We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Don't go!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Don't go!”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Just returned from this resort yesterday. We booked our trip with another couple in December, and starting in January we noticed negative reviews about lack of water pressure, no hot water, no clean beach towels, cold food, etc. I visited our travel agent on 2 occasions after booking with concerns about the negative reviews and I was told that Nolitours had not received a warning about this resort so it should be ok (booked with Sears Travel). So, we arrived on March 15th at 8:30 pm and sure enough, our nightmare began. After travelling 14 hours, we struggled to find our rooms in the darkness (building 22) and found no hot water at all, no towels or bath mat, no water/pop/beer in fridge. So no shower before bed and no nighttime medications with no water. I called the desk and nobody answered. Walked back to the main desk to ask for assistance, and the girl at the desk said "it will be fixed tomorrow". The next morning I visited our Nolitours rep and she told me to return at 12 pm to see if there was another room available, and there was, so we moved to building 1, however our friends' room wasn't available until 5:30 so we had to go back to desk again at that time. We found we had warm/cool water, very little pressure at anytime of day; didn't matter if it was 7 am, 12 noon or 6 pm, always the same. I had to get on my hands and knees in the tub with cold water on to be able to wet my hair and get shampoo out. Beach towels were never available and we were told "truck didn't come". So, we tried to put out of our minds the fact that we were going to be living at a resort for a week with no hot water, the same resort that is supposed to be cooking and cleaning for us, and no clean beach towels, and we questionned if our bath towels were clean also (one day smelled like fish so had to use my dirty beach towel after my shower instead).

I am appauled that Nolitours could say they weren't aware of any problems with this resort. Apparently they can't read Trip Advisor? I am planning to send a letter to Nolitours to try to save someone else a few thousand dollars. I am not a picky traveller and I don't think its too much to ask for a hot shower after a day at the beach, a clean towel, and a hot meal. The food at the buffet was often cold. A tray of curly fries was dumped in the warmer and i took some, went to my table, bit into one and it was litterally cold. Not sure why.

Apart from the water issues, this resort is tired and old and I will never go back. The employees are happy if you are tipping them, but if you have a problem all of a sudden they don't understand you. I am certain we wouldn't have changed rooms if I left it up to the main desk, because they weren't interested in hearing about it. The Nolitours rep was the one who communicated on our behalf, however, the Nolitours Reps need to notify their head office of the major issues with this resort, instead of continuing to take people's money and hoping that the traveller doesn't really care of they have necessities such as hot water and clean linens. I will also be notifying Sears Travel in the hopes they will be able to warn future travellers of the major issues with this resort.

Unfortunely, after having a nice day at the beach, beach grill, etc., and returning to your room to prepare for dinner in the evening, any positive points from the day were spoiled after returning to no water pressure and no hot water, and a cool meal and long lineups at the buffet.

Save yourself some money and go anywhere but this place.

Room Tip: Go to a different resort!!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Twotalls
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 review, November 18, 2014
Dear Guest:
We heartily appreciate your honest review. Even when the services received have not fully met your expectations; you have been able to point out those aspects you have really enjoyed at our resort.
We are working really hard in the improvement of all our services and your opinions constitute a great help for us to orient our efforts. We have performed several changes in different areas and we hope that, before our next high season, essential services have higher quality.
Thank you for your contribution.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,666
    1,397
    630
    326
    195
See reviews for
885
2,080
151
16
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (627)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Georgetown, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I have just finished reading some reviews, and can not believe some people are talking about the same resort and people that we keep returning to at least twice a year, for almost nine years now.
We also were at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in March, and this is the first time we have had problems with water pressure. I did find if I took my shower about 5 p.m., when everyone else wasn't using the water, I was fine. I'm sure even in most homes if all the taps were turned on at the same time you wouldn't have the water pressure you might like.
We always tip but have never felt pressured to do so.
We have NEVER had a problem with insects here.
There is always something to do, Spanish lessons, archery, exercises in the pool, dance lessons etc., but just try and get enough people interested in doing anything.
The gardens are lovely. I don't know where the person was looking who complained about just trees and dry grass! Take a look at all the bougainvillea in bloom.
The staff is the best we have seen anywhere, and they are the reason we continue to return.
We are looking forward to our next vacation in April.
As for the wind on the beach, sorry the hotel has no control over that.
As far as the food, I always find something I enjoy, have never had a problem with anything, and if I have any complaint at all it's that I always put on a few pounds.
We love Melia Cayo Santa Maria, and the people who work there.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ilovecuba_13
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear I love Cuba

