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“First trip to cuba but not our last”

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Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“First trip to cuba but not our last”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed at the royalton Jan. 31st to Feb. 14th it was our first trip to cuba and our first 2 week vacation . First the resort is new so most things are in good order and everyday you see a little more improvement in the gardens food and staff. The check in was so easy no need to stand in line at the desk just sit down and have a drink. Our buttler Aldo showed us to our room which was huge . Our other buttler Oscar was better then the first and gave us great tips on things to do and gave us gifts during the week. We ate Most of our breakfast and lunches at the sunset snack bar and our server Ramsey took care of all our needs. The food there was very good a you can find something for everyone. We had most of our suppers changed to senses that is a little more upper class where our server Diane was great he took care of us with wine and great service and a special supper with the flaming flan for our last night . The beach was great with waiter service at your chair also great service at both the upper and lower pools. We went for a walk every morning down to the plaza that had great gifts to by for a good price we even had a pizza there on two days very good. The whole resort was great from our maid Gardner bartender beach attended and Omar and Julie the mangers it was a great two weeks that we will relive everyday till next year when we hope we can go back to the Royalton.

Room Tip: All the rooms are close to the pool beach and bars
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
15 Thank capersinthesum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 23, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you, thank you! Loved your review! Quick and efficient and to the point! It is an honor for us to read that this will not be your last trip to Cuba, great! We made you fall in love, exactly what we wanted!

It seems we were able to communicate to you the desire we have to make your vacation an unforgettable one. All of our staff as you mentionned works with this great goal in mind and what you see is what you get. If we can make it happen for you, we certainly will!

Thank you for your generosity dear clients, it was a pleasure having you with us for 2 wonderful weeks and a greater pleasure to read you wonderful review.

Good news we read! Then we look forward to welcoming you back to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your first love!
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English first
Eastern Passage, NS
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have just returned from a lovely 2 week vacation at the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.
I have read over all of the reviews for this new resort and I first must mention that even though the bus ride from the airport to the resort was 1 1/2 hrs, which many reviewers found to be too long, I found to be enjoyable, as we could take in all the sights and see the real Cuba before we got to the resort. I travelled with my Mum and we stayed in an ocean view room in building #5. We had a beautiful room, especially as everything is still so new. This was my 4th trip to Cuba and, as usual, the staff, like at any of the resorts I have stayed at in Cuba, would go out of their way to make you feel so welcome. Many reviews have mentioned that the staff would basically stand with their hands out waiting for tips at every chance. We never experienced this at the Royalton or at any other resort in Cuba that we have stayed at. We do tip, but because we choose to as the service is excellent. When we're at home we tip, so Cuba is no different. All inclusive on not!! Our two butlers, Orestes and Ariel, were excellent and couldn't do enough for us. They always would check in with with us during the days just to make sure everything was okay and that we didn't want for anything. So a huge THANK YOU to Orestes and Ariel who made us feel both welcome and comfortable for the entire trip.
There are only a few things that I could say that are negative about the resort. The food was not actually that great, which was a surprise as I have never been disappointed with the food in Cuba. The resort really needs a buffet for lunch and dinner. The a la carte menu was really limiting and a buffet would have given us many other choices. They do have a small buffet at breakfast which was great for us, and you could also order off the menu as well.
Lack of Internet was another problem. Although we were told that we could use the internet over at the resort next to us, it was never up the whole 2 weeks we were there. We did find that the phone in our room worked great. Direct line right to home without having to go thru an operator. Just in case you need the phone number to dial home. It's 9-119-1 (area code) + your number. I think it was only $2.25 a min. Which was great for us, as we only needed a minute or two just to check in with home. There was also no fax available
All in all it was an excellent vacation. Thank you to all the management at the Royalton. It is a beautiful resort and you're staff, should be given total credit for eveything they do. They make the resort what it is..GREAT!!!!!.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank Pathe2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 23, 2013
Dear guests:

What a wonderful attitude you have right from the start! Amazing!! Of course the bus ride is an adventure it itself! Good for you! Thank you so much for your generosity, we remember you well and it was such a pleasure to have you around with us for 2 weeks!

For your information, we are changing all of our menus! We now have 3 different a la carte restaurants, Fusion, Gourmet and Gala dinners that are getting fabulous reviews! We have reviewed our menus from what our clients told us they preferred. Vegetables, fruit, variety, desert, everything comes from your suggestions dear clients, so thank you for mentioning to us what you prefer! This is how we get to be the best of the best for you!!

