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“Quit your whining”

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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #10 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Quit your whining”
Reviewed March 26, 2013 via mobile

I have been reading these reviews and shake my head. Honestly we went from the 15th to the 22nd and had a great time. The room was clean and we had hot water. The food is what it is. We found the beach fire fed grill awesome and the buffet was good especially if you selected fresh cooked food. All the reports of the bugs etc...wake up you sniffling whiners, your in a tropic environment. The beach was outstanding save and except the rude obnoxious people from a Canadian province that I will not name. The pool was awesome the staff was amazing. I would return again. To those people who complained about changing beach towels, what are you doing with them? You use them at the beach and pool and dry them at night. Not rocket science....or maybe it is for you. I'm thinking I must have been at a completely different resort...I found the Melia Cayo Santa Maria was a gem!!! It's Cuba...with one of the finest beaches in the world. If you want a Turks and Caicos experience spend the money and go...more room on the beach for us!!!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
29 Thank Debi W
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 29, 2013
Dear Debi

Thank you very much for your comments.

We know we had some problems at the same time, all of them almost solved but we keep working on them and to get better everyday.

The towels supplier had some problems at the cleaning plant but should be ok.

Anyway I am very happy that your stay was nice and I hope the next time everything is even better.

Best Regards
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Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

This is a difficult review for us to write because we are pretty optimistic types and try to find some good wherever we can but at the same time you and I are spending a lot of hard earned money and precious vacation time to come here so want to have as objective assessment as possible to make an informed choice of vacation spots. like you, we tend to rely heavily on this site for informed opinion and did again prior to choosing Cayo Santa Maria. In hindsight, we should have discounted the reviews of the many people who have some prior sentimental attachment to this resort and relied more heavily on single trippers. We seldom go anywhere twice and are not looking for that 'perfect single destination'. It's a big world out there and we like to try as many individual spots as possible. We booked on a last minute basis after having stayed at other Sol / Melia resorts in both Holguin and Cayo Santa Maria and having pretty favourable reviews (all shared on Trip Advisor).

This trip was from March 15-22, 2013 and we paid $800 per person from Central Ontario.

Here are our findings, presented in a Good, Bad and Ugly format along with a few Tips. Hopefully you will be more informed for having read them and they can help guide your purchase decision.

GOOD:
Food was better than average. Slow lines for the personal cooking stations but a pretty good end product. Sparkling wine at main restaurant door is a nice touch and the staff will be attentive if you choose the same area every day as they have an assigned area of about 6 tables each. If you look after them with an occasional tip for good service, they will recognize and look after you quite nicely.

A la cartes - all are nicely fitted up and the food is better than average . Japanese is the best of all except for the beef. Cuban beef is apparently beyond redemption. It's one of the 'chop and dice' shows which can be entertaining.

General staff are excellent. Chair-side Bar service at the main pool is frequent and a nice plus from a great staff.

Nicely sized property, efficiently laid out. Nothing is too far away from any of the rooms. Good for the older visitors (some with walkers) and families with small kids and strollers.

Nice beach, typical for the area. Soft sand and fairly wide but with a quick decline to the water level. The water action can be quite active here so make sure to observe the daily condition flags that are posted.

Cappucino available in most places and is made from scratch as opposed to the all-in-one machines.

Entertainment after supper was fine. Everyone tried their best and most were quite skilled. A pleasant way to spend an hour. Again, tableside bar service is available here.

Adequate availability of day excursions from various providers.

The live music in the afternoons around the main pool was from excellent Cuban groups. They typically lasted for an hour and were to promote later paid shows by the same groups at an off-site venue but were a nice touch for the guests.

BAD:
The property is very poorly maintained and very run down - years past its renewal date. Buildings are patched up with vinyl siding (totally inappropriate to the climate conditions) that has partially blown off on many buildings. A real danger on a windy day as more strips off unexpectedly. The soffits and fascia strips are thin aluminum and quite sharp if they come loose, as many obviously have. Please refer to the traveller photos section for visual examples.

Rooms are adequate size but dated and need at least a thorough washing down in the short term. A close inspection will reveal a fair buildup of grime on the walls etc.

Landscaping has mostly lapsed and a lot of general litter. Staff diverted elsewhere? Head gardener tried his best but apparently has little staff to support him. Lots of bouganvilla and palms but little else. Grass cutting is weeks overdue.

