is the best i have seen anywhere always spotlessly clean beautifull sand.The only slight downside was the piano bar service,please come back proffessora Angela wherever you are and show these guys how to serve,allthough in fairness they did appear to be new to the job.
ciao piccauo
see you next year

Room Tip: ask nicely if you are dissatisfied and they will change your room asap
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pargo53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kingston, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2011

This February we spent a glorious week at Sol Cayco Santa Maria. We had read a bunch of reviews previously, but as realistic people we were not expecting the $175 Westin after paying for a $75 dollar Travel lodge. Highlights were for sure the lovely staff; so kind and friendly, and the beautiful beach. The beach is quiet, clean and huge, with great swimming and good snorkelling on the north end.

The food was quite good. This is Cuba, so don’t expect Canadian standards and favourites. Have an open mind and take advantage of ‘grill’ sections. At the buffet every morning you could have crepes and omelettes made to order, and the same every evening with a meat grill, a fish grill and a pasta station. I recommend the fish. Again, this is Cuba – what do you think they will do well? Pork is also a strength but not so much for the beef. There is always a wide selection of fruit and veggies in addition to lots of bread, cured pork (super tasty) and cheese out for each meal.

Both lunch al a cartes were great – pizza is thin crust and there are lots of options, and the beach bar is super! You can’t beat the view from the beach bar and the fish, calamari and the chicken brochettes were all tasty. (I don’t recommend the burger.)

Los Cocos, the Cuban Restaurant, was a favourite. The manger William was lovely and he prepared a fabulous meal for us. The open charcoal barbeque lent a rustic feel to the open air restaurant. Again, pork, chicken or fish – other guests told me the Red Snapper came fully dressed (skin, head and bones) but it was worth it, but this was not the case when I ordered it; lovely, moist fillets no head and a spectacular meal. We finished our meal with a small taste of barrel aged Cuban rum with the waves crashing in the distance.

The Italian restaurant was fine, not outstanding, but we weren’t in Italy.

Overall, this was a great week. Value for your dollar is unbeatable. Yes, the infrastructure is a bit old and tired, but I went for a walk with Pablo, the young resort General Manager, and he told me of his list of improvements and plans for the hotel. Please, be patient with them – it’s not like there is a Home Depot around the corner. And tip the non-front line staff; like super cute Miguel and Jose the gardeners. We will for sure go back.

You can see more pics at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150689117145436.713504.638985435&l=3df08079d4

(If you do go, please don’t load up on dollar store Canadianna crap – go to the dollar store and get reading glasses, or bring baseballs for kids, or medicines for hospitals/clinics, or baseball caps... things they will use.)

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jay_jana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south wales
Level 6 Contributor
356 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2011

I can't believe some of these reviews. My friend and I went to "escape" my big birthday.
first of all we didn't pay a fortune. We were upgrade to a seaview and a bottle of sparkling wine was waiting for me. ok the hotel was a bit tired and needs a bit of tlc. The flies were out in force and the food could have been covered, but no ill effects. The staff were very friendly and we didn't tip at all (sorry guys we should have) but it shows you don't have to tip to get good service, just be nice and friendly yourselves.The food was fine, only there a week but ate in the Italian for 2 nights, with the staff singing happy birthday.
The beach bars were good serving an excellent pizza for lunch.
the beach is superb and we made some great friends, sometimes you have to make a bit of an effort to enjoy yourself, so don't blame other people if things don't turn out as expected.
a tip, ask at reception for water and you will be given a large bottle. just go and have fun

Angie

Room Tip: first choice excellent an dwe got a good price
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank minseee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2011

Hi all.

I originally posted this in the forums b
ut have been asked to post on the main review.

not long back from SCSM, me, my partner and my mother in law (to be) was there from 04/06/11 - 18/06/11. maybe you seen us pottering about with our 2 little ones.

We arrived at santa clara airport about 2pm local time saturday, immigration and customs was straight forward and getting our bags and onto the bus was a breeze. on the bus we had a great tour guide who was good fun, and we could buy some beers in our local currency which was a godsend. 90 minutes on the coach and we arrived at scsm, we were welcomed to a cuban band. good start.

our room (room 12 by the top left pool). It was clean and had everything you need, air conditioning and room fan worked a treat. only problem at all i can say I had with the room was the patio door main handle was broken off and had been replaced with a more flimsy looking one. The cleaner Yenly was lovely and done a really good job on our rooms.

we spent most of our time in the patio bar as it is more open. but the pool bar is good of an evening and the piano bar does a great cocktail. The staff at the patio and pool bars are generally nice to talk to and once you get to know them (a couple of pesos tips too) they have your drink ready for you pretty quickly.

