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“Good mix of mass tourism with possibilities to escape to the quiet”

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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
92 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Good mix of mass tourism with possibilities to escape to the quiet”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Our first time all-inclusive... Is a bit of a shock if you arrive the first day exactly during breakfast time in the big big restaurant! However, we had a nice sea-view room, and took the walk every day to the clothing-optional beach to the west and beyond. You can pick from the entertainment and from the buffets what you like - that's good and we enjoyed it.

Room Tip: Top floor sea view is best
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MarcHinfelaar
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, April 27, 2013
Dear Marc

It is true that close to the hotel there's a nudist beach where people can go.

Most of our rooms are beach or swimming pool view it is fantastic to wake up in the morning and see that view, I recommend it to everybody, but also the sunshine and sunset are great..come and see them!!!

Best Regards
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English first
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a 2 week vacation @ Melia Cayo Santa Maria.
We have travelled many times to Cuba and we must say this was our worst experience. If you are planning to vacation here please read my honest review of this hotel. First be prepared for a solid 1-1/2 hour bus ride from the airport to the hotel. The weather was not the best but we have no control of it, so enough said. The food was cold most days and not very good - TRULY. We decided to mainly eat pizza by the pool side as this was our best and only option, as well as for others we had spoken to. The hotel is spaced out, our room was a 12min walk to the beach and to dinner about 7min, this became a pain as days progressed. Our room was spacious but came with little to none hot water - and yes, almost everyone we spoke to said the same. Room service was OK, but their hours of service was at odd times like late afternoon when you have returned from the beach and need to prepare for dinner! The staff is friendly and realize that improvement is required. The beach sand is very nice and soft. Most days are very windy here and therefore we spent little time in the ocean as it was dangerous. But it was very pretty to look at. Plan to bring an umbrella if you require some shade - this beach has limited coverage and basically no trees.
We are not sure how this hotel is rated 4-1/2 stars but believe us when we say it's a 3-1/2 star at best. As experienced travellers to Cuba my wife and I both agree that we would not return to this hotel or location. Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Tony D
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 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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Kitchener
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Since I travel so often and I am able to write reviews only every 3 months, here I am again sharing my experience with those who are looking to visit this charming hotel, that I call my second home. Once again, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to go back!

Since I frequent this hotel on an average of 4-5 times a year, I would like to point out that a lot of changes have come into effect since my last visit to MCSM. First of all, I'd like to clear up the misconception with the water..... This issue is a thing of the past as it has already been resolved. Reviews are always subjective and it's difficult to decide what to believe.

Furthermore, the food at the hotel was remarkable and it was apparent that a lot of changes had been implemented. There is so much to choose from! The staff goes above and beyond to satisfy even the most demanding tourist. There are so many restaurants, not to mention the 24 hour snack bar.

In addition, the grounds and the property are amazing and well kept. The most gorgeous beach and the nicest people in the world can be found at this beautiful hotel. I would highly recommend MCSM to those of you who can appreciate a good thing.

Enjoy and bon voyage!

Patricia

P.S. AND.... for those of you, that have nothing good to say, please don't exaggerate.

Room Tip: Second floor & ocen view
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Patri H
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, April 27, 2013
Dear Patri

If we can have a more valuable review it is yours, someone that comes 4 or 5 times a year is part of our family, you and your family saw the changes and also saw that things after the problems se had with water were solved.

I really hope you come back soon and youcan see many other changes we already made and some of the are on the way.