Poorly lit grounds and pathways at night but easily solved by bringing a dollar-store flashlight. Don't underestimate this observation - one gentleman tripped in an unlit area and badly damaged his knee within an hour of checking in.

Exposed electrical connections on the ground covered with duct tape a potentially fatal safety hazard. A good example is the in-ground light fixture outside building 18 which you can easily walk over on a dark evening. The electrical current here is 220 volt (which can be fatal in a wet environment).
.
Room cleaning is below average (patio not cleaned for 3 consecutive days). Great towel art but that doesn’t make up for a poorly cleaned room or patio area.

Mini-fridge not refilled consistently and in some cases beer taken from fridge. Bottled water was provided every night but not beer or sodas necessarily.

Oceanview rooms provide a partially obscured and distant view at best. Not worth a premium of any kind due to their distance from the water.

UGLY:
The public washrooms at pool and beach restaurant can be filthy, no locks on the stall doors and no toilet paper, particularly the women's facility. No excuse for this failing. This is Basic Hygiene 101 in any country.

Lack of or absence of hot water in most rooms on all 7 days.

Lack of clean beach and room towels. No clean beach towels at all for 2 of 7 days. Room towels were badly stained and shopworn but were washed.

Bedding (particularly blankets) with burn holes and excessive wear is the standard you can expect.

Pest control - huge cockroaches and tiny ants a problem in the rooms, including ours

Unresponsive management - skilled apologists but no action

No internet service for 2 of 7 days and no public telephone service because a staff member didn’t show up for work. No wi-fi service, even as a backup.


TIPS:
An upper room is a plus if no cash premium is involved. Fewer bugs and better security but be aware that insect pests do climb stairs. Upper balconies have a railing , useful for drying wet bathing suits etc. Ground floor patios have no railing and consequently lower security. The ocean views are very minimal.

Be nice to the bartenders and tip occasionally and they will look after you quite nicely at your recliner or palapa. Be very nice to the bartender at the a la carte building as he can call in a favour and sometimes get you in, even without a reservation to the restaurant of your choice. His bar also has a much greater selection of the better liquors too and is very nicely fitted up. The a la carte building complex is obviously a newer addition and in much better nick than the rest of the resort. This is the quality level you were expecting everywhere at the resort but will only find it here.

The Italian a la carte carries a much better grade of house wine (Chilean) than any of the others and you'll likely get a full bottle left at your table.

Don’t pay for the upgraded wines at any of the a la cartes. The available house wines will do nicely. This tip comes from a very experienced and selective red wine drinker. The upgraded selections are usually at the entry-level range of that vintners offerings - hardly better than the house wines at the a la cartes. We stock up on wines at home to bring with us.

Take the 10 min walk along the path between the resorts over to Las Dunas and see the quality you should have gotten at Cayo Santa Maria. It is much superior in almost all respects except for its large size and more monotonous food selection at the main buffet. The only downside is that you will quickly see that this is the resort quality you wanted and thought you were getting at Cayo Santa Maria. We spent a week at Las Dunas two years ago and were generally pretty pleased with it.

Take the Panoramic Bus scheduled service to the Pueblo Estrella (a 15 min trip each way for $1CUC each way) to visit a nice market for small local crafts, some restaurants and bars as well as an excellent Cigar shop. If you are buying cigars, the selection and quality are much higher here than at any of the resorts and the pricing is fixed by the government, plus you get the assurance of sealed boxes and some government oversight to avoid fakes.

Only Canadian bank-issued credit cards are accepted in Cuba (no MBNA or Capital One) and the access lines for even those are often not available. If you are planning a large dollar purchase there you're better off to bring the cash. Room safes are provided at no extra charge here and getting a credit card cash advance is very expensive through the bank ($36CUC on a $900 transaction).

Make sure you keep your suitcases closed and zipped all the time to avoid insects, particularly the huge cockroaches, getting in and coming home with you. We had one of the cockroaches in a suitcase which we noticed literally at the last minute and had to dump the contents on the main reception counter, overturn the suitcase and have one of the staff deal with catching and disposing of it. My better half is still not over that incident and probably will never be. Just for your info, Cuban roaches are amongst the largest in the world. You really don't want a pregnant one coming home to live with you!