As for Internet, we are still working on the permits, as explained it is a little bit more complicated to get things running here and we are working hard to offer the service to you, even if technically you are right, it should be used at Memories. But no worries, we should get it up and running soon enough!

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear guests, it was wonderful having you and we truly appreciate your generosity, openess and honesty.

We know you are busy, but we certainly hope to welcome you again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your relaxing paradise!
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Ontario, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I absolutely loved it !!

Stayed at the Royalton from the 4th to the 11th.King size bed,ocean view.
The hotel is beautiful,clean,small and quiet.The service was always extremely good in the restaurants, on the beach, at the bar. Alex,our butler was very helpful,omnipresent, polite and so charming.

I have been only twice before this trip to Cuba,once in Cayo Largo and last year at the Melia Las dunas.I thought I would never go back,I loved the beaches and the Cuban people but I didn't like big hotels, loud and crowed.
I avoid doing line up in my life,to wait in line for an omelette is not my thing.So having the restaurants a la carte was wonderful.
I was so pleasantly surprised with the food,I always found something I liked.

The beach is incredible....good service a the beach too( I just hate those little plastic glasses). I read in the French comments a good suggestion,the people from the other hotels come to sit in the Royalton chairs,the man who cleans the chairs has to go to them and make them leave.I even saw people from the hotel beside ordering drinks and getting it. So the hotel should have a sign on both side of the beach noticing that the chairs are for the Royalton guest only.I was in Riviera Maya last year and they do limit their beach like that.The Dream Riviera Cancun,where we were staying,even had a guard on both side of the beach. At the same time it is the best publicity there is,people walking and seeing that beautiful and quiet beach will know the name of the hotel.
I am a very early riser so I always bring some coffee,the coffee machine in the room work fine.I could have had coffee from the 24 hrs room service but in the morning I need my alone time.
I will definitively go back to the Royalton,the service was like a good five stars in Mexico but with better beaches!

I don't know if it could work at the Royalton but the new "trend" in 5 stars hotels is no reservation in restaurants,you just go.If there is a little wait they give you a beeper to tell you when the table is ready.

The service with Sunwing was very good,schedule on time and good flight.

I just can't wait to go back....

Room Tip: Ocean view room was fantastic
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
18 Thank mimosa055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you for your wonderful comments! It was a delight to read you! We are so happy that you enjoyed our hotel and ever honored that you would compare it to a Mexican hotel wow!!

We work hard every day in order to acheive our goal to make your vacation the best one you have ever had and ever will! Here at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, we concentrate on you and you only dear client, all you have to do is let us know what makes you happy!

We are very grateful for your words about our different departments. They come at a good time when we are doing some positive changes in our beautiful little gem and it seems it is working!

Thank you for your suggestions, we have taken good note of them. The reservation system is an excellent one but unfortunately the beepers are not available in Cuba...Maybe in the future!

We sincerely look forward to welcoming you back to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your own little paradise in the sun!
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Chatham, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We just returned from a week at the Royalton. This was our 3rd trip to Cuba and this was the best trip we've had. Roberto & Lionel made sure our every need was met. We enjoyed the 'no buffet' experience-there was always something on the menus we enjoyed. We wanted a relaxing adult getaway and we found it at the Royalton. We stayed in a cabana with 2 floors, 2 decks, 2 bathrooms, shower and Jacuzzi tub and a hot tub on our 2nd floor outdoor deck. We could have stayed a month. Special thanks to Dymme at the pool bar as she was so friendly and made our stay extra special. We plan to go back next year for 2 weeks. Great weather..awesome staff....what more could you ask for?

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
17 Thank Joy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your impressions about our hotel, we are very grateful! So you stayed in our famous Royalton Suites! What a delight they are, and just amazingly beautiful! Unfortunately there are only four, so if you are interested, please reserve them with time to ensure availability. And yes, you can stay for a month if you wish to!

We very much appreciate the fact that you mention the fact that there are no buffets in our beatiful little gem. All the meals and restaurants are a la carte, all the better to serve you dear clients! Our hotel is designed exacty for what you mention: a relaxing adult getaway. Everything is peaceful and quiet, including activities, music and night entertainment. This place is all about getting away from it all!

