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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
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Reviewed February 3, 2013

We stayed at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria from Jan 18th to Jan 25th and paid approx $800 each. I'd say a 4 star. We had a fantastic relaxing holiday!
ROOM / MAID SERVICE. Block 27, second floor. We arrived early AM and received our hotel information and keys when we got on the coach at the airport so that prevented line ups at the reception when we arrived. Trip from the airport, approx 1 ½ hour. The rooms were clean, no bugs, at all. The bed was fine but the pillows were thin so we used the scatter cushions from the day bed. The maid left clean towels daily, some towels were a little stained (looked like rust stains from a washing machine) one day we got hand towels the next day we didn’t, who cares? She made towel art for us. We left her toiletries and a couple of dollars tip every day. The bar is stocked (water, pop, beer) by different staff at approx 5pm. I’m glad we bought 2 smaller bottles of water at the airport because the water bottles provided were 1.5L so we filled the smaller bottles when we went to the beach. There was a problem with hot water from the shower that was intermittent or absent. We didn’t bother complaining. Due to the hot weather we didn’t mind having a cool shower at the end of a long hot day on the beach. Other people said they had water that was too hot other said they had none.
FOOD. The breakfast buffet had a large selection of food. There were fresh cooked eggs/omelettes, fresh fruit, smoothies. There was always a line up at the toaster, egg man and smoothie man. These line ups moved quickly. The orange juice is amazing! The coffee is not good; I brought the Nescafe 3 in 1 sachets so I had good coffee every day. At dinner in the buffet there was a nice selection of fresh fish/seafood/meat that was grilled to your taste. The salads were fresh and there was plenty of choice for side dishes. Some side dishes were a little strange, try them you never know. The waitress and waiters for breakfast and dinner were extremely attentive and hard working. We ate lunch at the beach bar, delicious salads and BBQ meat or veggies, the BBQ chicken is delicious. The service again was great. Pool snack bar, great thin crust pizza and sandwiches. Al a Carte. Cuban, nice plain food, not outstanding, but nothing to complain about. Italian, one word, disgusting. We are not at all picky eaters and will eat almost anything but the quality of the courses were not good. Japanese, brilliant display and great food. It was my birthday and they flambéed a cake for me and gave me a bottle of wine. Bar at night was very busy, waiter service was great, they could do with one more waiter. At night there was usually a band that sang Cuban or English songs. The nightly shows were hit and miss, the dancers were always fantastic! There was a bus that went to the “market” for 1 CUC, there were more things to buy at the resort shop than there was here. There were bars and restaurants to buy beer and pizza, it was a pretend village and we wasted our time going. It took us 5 min to walk around then we got back on another bus back to the resort. We didn’t go to the “Carnival” but others who went said it wasn’t too great. For the excursion we chose the day trip with the Dolphinarium, dessert island, catamaran and the snorkelling. Approx $100 each and worth every penny. It was an amazing day. Take bread rolls or bananas from the lunch buffet for the fish, you will not be disappointed. BEACH. Beautiful white, soft sand, lots of shell bits that stick to you like glue. The ocean was pretty rough and difficult to swim in. We had a couple of red flag days due to the wind. The weather was gorgeous. The beach chairs filled up quickly towards lunch time. Go early for a good spot. The beach waiter: fantastic service. Fresh towels at the beach hut. There is no bathroom on the beach and the one in the beach bar is not available when it isn’t open. Use the one at the pool, just a few steps further. Santa Clara airport: save a couple of dollars for the staff in the washrooms so you get soap and toilet paper. You may not get these if you don’t tip. Overall we had a great, relaxing holiday for what we paid. Please tip the staff, even a small amount, I understand it’s an all inclusive but the staff work so hard and deserve the appreciation.

Room Tip: Second floor, no bugs
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Horrice123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia S M, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2015

Dear Client,
Greetings from Melia Cayo Santa Maria!
Thank you for choosing our hotel for your vacations. We are pleased to know that overall you have enjoyed our services. We will take your suggestions into consideration to keep improving day by day. We hope you can visit us again soon.
Our best regards from sunny island of Cayo Santa Maria,

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I have been to Cuba many times 2nd time in this area.I was at the Playo Santa Maria in Sep. loved the beach so decided to go back.I liked the resort it was small which I prefer.The ocean was teribbly rough which was very disapointing.The food was better here than most other Cuban resorts.We were dissapointed with the lack of pool activities only one day was water polo.I usually find the staff in Cuba great not this time,The bar staff were very busy should have had another waiter.I waited so long to be served at the pool grill I gave up and left.I did notice repeat guests were served right away obvious they knew the bartenders.The rooms were nice the bathrooms could be cleaner, but for the price I paid and only wanted to relax, it was ok.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Marilyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you very much for sharing your comments about your stay in our hotel.
We are happy to read that on the overall you enjoyed our service and hotel.
We pay attention to the issues you mention that help us to improve day by day.
We hope to see you back soon in the Melia Cayo Santa María Hotel!