Other Observations:

The much maligned palapa and recliner availability situation seems overhyped. We had a palapa at the main pool for 5 of 7 days by going down with a towel between 0730 and 0830 daily and then going for breakfast. You will always at least get a recliner there. The obvious problem are the chair hogs who arrive very early, reserve multiple chairs or palapas and then disappear for hours at a time. At one point, one of the bartenders removed the belongings to free up spaces for other guests. That practice should be followed on a consistent basis to allow fair access for all guests. Where is the management or supervisory oversight here?

The general staff are the only saving grace for this resort. The management cadre is unresponsive to the high volume of very legitimate complaints from people like you and I who have paid significant sums in advance for a level of comfort and services that are sadly lacking in the most fundamental of areas. No one at any star level should be exposed to filth, unsafe conditions or knowingly misstated conditions. No apology, contrite or not, can ever take the place of basic management action to rectify such situations.

A resort in this condition should either be temporarily removed from the inventory, closed on an emergency basis until essential repairs are made and the guests redistributed among other resorts in the interim or a full and accurate disclosure made along with appropriate discounting of pricing to reflect the non-delivery of the services being marketed. Where is the corporate brand integrity of the Sol / Melia corporate office? An oft-repeated apology from local management just doesn't cut it here.

You and I paid very good money to come here based on the corporate reputation of a supposedly reputable chain of resorts. What was delivered falls so far short of even minimal cleanliness and general maintenance expectations that one is fully justified in feeling 'ripped off'. We are grossly disappointed having paid $800 per person for this sham, knowing that most guests likely paid $1100 to $1200 per person for the same week. At that price we would be nothing short of outraged. This was our fourth and last visit to any Sol / Melia resort and probably our sixth and last visit to Cuba. There are too many other opportunities at the same price and star level on other islands or countries, most notably the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or Mexico, where you can pick a resort chain and rely on their corporate integrity reputation to deliver at least fair value-for-money. This is also our fourteenth sojourn to various Caribbean destinations so we can hardly be considered inexperienced travellers to the area - to the contrary, we have first-hand knowledge of a very wide range of experiences and conditions. This resort, in this timeframe, was the worst overall experience we have ever had. Expose us to filth and unsafe conditions, fail to provide the most basic of management responses while we are there and there is no amount of half decent food, pretty beach, nice staff or after-the-fact apologizing that can compensate for that. Shame on you, Sol / Melia! You'll not have the opportunity to fool us again.

We realize that this is not a very pretty review and that is unfortunate for a general staff that is as good as any we have encountered at any resort but he or she that foots the bill is entitled to as objective an assessment that we can provide. There are many choices out there and we thought that we had made a good one. We'll take whatever solace we can in knowing that 13 out of 14 good to excellent picks is a pretty good record. We missed out here but perhaps there is an opportunity for you to learn from our mistake. Good luck with your decision.

Best Wishes,

M and M

Room Tip: Upper rooms are more secure and have balconies with railings but a poor ocean view. A better choice...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank thefamilybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Thefamilybee

First of all, thank you very much for your comments and also for helping us to get better.

Iven if your qualification was 1, looks that you had several good things, maybe you stay was not up to your spectations but looks was not a disaster.

As I said to other clients, it is true that we have to repair the building sides but we directly cannot, it belongs to the owner and seems during May will be solved.

During the moment you stayed our supplier had some problems with its machines but also is solved.

About the other problems you had, we know there are always things to improve and we already discussed about what you said in order to get better.

Best Regards
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Hamilton, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