Food: the main buffet restaurant, La Taguascos Served a wide variety of food. breakfast was my favourite time of the day, if you like pancakes and omelettes you will really like it. at lunch and tea they have a fish and meat grill serving different kinds all cooked while you wait. variety was that good that i think i could have eaten something different 3 times a day for 2 weeks.
overall it was of a good standard, not michellin starred but nice buffet food. I Didnt see flies on the food, but there was a few flying around the tables, this would have been due to the heat though as even though it was air conditioned it was still quiet hot.

there are 2 restaurants that you can book, once each per week, you can book it at the desk just outside the buffet restaurant at breakfast. there is an italian and a cuban creole. both restaurants were lovely but i think the cuban was the best, the atmosphere and food was top notch, The beef and chicken was nice.

there are also 2 restaurants open for lunch, La Picua (beach bar) and los flamencos. Yetsy at la picua is an amazing person, my 2 boys took a shine to her and she was always a great laugh. the food was good too, los flamencos was a pizza and spaghetti restaurant, the food was top quality there too and the waiter (sit outside the main bar) was fun.

The facilities: The pool is quite large and has good bits for the kids. there are always competitions in there to win some rum.

The beach is perfection, it was a little too hot there for our kids so we only spent a couple of days down there, i would try the pedal boats if you can, make sure you have sun cream for your knees though.

Entertainment: The dancers put a lot of time into their work and some of the shows are entertaining, some are downright hilarious but you will see when you get there. If you are ever rained off in the theatre then the dancers come to the pool bar and have some competitions there, its great fun, a little hazardous as there is lots of people in a small space surrounded by water but such a laugh. of a day the entertainment team are always there to well, keep you entertained. if you want you can try some zumba to the sound of YMCA!

The baby feeding situation: We were going to take a travel kettle with us, but decided to leave it out right at the last minute as we were at the total limits of our weight allowance. big mistake by us. We took sterilising bags which consist of bleach (of some sort) tablets in a big bag that you fill with water and pop the bottles in, this made the bottles smell of bleach and the water didnt taste too good afterwards. so we had to go and get boiled in the bottles from one of the bars to soak the teets in and then get them refilled 20 mins later for the babys water. the bar staff were very understanding though. I would try to take a travel kettle if you are taking young children, I would say it is as important as sun cream.

The shop sold nappies/diapers. i didnt see baby food but they sold some items of clothing, sun cream. Generally i would take what you needed with you though

overall we all had a great holiday, some of the reviews say that the food is crap and the rooms are dirty, I couldnt complain about the food, there was enough variety to find something you like, the rooms were spotless if not a little run down and in need of some tlc or a lick of paint. I only ever seen one cockroach and that was on the stairs outside of my room.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank srhickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working every day to give all our best to our dear guest.
We hope you can come back to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2011

