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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
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Reviews (4,616)
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Reviewed May 2, 2014

The best? The animation team!! And the beach!!! They are amazing people always wanting to have fun and to entertain the clients. The pool is amazing. The volley field on the beach was also awesome.
What didn't fulfill my expectations was the snack bar, since they only served meal food and alcohol but not really "snacks", which at some times would have been useful.

The worst? The service. There was many times when in the buffet we asked for coffee and we had to wait a lifetime for it. Or many other times dirty dishes were accumulated in our tables. This is indeed a cultural thing. All workers are cubans, and they have their own rhythm for doing things and low motivation. This is my general vision, comparing it with other stays I've had in other resorts. Of course, it is not applicable to all workers, since there were many other ones very friendly and kindly to help and serve.

Room Tip: There are rooms nearer the center of the hotel (pools restaurants) and rooms a bit more far away. It depends on what you want to choose whether you want to live the activities and facilities of the hotel or the quiet of a good vacations.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Cristina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Dear Cristina G

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 such as breakfast will have higher quality.
Thank you for your contribution.

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Reviewed May 2, 2014

Like to start off saying my wife and I have travelled to many places and many resorts in the last 15 years and we both think we found the only resort that we will stay at again . As to any place you travel there are good and bad things to be found ,but my vacation is to relax and let the simple things go and the one thing that I found with this resort was our A/C did not keep the room cool enough for me, the simple fix to this would to clean the A/C coils and put in filters problem solve ,I work on A/C units this is why I know .
Now for all the good points to this place starting with the staff there was not one staff member that did not go overboard to help or serve you and with a smile always. Starting with Meybis at the front desk she went beyond any service I have ever gotten at any resort ,we upgraded to Ocean view with out a problem and the other ladies there at the front desk were very pleasant. also ,Next the kitchen and wait staff Yoan ,Angel you two made our breakfast and suppers a pleasure Yoan always made my wife a flower arrangement, The cooks made us any thing we asked for and brought it to our table,The young man at the rice station great job.Freddie you are the best and a very humble person.The room was super clean every day and her towel art was good but to but our night maids went over board every night the art they made I have never seen before thank you Tamara and Yusleidi ,the grounds keepers do one hell of a job this place is so well groomed and thank you Pedro for the lesson in the art of getting a coconut milk out .As you can tell by some of my comments why our trip here was great this was also our second trip here stayed 7 years ago what a great improvement since then.
One thing I noticed was there was always managers walking the resort and the GM asked how our stay was nice touch. The detail to things was very evident all over the resort ,at the entrance to the buffets at night there were people in costumes see the pictures.The entertainment was awesome every night ,One night a Cuban rock band ,playing Pink Floyd ,Ac/DC ZZTOP NEVER WOULD I HAVE THOUGHT THAT IN CUBA AND THEY HAD THE PLACE ROCKING .The show stopper was the Michele Jackson show these young men and women danced like nothing I have ever saw,man they were GOOD .
I hope you get my drift on this? Food was good always found some thing to eat the rice station is the best Pools very clean and the snack bar by the pool has the best food in Cuba and the best pizza in Cuba .
The Beach always clean and could always find a place in the shade if not we asked if we could share the shade never a problem,
I also want to say this is from my point of view not saying other comments are not founded but I have never had any problems that could not be resolved.I think for the money value this place is good and well worth a try ,We were there in April 23rd till 30th and not as full as in the peak season. Mary from the Air Transat distinction Club great job also Daniell a pleasure to deal with .
In closing I ask Jorge you should never change your staff as this is your diamond in the rough hope every one else has a good time like my wife and I did.We will be back next year
thanks Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Room Tip: Stayed in Ocean view room 724 great view close to beach
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank HD83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Dear Guests from Halifax Nova Scotia,
We are flattered by your review which highlights our services and the warm and joyful way guests are treated by our staff. We certainly consider our employees our strongest point since it is them who actually make the difference. You make us feel really proud by assuring, so enthusiastically, that you will be back to MCSM.
We heartily thank your praising words which will definitively cause a positive impact in our potential guests reading you. It will be a great pleasure to welcome you back for another vacation in your new home away from home.