I hope everything is fine with you

Best Regards and hope to see you very soon
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Bracebridge, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We returned today from our third trip to Melia Cayo Santa Maria. As expected, our trip was WONDERFUL. The Melia is a relatively small resort with the most wonderful staff. We read the many complaints about no hot water. We checked into our room and found that we had hot water in our sink but not our shower. It only took one night for my husband to decide to try turning the tap to the cold side rather than the hot. Guess what... we had hot water. For some reason the taps were reversed! I wonder how many people did not think to try that??
We would like to thank some of the staff who once again made our holiday so special. Rolando, Deivy, Leticia, Yousett, Walter, Danny, Norge, Juan Carlos, you are the reason we keep coming back. We have NEVER been to a place that makes us feel so special.
May we please suggest to you that you take negative reviews with a grain of salt. If we have a complaint at all it is that someone decided to paint the beautiful tree in the lobby white and put a black light on it in the evening. PLEASE return it to its natural colour! Your resort is beautifully natural and this tree stands out like a sore thumb.
Once again, thank you to all of our friends and other resort staff for another great vacation. We will be back next year!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Deb T
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, April 28, 2013
Dear Deb

Thank you very much for your comments and you are right, we noticed that we have several tubs changes and when should be hot is cold...we are changing them.

About the tree, we are changing the decoration at the lobby, when you saw it, it was not finished and I am sure you will love it the next time you come at the hotel.

Hope your next stay is even better than this one, we work hard to get it.

Best Regards
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We just got back from MCSM where we had a great holiday. Before going I was getting very worried because of all the bad reviews but in the end I should not have worried so much.
We all have different criterias and we tend to base our reviews on those. Personally,we are beach lovers so MCSM fits our first and most important criteria : a beautiful beach, sand, waves, calm at times, it has it all.
My second one is cleanliness, again, this hotel is clean, our room in block 05 was well maintained throughout the week by our maid Lety. The room itself was great, needs some sprucing up like the rest of the hotel but has a certain charm and we had warm water sufficient enough for a shower. Towels and linen stained as mentioned before by others but I can live with that too.
Food was ok, BBQ lunch was great, buffet food cold, long lines for hot dishes, service leaves a lot to be desired although our last 2 days were saved by Pedro Luis, the only smiling and energetic waiter at the buffet as far as we were concerned.
Since we spend a lot of time at the beach it was wonderful to see the beach waiter Yosvany working hard and trying to satisfy everyone's needs (going out of his way actually) all day long with a big wide smile ! He made my day everyday !
Now for the bad....or one of my criterias : the staff....I have never been to a hotel where I saw so many unhappy faces especially Cubanos whom I adore for their love of life and their willingness to please us, they are a beautiful people but at MCSM they seem to have lost their identity. Some like Yosvany and the reception staff make up for most of the others. I have been to CSM 3 times, twice at Melia Las Dunas right besides MCSM and they have the best staff ever...I still cannot figure out why ???
Overall we enjoyed our vacation very much but mostly due to the beach ! We might return because hopefully management will take care of improving their staff's attitude and start maintaining better this beautiful resort.
My husband also wants me to mention Daniel at he omelet station who made his day every morning with his love for his job and his friendliness.l
Again, this review is according to our criterias and from what I see on these pages, we all have our opinions, good or bad and that's the way it should be....too much philosophying on my part, I know!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank vannat
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 18, 2014
Google Translation
Cher Client :
Nous vous remercions de votre commentaire sincère au sujet de votre expérience au MCSM ca fait quelques mois. C’est vrai qu’un établissement comme le notre doit toujours être amélioré pour assurer que la perception de la clientèle soit positive. Il y a toujours de détailles a superviser et su lesquels il faut travailler.
Nous aimerions vous faire savoir que nous avons fait un grand nombre de petites et grandes améliorations en matières d’hygiène et entretien qui ont contribue, sans doute, a réussir un meilleur niveau de satisfaction de nos hôtes. Nous serons honorés de vous accueillir encore dans le future.
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Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Some background- my husband and I traveled with another couple, and all of us are seasoned adventurers. This was the first time to Cuba for all of us and we were super excited to see somewhere new. I'm not going to complain about the flight, bus ride, airport, etc... it is what it is... If flying annoys you- stay home.

I absolutely agree with other guests, that the staff are exceptional here. Everyone was wonderful- but some honourable mentions-

Yamilasky and Alain at pool snack bar
Osbiel and Yosef at pool swim-up
Norge and Juan Carlos at lobby bar
Yoel at the French a la carte.
our maid- Mariolys- ALL FANTASTIC!
Without the staff this hotel would be in big trouble...

