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“fantastic cuban holiday”

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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Four if us arrived at the melia on the 7th oct after long flight with a two hour delay, but all part of the experiance . We were transferred quickly and tour operater on the bus was very hepful and friendly, when we got to the hotel ws greeted with band playing and offered cocktail drinks we all found the hotel well maintained rooms were lovely we were in block 2525 and our maids were very good room kept clean and tided every day and little towel disply and notes from here were lovely. The food was good always felt there was plenty of choice and enjoyed every meal i had, we tried the four al carte restrurants,enjoyed them all but felt the italian one was a little bit of a disapointment the french and the japanese were fab. All the bar staff and waitors were excellant very friendly and could not do enough for us our juan carlos works his socks of and the young chappy well done to the both of them. Our entertainment team what can we say fab, they made our holiday experiance so much fun Kenia, Denise, Enersto fab and great fun and the boys who took aqa gym, footie , and water polo everyone made sure we had a great time. The beach was lovely was great for snorkling, sunbathing and long walks. The trips that we went on catamaram excellant value for money and also the visit to the three towns enjoyed every minute. All four of us share the same veiws our holiday was fantastic the only negative thing we would have to say is you poured our rum to strong need two weeks detox now we are home. Would definently come back and recomend this hotel to all .

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank AyrshireChico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Dear Ayrshire

You know, you mentioned something we look for, to make you feel home.
We know how important holidays are for everyone so the only thing we have to do is to succed what you look for, some people look for sun, others for fun, others relax, others culture and we can give you all of them.

Thank you again for your comments and hope you return home very soon.

Best Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

We just returned from the MCSM yesterday the 26th, and have tried to get our review completed while all is still fresh in our minds!!
This was our first visit to Cayo Santa Maria, however our 9th visit to Cuba, a destination we hold special.
I guess we are fortunate to have been in Cayo Santa Maria in the past week vs. our more usual haunt in Holguin, as Hurricane Sandy appears to have hit it hard. While we cannot hide our disappointment over the poor weather with only few days of sun, we certainly tried to make the best of it and have tried hard to not have the rain influence our overall impression of the hotel. We knew full well from being somewhat seasoned Cuban travelers that October weather can be iffy. We were a tad disappointed that the hotel did not have much planned activities in the event of rain.
Our first impressions were magnificent. MCSM may be one of the best laid out facilities we have been to, not too big but not too small. Grounds were well maintained and pool area kept very clean. The swim up bar was a great place to hang out, even in torrential downpours!
The beach is beautiful as most comment, and we were told 10 km long! Also would like to note how clen it was, very little to no litter seen, which has not been the case at some other beaches we have been to.
We stayed in room 1718, which we found to be an excellent central location in the row of buildings near the beach.
Coffees were excellent, and pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs at the 24 hour restaurant near pool were very good.
The staff were extremely friendly and accommodating, as good as any of the hotels we have been to in Cuba. We tip consistently but never felt it was required.
Due to low occupancy levels, the a la cartes were limited to just the Tuesday and Thursday, which was initially disappointing but not a big issue and understandable. We attended the Japanese and the Mediterranean, and rank them both as solid 4 star restaurants.
While the ride from the airport was 90 minutes, we enjoyed it. The guide was informative and friendly.
We took in the catamaran trip which was a blast.
What we didn’t like?
Attended the restaurant nearest the beach for lunch twice early in the week, and it was a big let-down. Having lunch off the grill sounded very attractive, and smelling the bbq firing up certainly built our anticipation. The fries were excellent, porch chops were almost all fat, and the meat was mostly flavorless and dry.
The service level in the buffet, while friendly, was not very attentive. We sat there on a few occasions for 10 to 15 minutes before being asked if we wished something to drink, and this while plenty of staff were on hand. We were never asked if we wanted a refill. The buffet was hit and miss. Daniel fried up an excellent omelet and was wonderful to chat with. A true gentleman and someone I would truly like to get to know better!
Our room was not dirty, but not as clean as we have experienced elsewhere.
Not sure we will be back given other hotels in this price bracket, primarily due to the food.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank LeafFansGrimsby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Dear Leaf

I really appreciate your comments.

