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“Great 4 stars hotel”

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Sol Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed March 21, 2013

It was our third trip to Cuba, third hotel, and again we were really happy with our choice. The animation during night time was their strength. Every night we had a different show (dance, magic, fakir...), no redundancy and very entertaining. The food was pretty good, especially the little bar next to the beach were you can had a pizza on a kind of tortilla. For people who love snorkeling there's a little diving spot at 200m west of the hotel beach. Awesome! We spent the week diving there. The only cons is the kind of "bugs smoker machine". 3 times per day they spread this kind of smoke all around the hotel to get rid of mosquitoes. The problem is that the machine make a lot of noise and they had the great idea to do the first round at 5 O'clock in the morning. The service was amazing!!! Bilbao, Elsa, Alain and many others staffs were very friendly. We would go back again because of them. We did the Jeep Safari. Pretty interesting if you like to visit. We had lunch in a local farm (pretty good food) and we saw a legal roaster fight. Very interesting!!! Finally, we were there we our little 2 yrs old little boy. He love the 65 to 70 feet of diameter pool made for young kids (1 to 1.5 feet deep)... He spend the week there. We really recommend this hotel to family who look for a cheap place in Santa-Maria.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank Visentin D
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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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587 - 593 of 2,733 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2013

If you are looking for a resort that:
- is budget friendly
- is well maintained for it's age (it is after all the oldest hotel in Cayo Santa Maria)
- has better than average food (by Cuban standards)
- has very friendly and accommodating staff
- has simple but clean rooms
- smaller resort with more intimate bungalow accommodations
and has a stunning, breathtaking and yet not overcrowded white sand beach, then the Sol Cayo Santa Maria delivers.

We did a lot of research and read many reviews and while the Sol Cayo Santa Maria did not receive a 5 star rating, we felt it was worth a visit and we were not disappointed. The Pros of the resort have been listed above. If we had to list the Cons they would be:

- 2 hour bus ride from the airport (although it was an interesting and informative ride)
- the resort in general is showing it's age but as indicated above, they do their best to keep it well maintained and clean
- few amenities at the resort (if this is important to you)
- a la carte dining was a mixed bag (Italian - very good, Pizza Place - so-so, Cuban -disappointing)
- no authentic Cuban towns or villages to visit, unless you do an excursion

Overall, we had a great time at the Sol Cayo Santa Maria and would definitely recommend it. If you are looking for a 5 star experience, be prepared to spend a lot more and stay at one of the other hotels on the island. Otherwise, you should definitely consider the Sol Cayo Santa Maria for a relaxing week on an amazing beach!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank A L
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I just returned from my 2nd vacation to Sol Cayo and I must say it was even better then the first time.
First of all the staff make this resort what it is! They are friendly, accommodating and some of the most genuine people I have ever met. From the front lobby, customer service, bars, buffet, servers, chamber maids, maintenance, grounds keepers, all the men and women have a smile and "hola" for you. Secondly the food is just fine and actually quite delicious. There is such a variety and the meat is cooked up fresh and tasty right before your eyes and if your not into meat then there is fish, pasta, veggies, fruit, cheeses, etc. Thirdly the resort itself is older and therefore authentic which only adds to its charm. The rooms are clean, have fresh towels and daily water. AND the beach ....well what can one say? it is amazing and simply spectacular! I am amazed and puzzled at the reviews I read where people complain about the Sol Cayo staff, food and facility. This is Cuba and an unamericanized country which is simply refreshing and quite honestly part of the appeal of booking a vacation here. Clearly these unhappy vacationers should do a little more research, lose the unrealistic expectations and perhaps stick to vacationing in Mexico. I on the other hand will be returning to Cuba and Sol Cayo!

Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
14  Thank Marie M
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Cuba's a favourite spot of mine so I'm well aware of the potential limitations. Sol Cayo lived up to it's 4 star rating as far as I was concerned and I got what I needed.
There were typical resort challenges [beach chair hoarding, fresh grill line ups, and some smokers] but overall I'd say the resort was peaceful/relaxing, well maintained with a positive vibe.
One afternoon a beloved and unusual toy stuffed animal went missing from the room but after some persistence we were able to track it down through the maid. I remained optimistic that it got gathered in the sheets and not intentionally taken for a local child. To avoid possible heartbreak, we became more careful with things to lock in the safe [chargers, e-readers, nice accessories, and Cleo the stuffed fox].
I would highly recommend and would return.

Pros: The beach, pool, lobby, piano bar and general layout of the resort where excellent. Staff [regardless of tipping] were excellent and generally positive, helpful people. Wine and sparkling wine was surprisingly good and abundant.