My husband and I travelled to Melia Cayo Santa Maria on March 16-23. We are a couple in our mid-fifties who have travelled to Cuba and the Dominican for many wonderful vacations. We landed at 11.45pm, cleared customs, exchanged money at the Cadeca, and were on the road by 12.45am. We were hoping we would be checked in on the bus, but unfortunately we weren’t. When we arrived at the resort, there was only one staff member on duty for full bus of clients, which was extremely frustrating at 2.30am. We just wanted to get to our room and get to bed. Our Nolitours orientation was scheduled for 9 am next day. However, we slept till 8.55, and missed it. We did however go straight to book our ala cartes. We were 4th in line, and it took about a ½ hour to reach the front of the line. By the time we left there were at least a dozen people behind us.
MCSM is a compact resort, it is older, but in relatively good condition. The grounds are well manicured. There were gardeners all over the place cleaning up and pruning. At night time, many of the lights on the sidewalks are out, making it difficult to see your way. The walkways to beach were uneven and had loose railings and treads, probably due to humidity warping the wood. It is recommended that you walk with caution. The public restrooms could really use some attention. Some stalls had no toilet seats, some had no locks, and some would splash up onto the floor when you flushed. Some stalls were permanently locked. This is not acceptable for a 4 star resort. While we were there, the clientele was 80% French Canadian. They tend to travel in large groups, and had a tendency take over bar and restaurants, moving tables, with no regard for other guests or the staff. Unfortunately some of them could be quite disruptive, demanding, and think nothing of cutting in line at the buffet.
We were given room 0118, on the bottom floor, close to Japanese restaurant. The room was spacious and well appointed, with a coffee maker, but no coffee; an umbrella stand, but no umbrella. A nice touch was the magnifying mirror in the bathroom and a complementary safe for valuables. Our room was cleaned each day, but not well. There was a leaf on the floor under the desk that was there all week. The patio was never swept once during our stay. We used the glasses in the room for soda, and they were not cleaned. Perhaps due to the location of our room, we did not have an issue with lack of hot water, but as others have stated, the pressure was low. The bed linen was never changed all week, and if we hung our towels on the rack they would not be replaced with fresh ones. This was not an issue for us but some people didn’t like it.
Over all, the food was fairly good. Breakfasts at the buffet were hectic, as there seemed to be not enough staff to clear and set tables, and not enough cutlery and glasses. I saw wait staff washing and drying tableware to keep up with the demand. The buffet is very congested due to a poor layout. People lining up for omelets would overflow into the line of people waiting for a toaster and block the entrance to the food stations. The omelets and fresh cooked eggs were great, but the side dishes were cold. There was plenty of steam coming from the warming trays, so it is a mystery why almost everything was cold. Maybe they expected steam trays to heat the food, instead of actually bringing it out hot and keeping it warm. Service was hit and miss at breakfast, depending on the time you arrived. At breakfast I would watch the servers checking all the empty carafes for coffee, and finally giving up. No one seemed to refill them. There was good variety at lunch and dinner. One thing that bothers me the most is that much of the food is not labelled, and there were not enough serving utensils for the number of dishes, which can lead to cross contamination for those with food allergies. I also found it unusual that there was no oil or vinegar for salad at the buffet. I asked for it and was brought vegetable oil from the kitchen and told no vinegar was available, even though every table at the snack bar and grill had a cruet set. That being said, we never went hungry. We loved the pizzas, sandwiches and hamburgers at the snack bar, and it was our favorite place for lunch. We ate at the beach grille a couple of times, and enjoyed it as well. We tried 3 ala carte restaurants, the Italian, French, and Japanese. They all had wonderful ambiance and impeccable service. We thought the meal at the Japanese was the best meal of the vacation.
On the beach, palapas were being repaired while we were there. They have about 80 in total, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. We have never had to get up early to put towels down and reserve a lounger until this vacation. However, when we walked down the beach, it was apparent that MCSM had better palapas than most resorts. The sand in front of MCSM is very soft, which could make it difficult for some people to walk in. If you go to the right, the sand gets firmer and much easier to walk on. Cocktail service on the beach and around the pool was a nice touch. They were always quick with a refill and would remember our favourite beverage. Our first day was really windy and quite cool, but the rest of the week was fairly calm although wind would pick up in the afternoon. Due to the water issues, we were only able to exchange our beach towels once during our stay.
There were many activities on the beach and at the pool if you wished to participate. We preferred to relax with a good book. There was a different show every evening; however we did not go to any as we were usually tired and in bed by 10.
A late check-out can be arranged for 7 pesos per hour. Once you are checked out, there is no room to lock luggage in, and they just tell you to line it up against a wall in the lobby.
All in all we had a good vacation. There were a few blips, but nothing that we couldn’t overlook. I think most of the problems stem from the water issues. The public bathrooms and the buffet organization are the two things that need attention in our opinion. Go with an open mind, and you will enjoy. Staff are pleasant and doing the best they can with what they have. We will probably not return as we like to try a different place each time, but we would recommend this resort.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank SBDriver
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 30, 2013
Dear SBDriver

Thank you very much for your comments

We know the water pressure and linnen supplying problems that we faced during the last month affected the rest of the clients perception.
We think, both of them are solved and clients leaving this week, looked they enjoyed as usual before it.