Thank you very much for your comments, I understand people that don't like a place or certain activities, remember there are more than 700 people here.
What is true is that from 10 am we have activities all aroud the resort, beach, swimming pool or theater.

Hope to see you very soon

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Let me start by saying as others have said that this is in no way a 4 star resort but 3 stars at best. I must say that it did have some good things but more bad then good. Most people I talked to had no hot water, we were lucky, we had hot water but little water pressure. Do you know how hard it is to get the shampoo out of your hair with water pressure that low? The food at the buffet was bland, the same every day and long lines. The first 3 days that we were there they ran out of orange juice at breakfast. There was no ketchup to be found anywhere on the resort even though they do serve french fries. The A La Carte's were great. We went to the Italian, French, and Japanese. The Japanese we found was the best. There was also a Medeterrean but you are only allowed 3 so we did not go to that one although we were told that it was very good. The beach was fantastic and so were the pools. The only problem I had with them was that people would go very early in the morning and put their towels on the chairs to reserve them even though there are signs all around saying that it was not permitted. What is the purpose of posting the signs if they are not going to enforce them. It was the same with the A La Carte's where they say that the men have to wear long pants and closed toed shoes but the first one that we went to ther were three men in shorts and sandals. I asked the waitress about it and she just shurgged her shoulders.we were on the first floor and had many ants in the bathroom but I guess that wasn't as bad as another couple that I spoke to that had put their clothes on the floor of their room, and in the morning woke up to a scorpion in the clothes. They called the front desk and they sent someone to remove it. It looks like there has been little or no maintenence of this property in a very long time. If they want to call it a 4 star, they had to paint, replace aluminium siding that has blown off and fix the plumbing problem We had 3 or 4 lights burnt out in our room. We were told that you could get breakfast at the snack bar but that was not true. It was only available at the buffet. Don't even think of replacing your dirty beach towels, the shack where you were supposed to exchange them was always out of clean ones. The grill restaurant by the beach was pretty good but again long lines to get in. The entertainment at this resort is terrible. Almost the same every day. Starts at 1000 P.M. at the theatre, a singer comes out and sings a song, dancers come out and dance, then the singer again, repeat the following night with different costumes. Entertainment last 30 minutes to one hour. I will finish by giving you the pros and cons of this resort.
Pros: Great beach and pools
A La Carts Great
Great cappucino at lobby bar
Staff is very friendly

Cons: Very run down resort. Needs a lot of improvements
No hot water in most of the rooms
Ants in the room
Food at buffet is not that great and long waits for the good things.
Almost impossible to get chairs at the beach and pools unless you get up at 530 A.M. and put your towels on chairs.
Long lines at the buffet, and grill restaurant
Never any beach towels available to exchange
Entertainment is terrible
I would not recommend this resort to anyone. This is the fourth time in Santa Clara, first at Royal Hideaway (now Iberostar) second at Melia las Dunas, third at Giavota (now Playa) and now here and I will not be returning to this resort. This was the worst of the four. I will spend the extra money and go to Iberostar or Las Dunas. What I was really surprised to hear was when I checked out and the lady at the front desk asked me if I would be returning next year, and I told her definitely not. I said that this was a 3 star not a 4 and she said it was a 2 star and that she was looking for another resort to work at. When your own staff gives you that kind of endorsement it says it all.

Room Tip: Ask for bungalow 1 through 10 and you will most likely have hot water. In the 20's and you wont.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chuck M
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear Chuck

First of all thank you very much for your visit.

I am sorry that you didn't spent the holidays you expected, it is true that we suffered some supplying problems with food and linen but now they are almost solved.