It is true that last week due to the storm, we had some points specially because of staff not coming to work because of problems with buses caused by the storm and of course we understand that you choose Cuba because of the weather but we did our best trying to reduce the damage.

You say something important, the hotel is not very big but not too small, great size to be known but to have many different options.

Thank you very much and I hope you give us the possibility to change that smal not so good points about the hotel.

Best Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

My wife and myself visited the hotel Melia Cayo Santa Maria Cuba from 7th - 21st October 2012
The hotel and grounds were excellent and well maintained, the staff helpful and friendly.
The beach was clean and sunloungers freely available. The food was acceptable and the catering staff and bar staff were always smiling and ready to help in anyway.
Really enjoyable holiday, we hope to return one day.
Mr & Mrs Aspinall

Room Tip: Had block 14 which was handy for restaurants, pool and beach.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Manny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Dear Manny

I am very happy that after your stay, you want to come again and you already become part of the big family Melia Cayo Santa Maria.

I really hope to see you very soon.

Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 24, 2012

Lets start with the comments, my partner and i booked the Melia Cayo Santa Maria with Thomas Cook as a last minute deal, booked 3 weeks before departure. Then we decided to check out the hotel on Trip Advisor, and to our shock read about all the bad things listed by other visitors. All i can say is that once we arrived after a very long trip (delayed at Manchester 2 hours as we were told the long wave radio wasn't working) we were informed of our coach number, handed an envelope with our check-in details, room keys etc and boarded the coach. ok it was a 90 min journey but the coach had air con and we had a can of Cuban beer on route. Once we arrived at the Hotel we were met with cuban dancers and a glass of champers we even had the restaurant kept open for us to eat after we had freshened up. We took a short walk to our room we stayed in block 17 (room 1726) and found it to be clean, brightly coloured (cuban style) and overall very nicely laid out. As for some complaints about having to find your own room! Come on there were plenty of signs all well lit and it's not the north face of Mount Everest that your being tasked with! We found ours easily enough and the cases were delivered to our room by the bell boys soon after arriving. We then went after showering to the main buffet and had a great selection to choose from given the meagre meal served on the flight we were hungry. We then went for a drink in the bar area and had vodka and orange (Smirnoff as well not some local stuff). After a well uninterupted rest that night we took a walk around before Gorge's (TC's Rep) Greet Meet. We found that the room was very close to the beach which is superb and the sea is so clear and warm it has to be one of the best locations i have ever experienced. The staff at the hotel are so helpful and nothing was too much trouble. You were allocated 2 x towels which were exchanged every day for fresh ones and there was no need to get up early and pick your beach spot as you were guided to a brushed down sun lounger every day. The beach bar was excellent and so were all the other restaurants and facilities on site. Don't get me wrong we still overheard some people complaining but in my eyes if you want to spend 2 weeks by a pool drinking and eating then go to Spain, as you really need to go out and about in this wonderful country. We like so many others took a short plane trip to Havanah and to be honest it was as good as expected(watch out for the Cigar sellers a quick "no thanks" normally sends them packing) but not too exciting but hey we went to Cuba and can say we went to Havanah too. The Dolphin Swim was a highlight and would highly recommend this to anyone as long as you can swim an are not afraid of being lifted out of the pool by the dolphins (see my pic). What more can i say! remember that Cuba compared with other resorts is fairly new to tourism and you have to take that into consideration but they are getting there!! We found the MCSM to be a excellent hotel, well kept grounds, friendly staff and a fantastic beach. Oh as an additional point while we were there the sea tide brought in tons of seaweed but this was cleared over a couple of days by the beach staff (Well done). As for mosquitos ok yes you get bitten but your in a tropical enviroment with lots of other creatures about too and the hotel does send a spray round everyday but we got bit to peices in Havanah so what!! All i would like to say is that we enjoyed every minute of our time at MCSM and the only complaint i have is with Thomas Cook who decided to make a few extra quid out of everyone by getting you to pre-book your seats before departing to Cuba, This meant that both my partner and myself were sat alone on the outbound flight but thanks to a very nice CUBAN official we were checked in next to each other on the inbound flight. We even spoke to a couple who were on their honeymoon and she had never flown before were sepereted by Thomas Cooks get extra cash quick scheme (Not Good). Cuba is a great place to holiday and this resort and it's staff are highly recommended to all, Remember this site does have negative reports and as a Yorkshireman i'd be the first to complain but after my initial views and reviews of this hotel all i can say is that it isn't justified. If you didn't enjoy your stay here well it's because your to blame not the hotel. You were in Paradise and even that isnt good enough for some people. Ignore the reviews and judge it on your own merits. I would just like to say thank you to the Manager and all the staff for making this holiday one of the most enjoyable ive ever had and i hope to return very shortly.THANK YOU ALL