Best regards,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

all of the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. bit of a language barrier with people who should have maybe known a bit more english, but overall i didnt find it a big problem. the food was good. the beach was amazingly beautiful and clean. pools were very well maintained and very clean. very few bugs! there were lots of fun things to go and do (unfortunately i didnt have money to go) but some of the others in our group do some day trips and came back with very positive feedback! i went for a week and it felt like a month, again everyone was friendly and the service was great. time stopped and it was amazing. i would totally go back to this hotel. just remember the bus drivers make almost no money so please give them tips!

Room Tip: the beach view rooms you can only see the beach standing not while sitting. one from our group upgraded and was disappointed. the view was beautiful though, when you could see it.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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    • Location
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Thank sarah m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia S M, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2015

Dear Client,
Greetings from Melia Cayo Santa Maria!
Thank you for choosing our hotel for your vacations. We are pleased to know that overall you have enjoyed our services. We will take your suggestions into consideration to keep improving day by day. We hope you can visit us again soon.
Our best regards from sunny island of Cayo Santa Maria,

General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Everyone has a different taste in what their holidays should be, and the resorts try their utmost best to please one and all. This being said, I am one of those travelers that enjoyed herself, yes even on the 1st floor. (no ants, bugs etc) but we did find a cat in our room sleeping on bed, which worried me a little but after careful inspection all was well. PS the patio door was left open, i think by mistake. ( they are after all only human)
|We stayed in building 5 room 515, our chamber maids were Lety and Kaisi, they had smiles every time we saw them, Lety spoke English very well, and helped Kaisi in translation, they were also very helpful with anything we wanted or asked for. Yes there were some minor details about the room, ( no face cloths) but overall it was great. ( rooms are to sleep in anyways)
The food was very good in the Buffet restaurant, so so at the Cuban a la carte, very good at the Japanese a la carte, (the entertainment was great there), and we also did the Italian a la carte, which was good. We also ate our lunches pretty much at the Pizza / snack bar near the pool, cause it was close to our chairs by the pool, and it was also good.
The bartenders were always trying to be pleasing, the wait staff around the pool, was always trying to get your drinks fast and cold. Very helpful also in suggesting different drinks. Although the one thing i found would have been helpful, would have been drink menus at each location.
We arrived at 5 am due to delays in Ottawa, of mechanical problems, having staff greet us and guide us to our rooms would have been very helpful at that time of the morning, But we got our keys, information etc on bus before leaving airport. Other than that we never had to deal with the reception.
The ladies from Transat were very helpful with any questions we had for them, and they suggested we communicate with guest services for anything we may need or want. And they were helpful.
We enjoyed the shows at night, although they did start at 10 pm ( a little late) but they were good.
I found the beach area beautiful, clean and fun. My friends bring their own ashtray from home and use them at beach and pool side. We don't smoke, so we appreciated this simple act of respect. NOW if ALL smokers did that, wouldn't it make for a cleaner beach / poolside.
We / I also enjoyed the markets. We visited the Las Dunas and La Estrella NOt sure on spelling for that one) The vendors were not aggressive as they are in DR or Jamaica, which made for a very pleasant afternoon of shopping, and the prices are great as well. I was very grateful to one gentleman at La Estrella (restaurant) who helped me when I had a melt down due to heat, would not take a tip or gift because in his words " Human health comes first) We did leave him a generous tip anyways.
OVERALL I enjoyed my beach vacation, cause I was away from the coldest week in Ottawa. I would definitely return to Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Room Tip: building 5 great staff, close to much, ( withing a small walking distance) you dont hear the partying going on, once your in bed and is close enough to drag yourself to, should the need arise.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ElaineD259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia S M, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

My boyfriend and I (early 20s) travelled to Melia Cayo Santa Maria on January 4-11.
As soon as we landed and went through customs/luggage pick-up, we were directed to our bus where we were given an envelope with our rooms keys, bracelets, and map, as well as a program just informing us of the different available tours, check-out procedures and information about the hotel, etc. The bus ride was an hour and a half..which isn't even that bad, you go through the villages and the tour guide tells you all about the history and stuff about Cuba, so it's not so bad. We arrived at the hotel around 12-1AM and it was pretty dead. We found our room easily...a lot of people complain that they can't see anything, but there are maps every few steps, you just have to look, it's not so hard. We also got our luggage delivered directly to our room which was really convenient.
The next morning we had an info session about the check-out procedures, and the different tours (We didn't do any, being at the resort was enough for us..but a lot of people say the prices are worth it, so i'm not saying don't do it). We also reserved our A La Carte's (Italian, French, and Japanese).