We loved this resort! This was our second visit to Cuba, and we preferred this resort over where we stayed in Varadero. We go because to Cuba because we love the beaches there, and the people are so friendly. We are not after fancy cuisine or all the frills that some destinations offer.
We enjoyed the beautiful drive along the causeway and chatting with some of our fellow Sol visitors. Check-in was slow because our room was not ready. We sat in the lobby waiting, for over 3 hours. During this time, we changed over our money at the bank which is right beside the lobby. This is where you get the best rate.
We got to our room, and were a bit disappointed at first, because it was a bit worn looking, and we couldn't see the ocean. However, it was clean, and the towels and sheets smelled really lovely. It wound up that we had the entire 4plex to ourselves until the last day. We also had complete privacy on our balcony and in the shower, as we faced mangrove. The whole tub wall is window, which just adds to the whole tropical atmosphere. The a/c worked well, and we were never hot in our room. It did stop working a couple of times, but was always fixed within minutes of our call. Our room was a pleasant short walk from either the buffet or the beach, and we would actually ask for the same room next time.
The grounds are immaculate! It is amazing what can be done with coral, coconut husks, and native plants. We enjoyed our walks around the resort, just looking at the gardens. At night we saw HUGE crabs, and one actually ventured into the buffet one evening.
The buffet food was very good. My boyfriend enjoyed fresh fish every evening, and I usually had pasta. Breakfasts were a treat, with crepes, eggs done every way imaginable, and our favourite - fresh mangos! For lunch, we went several times to the pizza restaurant. You know you are in paradise, when you can swim in the ocean, climb out, eat the best pizza you've ever had, and swim back to your lounge chair! We often saw feral cats, and had a nightly visit with 2 who always showed up at 7:30 outside the buffet. We got a HUGE kick out of watching birds come in the glass doors of the buffet, getting a little scrap off of the floor, and waiting for the glass doors to open when the doorman opened them again! I've read complaints about the birds, but maybe you'll find, like we did, that it just adds a touch of humour!
The nightly shows were really good, and we enjoyed the girl at the piano bar whenever she was there. Because we were eager to get to the beach each day, we usually went back to our room around 10pm. We slept very well each night. If you can ask for a second room key, you can use one to keep the a/c or the fan running while you're not in your room (you have to stick your keycard in the wall to turn on the hydro).
We took gifts for the staff, and they were so appreciative! I am collecting up things to take for our next trip.
I feel that I must mention that there are many places where you can easily fall at the resort. There are many little steps as you are walking around, everywhere the type of tile or stone changes. Everytime we went for a walk, we held hands, because of this. For example, as you are leaving the lobby, going towards the gift shop, there is a tiny step down, where we narrowly missed falling several times. It is easy to forget to watch your step, when there is so much to see! The first night, I had a nasty fall outside the piano bar ( I wasn't drinking...lol) and my knee, a month later, is still numb. In fact, 3 of us that week fell in that same spot. So, ALWAYS watch your step!
All in all, we were absolutely charmed by this resort, and are planning to go back in the fall!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Solseeker_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working every day to give all our best to our dear guest.
We hope you can come back to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2011

Excellent resort for a relaxing beach vacation. I found food very good and service excellent. My room was spacious, bed comfortable and A/C, TV, shower and toilet worked fine. Good live music and evening shows. I will be back!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Amber333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuenasOmar, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, June 29, 2011
Dear friend of Sol Cayo Santa María:

Onbehalf of my staff, I want to thank you for have posting your review on the Trip Advisor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau ,Quebec, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2011

Me and my wife went to this place for the first time and found a few good and bad ponits forth mentionning.
First day, after a crutial rain, the bank was close, and we also notice on the second and third day that because the bank has been dammaged by water leaks, it would stay closed.
It would be nice to post something on the windows proposing to go to Las Dunas resort to the bank.

This trip was my elenven trip to Cuba, and I can compare....beach out of 10 is a 2, you need to climb down a sand cliff to get to the water and as soon y6ou touch the water it's at you're nexk level.

The site is to large for the amount of builidings, and the side walk could yet signage...believe me in the dark ( because 1 out of 4 lantern is working at night) it is very difficult to find your way.
We saw on our way some (Cafard) and snakes.

The rooms....well it is a beat up resort, it does need lots of renos. In the bathub, very bizarre to have a full size window, mine the roolup shade decided to open while in the shower.....oups.

The buffet, above average seen in Cuba, lots of staff, carring a ready to do anything to make you smile. ( Sylvain, David)

For our experience, the cappuccino were excellent.
Reception desk is ok, and the golf cart is alway ready to give you a ride .

One thing that we dont understand is every time we go to Cuba, those nicely dress guys that you see around , they never look at you or talk to yu.
They look like managers...and when we tipp for the services, are they getting a cut!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jetblastGatineau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working every day to give all our best to our dear guest.
We hope you can come back to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Santa Maria

Property: Sol Cayo Santa Maria
Address: Cayo Santa Maria | Villa Clara, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Cayo Santa Maria 3.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In an island paradise off the northern coast of Cuba stands the All Inclusive 4-star Sol Cayo Santa Maria hotel (300 rooms). Ideal for simply relaxing or for exploring the clear ocean bottom and neighboring keys that surround this marvelous Cuban tourist destination. Enjoy an unforgettable holiday with your family, all included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Sol Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Maria Santa Sol
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Cayo Santa Maria Sol

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