Room Tip: Try to get a room near the beach but to be honest it's not far to walk from any,
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Spencer T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2012

Dear Spencer

Thank you very much in advance for your comments.
I use to say that a Hotel is like a city and it is very difficult to please everyone but we try our best to give our guests what you found.
Cuba is a great place and you have to come open minded, you have to enjoy all beautiful things I am sure you will find and don't forget that you are on holidays, relax and have fun.

I hope we have the possibility meeting again.

Best Regards.

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 19, 2012

We stayed at the Melia from October 5-12.
Traveled with Transat and enjoyable 3.5 hour flight from Toronto.
Breezed thru customs and exchanged money at one of the money exchanges at airport.
The bus to resort was waiting and beer can be purchased at airport for $1.00 or on the bus for $2.00.
90 minute bus ride to resort which was scenic.
Arrived at the hotel and were greeted by pleasant staff with a nice cold drink.
Check in took less than 5 minutes.
We were assigned to room 1515 which had a few areas of black mould and the balcony (ground floor) had a view of stunted trees (reminded me of a swamp to a degree).
We contacted the front desk and within minutes we were given a different room (1414)which was great and the balcony faced the pool area. The front desk clerk and the bellman (Alexis)were really great in looking after the room problem and I highly praise them both.
We were given 4 ala cartes and experienced three of them and passed on the Japanese. We found the food at the ala cartes was good and the service was excellent. The buffett could have been more of a variety.
Breakfast at the buffett was good.
One huge draw back. On the 2nd last day I noticed cock roaches in and around the food at the buffett In the grilling area the meat and fish in my opinion was left out too long in the open and not refridgerated.
Osbiel at the swim up bar looked after us very well.
We brought a large quantity of tooth paste and vitamins which we gave out to alot of the staff and also to a couple of the gardeners.
We tipped generously (room maid $3.00 per day, fridge re-stocking $2.00, drinks $1.00 per round, breakfast usually $2 or $3, ala cartes $5.00).
All in all it was a nice vacation with the exception of the roaches.

Room Tip: Room facing the pool area.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Brian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2012

Dear Brian Adams

I personally thank you for the way you speak about the staff, the things you brought will help them.
It is ok that you decided to tip them but it is not a must and they know it, we all work for you because you decided to come to this hotel instead others so, it is a big responsability for us.

Again I am happy that you had a wonderful time among us.

Best Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 18, 2012

The property was ok and the staff was really great! But the beach is what makes the place so great. This one of the best Caribbean beaches I've set foot on. Beautiful sandy bottom swimming with clear blue water. Visibiliy underwater is tremendous. We spent hours in the water.