ROOM/CLEANLINESS:
Like I said, there were ants in our room, but it didn't really bother us, and it wasn't in our bed. The room itself was nice..the bed is hard, but i never woke up sore or anything, so not complaining about that. The bathroom was nice and spacious. And we had a balcony, even thought we were on the first floor. Our room was 2111. Also, there were lizards or geckos everywhere and it was kinda cool to see.

BEACH/POOLS:
The pools are kept very clean, so we were really impressed with that..it wasn't unbearably cold but it was a nice refresher, lol. The beach is super nice, they have parapas (which are almost always reserved/taken..so go early, before 8AM, if u want one) and plenty of sunchairs, and the lifeguards clean it off from sand for you, which is super nice. They have the bartenders going around on the beach and by the pools, asking you for drinks, so that's very handy....we always tipped them. Also, for the drinks if you ask them to put more alcohol they will make them stronger, because sometimes they do taste really watered down. The beach water was really nice, not cold at all...and we didn't see any jelly fish, despite what other people have been saying. And of course, it's super salty!! The last 2 days of our stay, we had a red flag warning, so there were no water activities going on except for kite surfing. We still went in the water, and it was a lot of fun, with the waves.

BUFFET/SNACK BAR/A LA CARTE'S:
The buffet was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they had a pretty good variety. It's best to go very early or later around close time, as it tends to be really busy and you have to wait very long in the lines. In the morning they make pancakes for you, and eggs however you like...omlettes, fired, scrambled, etc. They also have a smoothie bar in the middle but it takes WAY TOO LONG, it was nice to have once, though. Each night, for dinner, they have a different theme, and they have musicians playing for you so that was cool.
The snack bar had more fast food-type and it was good, we had fries everyday...and the pizzas were good, but very greasy. By the end of the week, we've had enough...but not in a bad way.
The Italian A La Carte was nice, low-lit and a more romantic feel. The food was okay, and you get a 3-course meal + dessert. They also have a spanish guitarist playing music, which was awesome! He's really good. And the waiters and really nice.
The French A La Carte is in the same building as the Japanese one, but different rooms (we didn't know at first). The food was good, and they had violin and cello playing, i believe.
The Japanese A La Carte was my favourite! The setting was just amazing, and the chef cooks everything in front of you, and tells you exactly what and how he puts ingredients on the grill with all the different meats and vegetables and rice. And then you pick what you want on your plate.

DISCOTECA:
The discoteca that was between Melia Cayo Santa Maria and Melia Las Dunas...wasn't very packed. And it cost 10 pesos (but you get 10 pesos worth of drinks, drinks were 2 pesos). We only went to the discoteca one night that was a little more "bumpin"! It was fun, and the disco itself is nice, but nobody really goes there. There's another discoteca over at Memories, which is apparently a lot better and more crowded..but you have to take the bus or taxi there, and we just never got around to going there.

On the last night (Thursday night) they held a beach party at night. This was the best night, all the entertainers and obviously some of the hotel guests were there and they had the DJ booth going, with cool lights and good music. It was a lot of fun! The beach bar was also opened for the night. At the beginning they had some games going, like limbo...and then its just dancing.

OTHER TRAVELLERS:
There was a lot of variety of age groups...families, with little kids (which we were a little worried about, but didn't really run into any kids or have any problems with them, only at the buffet), and couples (of all ages; we made a lot of "friends" that we saw everyday).

STAFF/ENTERTAINERS:
The bar staff was amazing..and they always asked to make sure you had a drink in your hand, haha.
The gardeners are so cute..they are there every single day, bright and early just working to make the resort look perfect. They even ask you sometimes if you want a coconut, which is always cool to have. Our last day we gave one of the gardeners, that we saw everyday, some childrens' clothing and toys, and he was very very happy..which just melts your heart at how thankful they are.
Everyday they have staff come by your room to ask if you want refeshements (different types of pop, beer, and water) , so we always had a 1.5L bottle of water in our room, which is good...since you can't drink from the sink.
One time we ran out of toilet paper and i called the customer service or front desk, and someone came by with toilet paper. So, as long as you ask for something you need..you'll get it. Not a big deal.
Our maid was okay...we left gifts everyday (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, old clothes, etc) so she did change our towels. But she didn't leave the best towel designs/shapes as some of the other people got from their maids, but that's nothing to complain about.
The entertainers were also amazing, they had different activities or shows by the pool, of every hour of the day, so that was cool. And at nighttime they had different entertainment shows (different themes each night...comedy/game show, dance show, Disney show). We made friends with Yorlien, Denise (salsa teacher), and DJ Nene. They're all super nice, and made our trip that much better! We miss you guys! <3


-Alexandra&Nick

Room Tip: Bungalow 21 was quieter, but not far from everything, everything is within less than a 5 minute walk...The first floors have ants, but oh well.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank Alexandra R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2016

Dear Mr & Mrs,
Greetings from Melia Cayo Santa María!
Thank you very much for your lovely review, by the sounds of it you had a great time! We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you in the future again!

Kind regards,
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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