I know how disturbing has been to some people but HOT WATER PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED, I know you didn't have that problems but I want to inform.

You are right, our dancers dance and the singers sing but we have a 2 week planning with 10 different shows so, if you stayed a week you didn't see the same.

About scorpion, normally they inform me about strange things and this is the first notice I have about it, I will check but even if they confirm to me, it would be the first time.

The hotel is 10 years old and all thigs you say are to be repaired during this year.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I am not one for fancy butler service and gourmet food. Hey I believe if it's clean safe and fun then it's a 5 star in my books!
I just got back from Melia this morning. I went with my Mom my cousin and her boyfriend.
I've been to a variety of resorts from 3 stars to 5 stars and they all have different characteristics but this has to me the most memorable trip I've been on. We got in late and did not like the location of the room so the next morning they relocated us to two rooms right beside the pool immediately . The front desk staff were very accommodating.
I will admit the showers sucked but hey! That's what a pool and ocean are for! Plus there are outdoor showers with great pressure. Also keep in mind what country you are in and that the resort is 10 years old. We inquired and they are planning an update. They were actually repainting when we were leaving. The beach towels were not exchangeable but again nothing I really care about. They explained that the island has to share their supply of beach towels with all of the 9 resorts and they are waiting for a new supply. We brought out own beach towels.
The food.... Well considering I was told over and over how bad it was going to be I expected the worst before I got there. When I go to the Dominican I live off of pineapple and mangos..... This week I gained like 10 pounds because I was actually eating meals. The chicken grill at the beach snack bar is AMAZING. Again, remember where you are. You will not die without ketchup.
I will finish with the service and staff. I have fallen in love with every single one of them. They were never angry, grouchy, rude or annoyed. They all work SO hard to make sure we were happy and entertained and never showed expectations for tips. The bar tenders are always doing rounds by the pool and down the beach, and the waiters Are always trying to do their best to serve so many people.
The entertainment staff is the best I have met in the last 6 years I've been traveling to the Caribbean. Ernesto, Denise, Yorlien, and Lazaro made our vacation the best yet and I can't wait to see them again in June. They are my family now. Wether it was aerobics, dance lessons, soccer, or volleyball, the staff were always working to hard. I also want to mention the amazing night crew. The dancers have studied very hard and it shows in their routines. The Michael Jackson show was my favourite! The beach party was also a blast!
One negative comment I have is the disco. If you have been to any Bahia resort you know that the Pueblo Prinicpe disco and street is included but at this particular resort the staff tries very hard to get people to the disco that costs $10. This fee includes 5 beers but its always empty and apparently don't ever have beer. You can't blame the staff they do their best but unless you can find a good group of people to go, I wouldn't pay $10 again for the disco. They need more night entertainment on the resort after the show to keep the party going!

If your looking for a fun relaxing vacation then you won't go wrong with the Melia Cayo Santa Maria.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nanook24
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear Nanook

I am happy that the four of you had fun at the hotel and I hope you come back very soon.

If you gain weight at the hotel means that you had food enought and well prepared, in fact we have 7 possible places to eat so, I hope there are several that you could love.

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Long bus ride,1.5hrs,116kms.Good for r & r but your in no mans land.Staff are very hard working and eager to please.Rooms spacious and clean.A-la-cartes(3) are fishy menues,even ltalian.Ate at the buffet all week.Only really one lounge-bar area and if someone is smoking those smelly cigars there is no where else to go.No drink menues?Money exchange very slow
Night entertainment is bland and seems to be the same every nite.There are maintanence issues at this resort that should be addressed.Eg-burnt out bulbs,rattling fans in washroom,low water pressure or lack of hot water at tlmes,bambo like blinds that you see through at nite?,pool is cold,lack of pool towels(we used the same two all week)? Felt a littlie ripped off for the amount we paid and the cooler weather march 1-8,2013 dampened our spirits to return at this date.Go after march break,eg the 22nd,its alot cheaper and the weather should be warmer. 4 star rating.