Thank you once again dear guests, so great to read that you will be back next year, we will be waiting for you!

Until then, we send you a warm greeting from Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, you best Cuba vacation spot!
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Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We travelled on the 7th of February for a week to the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria...reviews had been very positive so we had high expectations. We were not disappointed. Staff was fantastic, especially our butler Roberto! They have a genuine gem in him...he made sure everything was perfect for my fiancés birthday upon our arrival back from our catamaran day trip.

Good excursion but they lost the mark with the cheesy dolphin show and lunch in a cafeteria (food was very good though!). Snorkelling was good and the sailors were excellent hosts, more of a party atmosphere on this trip I think. I'd been on a catamaran with my son some years back in Cayo Coco and we had a beautiful lobster and chicken bbq right on the beach, really added to the experience! We also took the jeep safari trip, what a blast! Great way to see the real Cuba and had lunch at a farm and went on a hike into a cave...even got my 6'4" fiancé on a Cuban horse, now that in itself was worth the price of the excursion!

This resort is brand new. It's very quiet (go next door to Memories for an eye opener), very well maintained, clean, with very good food. I hope the people who have negative things to say must remember this is Cuba, not Hawaii. We read silly things like, "no salt in the omelettes", "no butter or bacon one day", "awful toilet paper", "only one garbage can in the room"...come on, really?! This is a lovely resort, yes, it's more basic than a 5 star in Aruba, but you can't beat the value for money, the people are great, and the beaches along Cayo Santa Maria are beautiful. We had a few little issues, no coffee for the coffee maker a couple of days, no refills on a couple of days in our mini bar (gasp! we had to walk 30 feet to the bar to get a beer!), and we had ants twice in our bathroom. All things were taken care of quickly and with a smile.

All that said however, Sunwing really needs to get their act together. A LOT of complaints from other reviews about how Sunwing handles (or chooses not to handle), airport delays and check in. We were not impressed with their service, but would go back to this resort in a heart beat.

See another reviewer met Bob and Annie from Ontario...I think they were secretly on their second, third or fourth honeymoon - great people!

Room Tip: If you like the pool, ask for the 11 block, if you like an ocean view, pay the extra money before yo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
12 Thank DAPHNE B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear guests:

We did it! We didi it!! We exceeded your expectations! We loved reading your comments! Thank you so much! This is the best news we could ever get!

All these great comments make us want to give even more to our clients and make sure that they have the best vacation experience ever, just like the ones our clients write about. We are very happy to see that we have mananged to do that.

We very much enjoyed reading your realistic comments. And we do now have 2 garbage cans in the room! We have finally received them! All off the comments you have mentioned have been taken care of, including the minibar and coffee. Everything was smoothed out quickly and is easy flowing.

Oh my God, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts! Your comments made our day! Robert says hello, as do all of us!

We sincerely look forward to welcome you back to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, the hotel that exceeds all expectations!!
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed at the Royalton from February 2 - February 9, and had an absolutely amazing vacation!!! It was exactly what we needed to relax, unwind and have some fun. In addition to the outstanding staff, we met some fantastic people who made our vacation even better.

The beach was beautiful, the drinks were good and even better were the lobster and shrimp skewers flambed in Rum at the beach bar!!!! Thank you to Juri, Mario and Franco you sure made our trip fun and made us feel so welcome.

My husband and I took the Havana by Plane tour and I would definitely recommend it. While it's a long day (they pick you up at 6:30am and you don't return until about 9:30pm), it was worth it to see the architecture and the culture. Bring some good walking shoes and water if you go. The plane ride is quick, safe and not too far from the resort.

I would highly recommend the weekly fiesta that they throw in the Pueblo, for $15 it was a great night out with drinks and dancing. We also tried the disco one evening and had a great time.

A very special thank you to Orestes our butler who went out of his way to take care of us the whole week. On our last evening, after a long trip to Havana there was Orestes as we got off the bus waiting to take us back to our room. He had planned a romantic dinner for us complete with candles, wine and flowers. The four course meal he served us was amazing, it was just what we needed on our last night in beautiful Cuba.

Overall we had one of the best vacations that we have ever had and we have travelled throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. While there could have been more choices for food, we never had a bad meal and the service was second to none no matter where we were. The rooms were immaculate, the grounds beautiful and the small size of the resort ensured that you knew everyone! The Royalton was friendly and welcoming and I can honestly say this was the first vacation where we were not ready to come home. We miss it already!