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Reviewed May 2, 2014

Travelled April 23 to 30th with my husband. This was our first time to Santa Maria having gone to Varadero last April. We chose this resort based on its size and the reviews. When we arrived at the airport in Santa Clara I had some money exchanged, this was not necessary as it was easily exchanged at the resort at the main reception desk. The hour and a half bus ride was a fantastic way to see the countryside and the tour guides on the bus provided some information regarding the towns we passed through, I did not find the ride long at all. Before boarding the bus we received our bracelets and room cards, however you did have to stand in line at check in so they can scan your passport.
We arrived at the resort greeted by dancers and some champagne. We quickly had our passports scanned and then were off to find our room, with our luggage to follow us.
We had booked elegance club through air transat, which was to include bottle of rum in our room, slippers, housecoats, pre-booked a la cartes, snorkeling lesson, beach party and designated rooms. We were booked in room 2012 building 20. I dont think this was designated area as there were non elegance guests in the same building. We did appear tho to have the luxury room. Upon entering our room we noticed the air conditioning was not working well at all nor was the fridge. My husband also took a quick showere and the bath did not drain. After reported these issues to the the front desk and Maria at elegance club a repair man did come and fix everything within a reasonable timeframe. We did receive our housecoats, no slippers but did get an extra bottle of rum. Our a la cartes were prebooked, our fridge was stocked. We never did get the snorkeling lesson, but we also did not inquire about it. The beach party for elegance club was just supper at the beach restaurant, it was okay, I was hoping for lobster but there was none.

Room: Our room was nice, but outdated. I wouldnt call it clean but I always bring sanatizing wipes with me and wipe the bathroom when we arrive. Our sheets were not changed during the week and the maid just refolded our towels most of the week, we got a few clean ones. However this was not a big deal because I only wash my bed sheets at home once a week. TV was old but had a decent selection of english channels.

Pool: There are two pools, both beautiful and pretty clean. I really liked how the pool was deep enough at the ends that it was chin level for me, allowed me to really swim a bit. While we were there you could get a palapa pretty much anytime of day at the pool. Service was good, they would come around about once an hour to grab your drink order, I liked this and did not have to pay for this as an upgrade as you might at some other resorts. The pool was relatively quiet but with some entertainment. On Cuba day they had some dancers and a pig roast which was nice. They also had super churros another day by the pool, which is somewhat like a sugar donut, so good a must try! I really enjoyed my days by the pool.

Beach: Beautiful! My husband would get up around 730am to get us a palapa, but the last two days there was no need as there was usually a few free ones all day.
The beach is beautiful, water is clear and a lovely green/blue. However this beach is out in the Atlantic ocean and not sort of sheltered like the varadero strip, so it had more wind which unfortunately made for all yellow flag days and one red. This was a little bit of a downer as you can not relax in the calm water because of the waves and was not ideal for children and those who cant swim as there was also a significant drop off. Overall they beach visually was nicer than varadero however for the swimming conditions and calmer water varadero is a better option.

Food: I found the food at this resort to be fairly decent. Breakfast we always had french toast prepared by Danny which was delicious. Lunch was either at the pool snack bar which had great pizza and club sandwhiches or the beach snack bar which had something on the grill everyday. My husband had fish and chips which was a whole red snapper and he said it was delicious. I enjoyed the food at the buffet for supper, the past was good and there was usually a roast or ham carved. Cappuccinos at the lobby bar were fantastic.

Resort: A great size, overall clean and beaufiful. Lots of cats which we really enjoyed, we brought cat treats with us which they loved. If I had any complaint it was be no soap in the washrooms, the beach washroom was a little gross. Also lots of flies at the buffet.

Staff: I found the staff was great, at the buffet, front desk, beach waiters, lobby all of them were friendly and happy.