I hope we have the possibility changing your mind in the future, I am sorry about the disturbances cause but we work hard to come to normal.

Thank you again

Best Regards
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London, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Arrived home on the 23rdof march.All the negatiave reports are true. Up to you if you want to believe them.Our plane could not land for fourty five min as the airport could not handle the amount of planes.On arrival they had one person at the desk and took some people over an hour to get thru.Then the line ups everywhere...exchange money...restaurants...buffet....and not to mention cold food and morning forget it.buffett is too small to handle all the people,you will walk in with a confused look on your face and try and find what table is the easiest to clean off yourself and then try and find the tools you need to eat.Oh ya and then youi face all the congo line of cold food.
So true about the urinals over flowing my husband had to go and wash his feet before lunch.
The washrooms forget it...Lobby toilets four and two were closed the whole week..Remember what I said about lineups..
Towels discusting I am so glad I took my own.
95% were French
True about finding a chair,palapa forget it.We finally got one on the beach for our grand daughter.
Pools are beautiful,beach is also pristine,No hot water for pressure,if you want the firdge filled leave a tip and call 700 Bar tenders and some waiters and waitresess were great.
Be aware that there were lg groups demanding many tables and chairs leaving others to stand in the line up for a table for two or four.Hard to hear each other talk as they would sing and yell during the whole meal or sitting at the bar.
Some of the meat is not cooked thru at the beach pub.Not too bad of a place to eat,but very busyplease remember to tip the pool entertainment band and bathroom attendants.Lobby entertainment.Bartenders where great..
I think this resosrt is ready to be closed and made knew again.
We will be heading back to Cuba but only at the Cayo Guillermo area...So glad to be home.

Room Tip: top floor 821 quiet
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Robax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Robax

Thank you very much for choosing Melia Cayo Santa Maria, I am sorry that your stay was not as happy as you wanted and even if things you say are similar to other clients, as you can see, during the month of april everything chaged a lot and it was related to the actions taken during the end of march for the suppliers but also ourselves.

I would like you to have the possibility checking everything and notice about all these things I just told you.

Best Regards
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Niagara Falls, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We travelled to Melia Cayo Santa Maria from March 15-March 22 and I was the young woman who had the scorpion in her room. I would also like to mention that 2 room attendants were present when I found the scorpion in my clothes and that they were aware it was on my arm when I retrieved the items from the floor! My boyfriend tried to sweep it outside with his foot but the maids killed it and disposed of it before I could ask any questions. When I contacted the front desk they DID NOT apologize, ask if I was okay or offer an explanation. They acted as if they didnt understand what I was saying???

Our towels were stained, bedding was never changed and stained as well....food was always cold at the buffet. Paths were poorly lit, rooms were dated and dirty. Service was horrible, especially at the buffet where servers catered to specific groups consistently and waited for their tip even after you cleaned off your own table twice!!!

Besides the wonderful service from Bladamir @ the bar beside the Japanese restaurant, that was the only positive from this resort. I have been sick for 7 days now despite taking the Dukoral vacination prior and I would NEVER recommend anyone go to Melia Cayo.

**I see that the General Manager responds to the reviews on here.....why have the same complaints not been addressed and I would be curious to hear his take on my scorpion incident.

Room Tip: Bungalow 4 was dated but always had hot water
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Dentaltraveller30
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, October 22, 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.
Dieppe, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were here at Melia Cayo Santa Maria march 14 to 21, all that is said wrong about this resort is true, ants and cockroaches in our room, patio door wouldnt lock, pool area mens bathroom and beach bbq buffet bathroom had urinals overflowing so u would have pee all over the floor (happened twice) poor lighting if youre planning on getting up early to reserve youre spots... (no choice if u want one) bring a flashlight, no bottled watter, they only bring 1.5L at a time and 1 or 2 beers, room service means nothing. I asked for smaller bottles for water so I could take along on my morning run... they shrugg their shoulders and dont even try to help. Our safe in our room wasnt working, called the front desk, they said theyre sending someone right away as we had to change money for cuban dollars wich is another headache by the way... and finally had to go to front desk after an hour of waiting in our room... then another half an hour later the safe guy shows up, fixes the safe and leaves it open no questions asked... also my wife had lost her room card and went to front desk to request another one, the lady was on the phone, asked my wife her room number and without any question gave her a new card... she could have asked for any room.