Thank you to everyone at the Royalton for making our trip memorable, we will definitely be back.

Liz and Kevin (Captain Calgary)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Liz E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you for your wonderful comments! You are the proof that we can still have fun in a tranquil place! Your energy is beautiful! It was a blast having you around the hotel!

Aren't our beach brochettes the best? We also have a new BBQ in the lower pool area for lunch to die for! Every day we offer you a different variety of menus to choose from as we are changing and trying out new things all from the comments we recieve from our dear clients!

Your pictures are beautiful, thank you for putting them up and for your generous and positive comments! We remember you well and nothing would make us happier than for you to visit us again!

We look forward to welcomine you back, Liz and Captain Calgary, to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your amazing hotel!
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Alberta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We visited this resort from Feb 5 - 12, 2013
We had a excellent experience! The staff are super friendly and they all went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. I loved everything.
We stayed in Cabana 602. Big with a upstairs bedroom,bathroom. Hot tub on the deck off the main floor. Wow, what a beautiful room. 2 bathrooms, 2 fridges and a up to date digital in room safe.
Our chambermaid Dayami was amazing! Very friendly and left us some beautiful pieces of art out of towels on our bed everyday. I have been to a few different resorts and her displays were the best!
We had 2 butlers, they each work one day,off one day. Their names were Roberto and Lionel. 2 amazing people, we are very glad to have met them and I can say I would recommend them both to anyone who visits this resort. We had some friends come 2 days after us from Nova Scotia. We had the opportunity of meeting one of their butlers, Noelvis was his name. Also a very nice, polite friendly man.
There is a market right there at the resort, it runs between the Royalton and Memories resorts. It is cheaper than the market that is in town. But both markets are nice to visit. We learned after a couple of days that the vendors change out each day. So, if you see something you like, I would suggest getting it then, it may not be there when you go back.
No there is no buffet there and yes that does suck. You don't always like the thing you've chosen to eat. We did get in a little people mover van and had a fun ride to the joining memories resort and ate at the buffet there. It was good. But please don't let the food get you down on visiting this resort. I am pretty picky but I also never went hungry. This is a leisurely, quiet resort. It is not a big, loud party resort. There is a bowling ally between the 2 resorts and we had a great game one night. Webrought cards and had a game another night. They do have little music shows at night but nothing big like any of the other resorts we've been. That would really be the only thing that I would change there. Evening entertainment to pass away a hour or so during the night.
But Yes, I would for sure visit this resort again.
The beach has a couple of guys sitting right next to the stairs that will go a make sure to find you chairs to lay on, which I found to be pretty awesome. The sand is so white and fine and the water is crystal clear. Beautiful.
You can change your canadian money to cuban money at the main desk, but go in the daytime because most of the little money is gone by night time. You can also go 5 minutes away and get money changed at a bank, but you will need to bring your passport to show to change money.
Yes there is a long bus ride to the resort, but they do provide cold beer, lol and the bus is comfortable and air conditioned, there is a very nice guide that will tell you all about the little towns you are driving thur and it is a very nice scenic drive. The time flew and we enjoyed seeing the sites on the way to the resort.

Room Tip: Our room was right up front to the left of the lobby. # 602 it is more expensive but beautiful. Our...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank smurfAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Dear guests,

Thank you for your wonderful comments, it was such a pleasure to read you! You stayed in one of our Royalton Suites, aren' t they gorgeous??

We appreciate your comments and have taken note of everything. Although unfortunately a buffet is not in the plans for the future, we are adding new things to satisfy every bit of your hunger! We have lobster,shrimp and filet mignon brochettes at the beach that are served to you and also a new BBQ in the lower pool area that is all the rage! We are also changing the menus to our restaurants and have brand new fusion, gourmet and gala dinners every night!

As for the entertainement, although we have added a show with dancers, our hotel offers light entertainement during the day and the evening. It is very much a place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings...We have taken note though and see what changes can be done to spice it up a little!

But you are right! There is still the Memories next door who offers excitment, buffets and lively night entertainment thay you can enjoy before coming back to your darling Royalton!

Thank you for your comments dear guests, they were very helpful and enjoyable! It is so grea to read that you would like to come back and visit us!

We look forward to welcoming you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your excellent hotel!
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Additional Information about Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

Property: Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
Address: 05200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royalton Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 122
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