Cons: While the main restaurant offered fresh meats/fish at most meals [they would grill there for you, like the egg station] that did create a "line". Also, bus was 90 minutes, which i knew in advance, and is a possible re-consideration next time

Room Tip: We stayed in section 1000 on second floor... never any real sound issues. great night sleep.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank Melon63
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We have been to this area 4 previous times. 3 times at the Iberostar Ensenachos and once to the Melia. We were aware that this is the lowest rated resort in the area so our expectations were not really that high. Decent food, room, beach and weather would keep us happy and safisfied with what we paid.
Leaving out of Hamilton was a bonus, as only 10 minutes from our house even though we were going late at night and wouldn't arrive until 3 am. in the morning at the resort. No problems through airport, customs, and trip on bus to hotel as we are familiar with the process.
Upon arriving at the hotel we discovered that our request for a second floor, King Bed, was not available. We were on the first floor in room 2406.
At 3:30 am we arrived at our room as there was only 5 guests to get off the bus. Upon checking out the room and bathroom I discovered that we had no water for the toilet, shower and sink. Even though I wasn't familiar with the resort I headed off to the front desk. I told them we had no water and they said it would be on again in an hour. After returning to our room my wife informed me that the phone was not working. Off again to the front desk to inform them about the phone and water and expressing my concern if these things were not corrected that I would be requesting a change to another resort as this was clearly a health and safety issue.They again told me the water would be restored in about and hour and they would have a repairman to fix the phone in the morning as they were already previously aware of the phone problem. They also told me to check daily for an available second floor room as they were almost at capacity.
In the morning our water was back on and they did send a repairman for the phone. A second floor room was still not available.
We did have a good day at the beach and our information session went well at 2:00 oclock.
We did retire early as we were still tired from the late night flight. I woke up in the early morning and went to use the toilet and once again discovered that there was no running water available. So off to the front desk again, but by this time at least I was becoming familiar with the route. The staff at the front desk informed me that this water problem was a result of their holding tanks requiring time to refill and as a result they had to shut off the water. This might be a nightly occurance.Why didn't they inform me of this either the first time or at our arrival as this would have saved me the time of going to the front desk during the middle of the night.
I checked daily about the possibility of a second floor room becoming available and each day was informed that the hotel was at capacity.
During the week everything went well. Although it was windy and cool at the beach we did enjoy our time there. We spoke to the front desk about late check out as we had to be out of our room at 12 oclock and we were not leaving the resort until 9:30 at night. They told us to check on Saturday when we were suppose to leave for late checkout.
On Friday two interesting things happened. We asked at the front desk about late check out and the lady informed us that it would not be possible with our room but we would be allowed a courtesy room for an hour to change and shower after 3 oclock. I even asked if we could upgrade to a VIP room for one night in order to qualify for a 3oclock check out and they told me there was nothing available.
After a relaxing day at the beach we returned to our room to find two women arguing with one of the bellboys who was delivering their luggage to an empty second floor room directly above us. They had been in a lower level room for a couple of days without water and now were unhappy to be put in a second floor room. I told them we requested a second floor room and now we find the room directly above us had been unoccupied for a number of days. They asked if we would change rooms with them but I stated we were not going to pack and more for just one evening.
Next day we went to the front desk after our 12 oclock check out time to secure the courtesy room. The staff member serving us told me would only get the room for 15 minutes to shower and change. This of course was different from what we were originally told. We left to go find the Nolitours tour rep. He basically said there was nothing he could do as he appeared to be more interested in selling tours to the guest waiting behind us.
Going back to the front desk and inquiring about the courtesy room we were now told that we would have to change and shower in the gym.By this time I was totally frustrated that the front desk didn't seem to have any consistent information and a truthfull statement was never apparent. When we went to the gym with only our beach towels(we had to give up a passport in order to keep the beach towels after 12 oclock.) the water in the shower was frigid. We were not able to shower and as a result left the resort at 9:30 without a shower and change of clothes for the flight home.
I don't believe that we are high maintenance guest and we would have been quiet happy and satisfied if the front desk had been truthful with information up front. Why lie to guests or give them information that you think they want to hear. If you are honest with me I will certainly make the best of any situation as we a seasoned travellers.
Don't let my experience keep you from vacationing in this area. We are currently looking into a holiday at the Royalton in Nov.-Dec. this year.
The beaches in this area and the Iberostar Ensenachos are world class and above what we have seen in the Mexican Riviera and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Room Tip: Rooms 21-25 are very central.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Barney1950
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

We went to Sol Cayo Mar.02 t0 Mar 09/13 the beach is great,the grounds are clean,the rooms where clean,beds average for Cuba,food was fine always something to find that was good.There was 6 of us that went one coulpe won there trip free.The works are great they try there hardist to talk to you all are friendly.Any thing that was wrong like hot water want was fixed right away.
They are working to get everything fix that needs repair.In all we could not find anything to complain about.We would return.We had rooms 4001-4002 & 3702 all where in good shape,A/C worked good always had hydro & hot water.We liked the piano bar & the front bar good mixers.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank shippyCanada
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Staff are wonderful here, so pleasant for a 3 star. Drinks are best at the piano bar in the evening. Food is good, yes I did just say that, I know it is Cuba but the food was good and lots of variety. Beach is great, beach bar for lunch is nice and there is a bar also for your drinks, the littler bar down the strip it great as the bartender will deliver your drinks to you if he is not to busy. Hotel is old and in need of upgrades but it was clean and staff make up for it. Here is a tip, go with no expectations and all will be good. This is not a 5 star and you get what you pay for, we have stayed at many 3/4/5 stars and this was ok by all means. Did not get sick and had a good time.

Room Tip: Get a beach front bungalow upgrade, well worth the money!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kimberlee49
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 reviewResponded October 21, 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

Address: Cayo Santa Maria | Villa Clara, Cuba
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:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $160 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Cayo Santa Maria 4*
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 
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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