Beach is super beautiful, so is the pool, reserve youre spot early, marine activitys are so so... I felt like I was bothering the staff when I asked about using the laser type sailboat or the sailboards.... the catamaran only goes out with a staff member... in punta canna u can go out by youreself if u know what ure doing.... beach is dirty,,, cigarette butts and drink straws all over the beach.

The highlight of our trip was on the last day we took the double decker bus that goes around all the resorts to the buena vista resort (3km) for some snorkeling, there is a reef and an island that u can swim around where there is alot of fish and barracudas. was worth the 2 cuban dollars for the trip there and back.

We met some poeple that had been returning here multiple times and have told us that this is unusuall... they are under staff, everyone here ecxept for the bartenders dont seem to care and dont seem proud of their workplace or they are just fed up with all the complaints.

It's an island on an Island... I can accept one day without butter or no replacement beach towels... even though the trip was somewhat reasenable priced... hot water and clean rooms is to be expected.

Food well if ure patient and wait in line at the buffet youre food is hot, we ate verry well all week, cappuccino at the lobby bar is verry good. japanese grill, french a la carte is verry good, italian wasnt good but maybe its the menu choices we had made. the beach bbq buffet is good and kinda cool.

All an all we still had a good time, we will not return to this resort... advice is if you have complaints to make, go see youre travel company rep. we met a couple at the buena vista resort that said they were at the melia cayo and they got transfered the next day no extra fee, after complainning about the no hot water to their travel rep. just saying.

Room Tip: building 2, 2nd level had hot water 5 days out of 7, but had ants and cockroaches.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Versed2mg
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, October 22, 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.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleville, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We travelled with another couple to Melia Cayo Santa Maria 15 to 22 March. We booked this in December when reviews were good but quickly in January went downhill mostly regarding lack of water, hot water, water pressure and towels (those that were available were stained or smelly along with bedding). After 14 hours of travelling we arrived at hotel in the dark, had been checked in on bus but were left to find our room on poorly lit paths. We had no shower head, no water in room, no bath mat and only a few towels, lights in room were not all working and there were ants all over the floor. Our friends had nothing to drink in their room, no bath towels or bath mat and same problem with lights. There was not much left on the buffet and what was there was cold. We went to our Nolitour/Air Transat meeting the next day and requested another room which we were both given in building 1, however we spent half that day moving from building 22 (we had help with a cart). Our room was not ready till 6:00 pm so had no room till then. We had hot water but not much pressure and had to find something to hold shower diverter to keep it on.

Buffet restaurant - most food was cold even though sitting on steam table. Mandarin oranges, pears were canned not fresh as was some of the pineapple. There seemed to be a problem with clearing plates away and tables with guests doing it themselves, no fresh OJ after first day till end of week, could wait forever to be offered a coffee. This restaurant was very hot most of the time also.

Towels and bedding - most were stained and sometimes smelled odd, certainly not clean, towels in room replaced every day but no bath mat at all 5 out of 7 days. Beach towels exchanged twice in 7 days as there just weren't any.

Beach - if you wanted to have some shade during the day you needed to be there before sun up to save a lounger and a palapa. Beach was covered with cigarette butts especially near walkway to beach.

Public washrooms - the absolute worst situation I have ever seen. There was only 1 working in main lobby (2 were locked and someone who had been there last year said they were closed then too), the 4th sprayed water on your feet when you flushed. Lack of toilet paper a problem too. I was told by attendant to use paper towel from dispenser if there was any there. Used washroom at Italian a la carte and had to walk around behind pool in the dark to find one not working, 1 no paper and the 3rd no toilet seat and was like this all week. Same thing at the other side of the pool area with 1 not fastened to floor properly and same in men's washroom.

The staff here for the most part are very good but must be sick of hearing all the complaining.
Everyone we talked to had issues about the resort. It must have been a lot different last year as it had been recommended by others who had been there before.

This was our fourth trip to Cuba and if it had been our first would never have come back. I would not recommend this resort to anyone ever. Spending the day on the beach and the great weather were quickly turned around by the negative things going on with the resort.

Room Tip: Buildings 1 to 11 seem to have some hot water. Don't stay on 1st floor as more bugs and ants.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank lillian666
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.
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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

Property: 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
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Top resorts 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 
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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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