Pros:
-beautiful beach
-great pools
-drink service at pool and beach
-friendly staff
-good entertainment
-overall food

Cons:
-windy beach, yellow and red flags
-no soap in washrooms
-flies at buffet
-lots of french canadians at this resort(rude)

Our tour guide on the bus said by 2015 or 2017 there will be 21 resorts in this area, there are currently 9 or 10. I just hope they are not building them for the Americans to come, althought I would think this is the case

I would return to this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank roxytan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Dear Roxytan,
Receive our most respectful greeting from sunny Cuba.
We heartily appreciate you honest review. We understand some of our services did not exactly meet all your expectations but we thank your giving us the chance to identify these improvement opportunities. We can proudly say that some of the issues mentioned in your review, such as that of the beach shades and sun beds, have already been solved and we keep implementing positive changes. Concerning the lack of soap in the washrooms, we have already taken some measures for them to be replaced consistently. I would also like you to know that in all buildings there are certain rooms assigned for the Elegance Club members.
It will always be a pleasure to welcome you at Meliá Cayo Santa María and serve you as our guests.

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Reviewed May 1, 2014

We travelled from April 1st to the 15th and we will be going back. The beach is amazing, the staff is absolutely wonderful and the resort is gorgeous, quiet and small. There's a 90 minute bus ride from the airport..a bit long but in an air conditioned bus with lovely views of the countryside and the ocean.

The beach is truly beautiful with clear blue water, lots of waves and miles of beach to walk on. You have to get up early to get a lounger in the shade but its worth the time because you can watch the sunrise too.

The food is really good and we tried all four a la carte restaurants. The French and Japanese were our favourites but the Mediteranean was really good. The Italian was our least favourite - just not enough italian food on the menu. All the restaurants are decorated well and the staff is very attentive.

Our room was also very nice. The balcony had a screen door so we were able to leave our balcony door open all night and listen to the crickets and birds. We were in building 24 facing the back so it was very quiet except for music playing from the pueblo nearly...not loud enough to bother us though.

The 24 hour snack bar near the pool had great pizza and (as everywhere on this resort) very friendly staff.

The staff really make this place great. Everyone was nice, friendly and there was always someone at the lobby desk who spoke either English or French. It was easy to exchange our canadian dollars at the front desk as well.

The only complaints we had were small....the room towels were not in the best condition although they were clean. The room needed some repairs but these were taken care of as soon as we reported them.

We took the Transat elegance package which we enjoyed. The Transat reps were both very nice and answered all the questions we had.

Excursions: we took the daytime catamaran, sunset catamaran and Santa Clara\Remedios. All were fun and worth the money.

The Pueblo La Estrella is the larger of the two pueblos were you can go shopping. We found lots of nice souvenirs there. The panoramic bus is free but a taxi only costs 3 to 5 pesos and is worth it. The Pueblo Las Dunas is just a couple of minutes walk away and had more souvenirs for sale than we expected.

Room Tip: Small resort-all the rooms are easy walking distance to the beach. Building 24 was in a quiet area.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Lise_Barrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Dear Lise_Barrie,
Receive our most respectful greeting from sunny Cuba.
We heartily appreciate you honest review. We understand some of our services did not exactly meet your expectations but we thank your giving us the chance to identify these improvement opportunities. We can proudly say that, concerning what you say about the conditions of the beach towels, many of them have already been changed. However, we keep working in implementing positive changes.
Thank you for your contribution.

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Reviewed April 30, 2014

This resort was out of the way and very quite
No towns close to us but that was OK
Food was very good other than beef
Chicken and fish was best at supper
Beach was weather was excellent
I hightly would go back to this resort

Room Tip: A resort worth going to again to have a peacefull time
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank vegaman51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge B, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Dear Vegaman51,
We are so proud to know guests may get such a good impression of our resort! It feels really nice to receive such nice compliments! We are certain that future travelers will benefit from your experience when choosing their next relaxing hide-away. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with them.
See you soon!

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