Room Tip: Upper floor would be better.Oceanview is very distant from the water.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave M
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear Howie

Cayo Santa Maria is a quiet place and it is true that outside the resort there are not many things to do but inside we try to have something to do everytime.

Hot water problems are solved and now that one that was the main issue during this season, we expect to be finished.

Hope you give us the possibility changing your mind in the future.

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We've been to Santa Clara 5 times already and have experienced all 3 Melia Hotels...The last one being Melia Buenavista which was great too. We are returning this April with our 7yrs old boy to Melia Cayo Santa Maria, I've been very sad about people's reviews...this is why I decided to express my very own personnal opinion about this hotel. Melia Cayo Santa Maria is simply about the people (the staff) everybody is simply amazing. We've been to Holguin, Varadero, Cayo Coco...but nothing compares to the staff of Melia Cayo Santa Maria...they are amazing people, it's like a small family there. For us the resort has a perfect size, is not too small and not too big. The beach simply stunning and pools are very nice too. People sometimes forget that this is Cuba, yes, it is normal sometimes to have no butter, no ketchup...etc, once again we are in Cuba, hey sometimes they dont even have mint for Mojitos...If you are somebody that expects alot, this is not the place for you. You always have other choices: Mexico, DR, Jamaica where you wont have these types of problems probably. I've been to these countries all being 5* resorts, getting amazing rooms, heated pools, fantastic food, but most of the time very *cold* staff. Personally, I prefer a resort where I can return and see my friends. It surprises me how people complains so much and they forget that they are on vacation. Melia Las Dunas is great too, a big for our taste, this is why we prefer Melia Cayo Santa Maria.
We are very excited about our upcoming trip to Melia Cayo Santa Maria and yes I will make sure to write a review when I come back.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
16 Thank solymarcostanera
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear Soymarcostanera

I agree 100% with you, people at the hotel is what makes the difference, they work to make you feel home and they now the importance of their attitude, Cuba in General is a place the people makes and here it is a real added value.

I hope to see you very soon again

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

You can find a nice beach in the Caribbean anywhere, but the amount we paid here is absurd for many reasons.
1) food was average at best
2) service was abysmal
3) towels and bedding were all stained
4) you are expected to tip for anything and everything
5) Beach towels were the same all week as there was never any replacements
6) eating at the buffet was a gong show. We had to clear our own tables, find our own cutlery, we were lucky to be asked if we would like something to drink. Also the stations were you could have food prepared for had long slow moving lines. We were typically done our meal before other got through the line.
I could keep going here but I think you get the point.

We were lucky enough to stay in building 11 close to the beach. We always had hot water, but pressure was always an issue. The room was spacious, but dated. We constantly had to call to have the mini bar re-stocked. When I put money in the mini bar the gave us extra beer that day. But after that we still had to call. No face clothes in the room.

Bottom line here is there are other places where you can get more value for your money!

Room Tip: Building 11
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank KevinFinnerty
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 review, March 24, 2013
Dear Kevin

I want to thank you for your comments, we try to get better everyday.

I think your perception is too critical but of course we have to accept it and to work on it. I am sure the next time you come things will be much better, it is true that during the last 2 weeks specially related to the hot water pressure, the perceptions were worse than we think should be.

Anyway, Water pressure problems looks solved and I an sure this will make perceptions to be much better.

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Cayo Santa Maria hotels
4.5 mi away
Ocean Casa del Mar
Ocean Casa del Mar
#11 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,109 reviews
0.9 mi away
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
#3 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 6,339 reviews
1.7 mi away
Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
#1 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,966 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.4 mi away
Starfish Cayo Santa Maria
Starfish Cayo Santa Maria
#8 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,054 reviews
2.1 mi away
Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
#12 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
3.5 of 5 bubbles 6,407 reviews
1.6 mi away
Melia Buenavista
Melia Buenavista
#2 of 15 in Cayo Santa Maria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,528 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Melia Cayo Santa Maria? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Property: Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Address: Jardines del Rey, Cuba
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
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Cayo Santa Maria 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA and Cancelon so you can book your Melia Cayo Santa Maria reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing