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Reviewed October 28, 2012

Just returned on Friday night. Everyone knows by now that the weather was not what we hoped for but no one can be blamed. The first few days were nice so we were able to take advantage of the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
The trip from the airport was decent although we arrived at night so there was not much to see.Reception was fast and friendly. We asked for an ocean view which we sort of got. We were on the 2nd floor facing the ocean although the trees are very high so it wasn't the best we have had. Very large comfortable room kept very clean.
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Even though it was close to midnight we went to the snack bar and had pizza which was delicious.
Customer service is close to the best I've seen. Called on 2 occaisions. Got ready to wait for at least an hour but they were at our door within 10 minutes
Although the beach is beautiful I would not consider it the nicest I have been at. We travel to the Carribean 3 times a year so I have become quite critical of beaches. Clean white sand but the beach is short so that when high tide comes in it comes right up to your chairs. Plenty of chairs and a fair amount of shade although most of the umbrellas have lost a good part of their coverings even before Sandy. After Sandy hit, there were not many usable ones left. ( but we didn't need them).
Pools are beautiful and very well kept. Everything is very clean but starting to be in need of repairs. I would hope that they start to fix some of the tiles around the pool and the aluminum siding on the buildings, if not the beauty of the hotel will deteriorate quickly.
Food in general was okay. We did not go hungry. The Cappacino was outstanding.
What makes this hotel is the grounds and the staff. They are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Yes there are always one or two that aren't but you shouldn't let that cloud your opinion.
Entertainment at night was ok. I am sure that my opinion of daytime activities would be different if the were not caught in the middle of a hurricane.
All in all a relaxing, wet vacation!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sunseeker88_10
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 Sunseeker

I am proud that you, with a huge knowledge about Caribbean, consider nicely our resort, there's a point that you mention that is very difficult to find in many places, they are the grounds they are really great and we work on them everyday.

The bushes, palm trees...and because this season was very rainy, they look lightly green, when you enter the hotel you can notice it.

Our pizza at the snack is an added value, our clients say they love it.

Hope you give us the possibility to improve your thoughts about the hotel in the future.

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.
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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