Reviews are always so subjective and I will try to be as objective as I can- I truly believe that the people that love this resort and give it really high ratings, and rave about the rooms and food are doing so out of sentimentality. (as someone else mentioned) The staff ARE that good, but the food, rooms and grounds are not 4* and are definitely in need of some TLC.

We met many people that have been here 4,5,6 times and the staff are family, but having been to so many other countries and resorts-the 4 and 5 star ratings are unwarranted.

ROOMS- spacious, clean but VERY dated. yes- a daybed, couch type seating area, but wasn't about to sit on it... warped front door. Water pressure and temperature were such a disaster it became one of our running jokes. If you have long hair- be aware- you will not be able to wash it other than going to the spa... our toilet had a ghost- would run out of the blue. Lots of space to unpack.
Lots of ants, but again, you're in the tropics. Threadbare sheets and towels- but always clean.
The maid doesn't do the beer and water refill- beer guy comes later- around 4-430. We were usually in the room by then, and got as many water bottles and cans of Cristal we wanted.

SPA- worth it solely for the ability wash my hair... ( I also had a very enjoyable Serenity massage $58 CUC- ask for Luis Wong- my friend had him- apparently excellent)

FOOD- bad... really bad... you won't starve, but be prepared to find something you can like and eat it all week. We ate at 3 a la cartes- the Japanese, the French and Italian. All passable- but I will say the French was good- the wine excellent! Pool snack bar had great pizza- they will make one with whatever you like- don't feel stuck with what's on the pizza menu. (great with green peppers, onion, tomatoes and oregano). I had been warned about the food before we left, so I took hot sauce and salad dressing. The salad dressing would have come in handy had there been lettuce to make a salad with, however, what they had was wilted and tired with black spots. The buffet was more or less inedible and we are not picky- I do EXPECT good food when traveling somewhere that advertises 4+ star. I do think it is a question of food handling and preparation that we have come to expect from other resorts and in Canada. (if you have kids- take ketchup) Buffet food is too uncovered and too many bugs. We went for dinner once- fresh fish that I then had sauteed into a pasta with vegetables- pretty good- pasta too doughy, but ok.
We would go to the pool snack bar every morning, great coffee made to order and toast and omelets available to order, quieter, less chaotic and just a more pleasant surrounding. We would run into the buffet and grab some croissants and go back to the pool restaurant. Be aware, it never happened to us, but a few people mentioned mold on their bread.

BEACH- simply gorgeous- yes a big drop off but a beautiful scene! This may seem trivial- but a resort rated this high should have beach drink service. Lots of palapas, but the towel game in FULL EFFECT, just be aware. (The beach chair guys work hard- they will appreciate the odd cerveza)

POOL- we spent a lot of time here- refreshing and clean. Pool side service was excellent and the entertainment staff just visible, but invisible enough, if you know what I mean. Towel game in play here too- we played in the sense that we would grab our shade by about 7- 7:30am go for coffee etc and be back by 9am latest. If we were not there for the bulk of the day- we did not reserve. Quite frankly- some people were brought up in a barn and had zero consideration for others- 8 people grabbing a dozen or so chairs so they could have their choice of sun and shade, or pool and beach. RUDE.

BARS- all great, sometimes very busy, so you had to get your own cocktail, but LOL- not such a hardship... :) Some of the other guests need to check their behaviour. I don't know if a vacation for some means a license to act as if you're in a "Canadians Gone Wild" video, but it was embarrassing. Drunk and obnoxious middle aged people all over, many from a specific part of Canada. There were also some large groups that looked and sounded like they were fresh from Jersey Shore, Canadian version... There is never a time to be as rude and selfish as I have seen some guests.

GROUNDS- pleasant enough- with some good rainfall it will be gorgeous and lush- the flowers are really vibrant and pretty! Some extra lighting would be great, but just be extra careful when walking at night- some uneven ground here and there- not a problem in daylight. The villas in general need an overhaul, building 20- ours- had some loose siding and in the wind sounded like knocking on the wall. Layout is pretty good- you're never too far from anything. I like my beach more accessible- mainly a washroom issue.