Room Tip: Stay on the beach... it makes the property
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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12  Thank sandtravl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2012

Dear Sandtravl

You are right, in general Cuban Beach is great, and Cayo Santa Maria too of course, very clear blue water, nice temperature...what else you can ask for when you go on holidays.

Best Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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Reviewed October 15, 2012

Takes 1 ½ hours to arrive on the site but i found the ride very nice. We pass through 3 towns which were all nice to see, the last 48 km are on a long road built in the ocean which was nice and relaxing. The lobby service upon arrival was fast, but had to head out to our room buy our- selves not knowing the site and poorly lite at night we had trouble finding it, when we did find it our cards were not programmed therefore had to go all the way back to have them programmed.
The lady at reception did appologise for the inconvenience. Since this was low season our restaurants a la carte were prebooked for us but i really appreciated it because i hate having to wait in line early in the morning to book them. We rated the Mediteranean resto to be a 2/5 not very good and cold, the food was already predetermined(we ate what they brought us), the French Bistro was a 3.5/5 lobster & birds was our pick, it was good but i've had better although the service was very well at this resto. Our last resto was Sakuru(japannese) a 4/5, very good, service was very good. We skipped the italian cause everyone said it was the same as the buffet.
The morning and night buffet was ok, repetitive so I tried to take something different everytime to vary my plates, the Grill at the buffet was very good. I found the 24/hr snack bar and ranchon grill not good at all, they even ran out of french fries. they lacked choice and the service at the snack bar was very disappointing, hard to get a smile from the (male) waiters. I would have liked the buffet to be opened at noon, but not possible cause of low season. I paid extra for an ocean but don't think it was worth it since the view is far away, but the hotel did respect my wishes to be on a second floor, quiet and far from restaurants and bars with a king size bed. The maid was great! the overall room was nice and clean but a little outdated. Could use a newer more modern look. The site is not very big but the vegetation is beautiful, well maintained, clean, but look out for the crabs they are everywhere at night! The pools were nice and big, extreemly clean too. the bathrooms could have been cleaned more regularly. Plenty of chairs for everyone during low season and probably during high season also. The beach is not very large but very long, The sand is soft white and poudery, the ocean is amasing, the nicest i've seen so far! Tempuratures were very warm this time of year 30-32 degree celcius. The water was very warm too. (oct 5 to oct 12th). We had fun at the bowling in Las Dunas, a 2 minute walk from our site. Also has restaurants and discoteck and stores for gifts, Most were closed during our stay for renovations but will surely come back some day to viste. Overall, i enjoyed my stay and new what to expect during low season since i regularly travel this time of year. I consider that at 868$ canadian for a week is cheap and worth it. If your expectations are not too high and don't mind sacraficing the food, then this place will absolutly please you. Just the ocean will blow you away! I do want to come back to Santa Maria, but will try a different hotel, but if you have a small budget i highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Room 2027, far from restaurants and bars, ocean view, very quiet, second floor, hot water takes a lo...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank STACE001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2012

Dear Stace001

thank you in advance for choosing Melia Cayo Santa Maria for your holidays.

This hotel is special in a la carte restaurants, we have a huge variety taking into consideration that we have "only" 358 rooms and it is not usual 4 a la carte restaurants for that nunber of restaurants.

The four of them are different and all have their special touch.

I hope you can change your mind and decide to choose our hotel again, then you will become repeating client and you could have some special treatments.

See you soon

Best Regards

Paco Benito
General Manager
Melia Cayo Santa Maria

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Address: Jardines del Rey, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Spa Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $156 - $415 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Melia Cayo Santa Maria 3.5*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In an island paradise off the northern coast of Cuba stands the 5- star All-Inclusive Meliá Cayo Santa María hotel, especially designed for families, surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush tropical vegetation. This property (358 rooms) offers facilities for incentives groups and a special wedding and honeymoon program. A perfect complement for an unforgettable holiday. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria Melia
Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Santa Maria Cuba
Melia Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

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