Which brings me to BATHROOMS...Seriously folks... spend some $$ and upgrade, repair, refurbish the washrooms. Men's wasn't that bad I heard- but women's?? WOW...
Pool washrooms- 2 broken, 1 working and toilet paper was hit and miss. One of the toilets was damaged on the Monday- it actually looked like vandalism, and was still lying on its side on Wednesday. Unacceptable.
Beach restaurant bathroom- no working lights- had to use the men's room and had a random man be my lookout so no one else came in.
Lobby- hit and miss with paper and be careful- stall #1 sprays you when you flush! Bottom of my dress was soaked... ladies- BRING PAPER WITH YOU EVERYWHERE, and hand sanitizer. Sometimes no soap, sometimes no water... ( I went to Dollarama and bought the small Kleenex packs.)

MONEY- small 'banco' on the premises- slow, long lines. Go after lunch if you can- less line up- you will still wait about 45 minutes at about 1pm. Same with your a la carte reservations. They should have photocopies of all menus so you can check them out in line rather than getting to the front then having to choose. (you know what I mean- you will always be behind someone who can't choose)

Again- trivial but all combined these are the 'small' things that leave a bad impression.

We had a good time because of the people we traveled with, and we make the best of the bad situation- I mean, at the end of the day, it is sunny, my toes are in the sand and a wonderful mojito is in my hand. There are so many places in the world to visit and see, so my opinion and advice would be check out Cuba- the people and beach are fantastic. Just don't go to Melia expecting a 4 star plus experience- its a 3 star at best and very much a 'budget' vacation. If you are not a 'budget' type person- spend some more- go elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank yunric
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 15, 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Visited many places in Cuba and this hotel is good in overall, but a few bad employees affect impression of the entire team.
I like to tip and we spent approximately 200 pesos during a week stay. Do not know if this amount good or not enough for the friendly hotel staff.

Why you guys have a practice to send separate team to replace beverages in the fridge? Why room cleaning can not do it? As result, there was no way to relax in 1025 after lunch time.
Our day starts very early on the beach with a lot of swimming until ~ 3PM and I assume, that guests have the right not to be disturbed in their room when the sign “do not disturb” is on the door.
Unfortunately clowns who distribute water have different opinion and then bulling you to provide tips.
Here are few scenarios:

1) Do not put the sign “do not disturb” on the door – the knock loudly ~ 4 PM >>> give you water >> get tip >>> gone for the day.
2) Do not put the sign “do not disturb” on the door – the knock loudly ~ 4 PM >>> tell them you do not need water today >> gone with unhappy faces, but will return later and knock so that looks like door will get of the hinges.
3) Put the sign “do not disturb” on the door – quiet at ~ 4 PM, but they will come later and knock so that looks like door will get of the hinges, despite sign “do not disturb” is on the door.

Beach is the same story, with different player and in addition you get cursed (assuming you do not speak Spanish).
The service to bring lounge pushed on you hard. When by some reason, you did not get help and the guy misses his peso, he will come to you with offer to relocate you to the better place or provide you with the better lounger.
God forbid you will say NO. – He will go away and courses you in Spanish. He new that we do not speak Spanish, but he wasn’t aware, that I know how to translate his choice of wording.
The above applies just to the guy in the black short with the white flowers. Looks like he is the head of the beach “services”. Unfortunately, none of them is wearing badges and I can not refer him by a name.


Gregory

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GregV392
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 18, 2014
Dear Guest:
We very much appreciate your synthetic and well focused characterization of our touristic product. I believe that your review may certainly help other travelers while choosing a destination that would really suit their needs and expectations. Your nice praising comments constitute some valuable motivation for all our staff to keep on working on providing guests a memorable vacation. Thank you so much!
Report response as inappropriate
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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
#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 
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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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