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Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
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Reviewed December 8, 2013

The Royalton is truly a paradise..when we arrived for our two week vacation we were greeted by smiling staff, cool hand towels. We felt like royalty as we were ushered into the lovely bar and were served a welcome cocktail and flambeau fruit skewers....we new this would be a vacation to remember and wow was it ever! It just kept getting better and better the whole time...the ocean view room was beautiful, clean crisp sheets, comfy bed and all the amenities you need. The restaurants were all great, Senses being our favourite..the only thing I would recommend is to brighten the room..I like to see what I eat and you have to see the food they serve to believe it! The lobster was outstanding! The staff work so hard to please you and are always cheerful. The pool environment was fabulous..great to have fruit and meat and cheese skewers delivered...drinks were great..bar tenders the best...we always got a cabana and you could get lots of good snoozing done..I liked they changed the sheets on the outdoor beds daily. We loved the lunch barbeque everyday..we actually had lobster twice and fabulous shrimp and salmon....omg so so good...then there's the beach...I can't say enough about it...so so beautiful and we loved swimming, walking the beach and exploring the beach shore. We were lucky to be part of the first anniversary and Royalton ushered that in with first class style. We are on the group picture and we felt like we were one big happy family sipping a fantastic rum cocktail as we toasted to the best resort in the world. If you like to read, relax, enjoy fine dining, feel pampered and serenity...this is your destination...no kids (we have had those) it's a resort for those who want to selfish and feel like you are at a posh resort and everyone on staff is looking after you. We were always asked if everything was ok and how we enjoy our stay..the staff truly focus on you! We enjoyed the entertainment, the fabulous bands at lunch and dinner and evening performances..nice to have a nightcap in the lounge with our favourite Alex and Andy...great guys who will fulfill any drink ideas you wish to have....we loved that the managers were always around greeting everyone and being so approachable....I can't say enough about this 5+ star resort...I just hope they will have a vacancy for us next November because word is spreading....thank you Royalton for making my two weeks a dream vacation! See you soon!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
6  Thank ikc_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear IKC_11,

We really appreciate you taking the time to write such a wonderful review of your stay at our Royalton. My favorite part of the day is to read our guests comments, because that is what keeps us focused to deliver better every day. We will keep doing our best to create new experiences for our guests, and we will be very happy to pamper you and your friends very soon!

Looking forward to welcoming you to your home in “Paradise”!

Hasta Pronto!

Miguel del Fraile
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We stayed at the a Royalton from Nov. 18-25th. This was our third trip to Cuba, our first to Cayo Santa Maria, it definitely won't be our last. We have travelled to many parts of the Caribbean and stayed at everything from a 3 1/2 to 5 star resorts, this was by far the nicest of all of them. The resort is absolutely stunning, everything from the landscaping to the restaurants and guest suites are impeccably well kept, but the best thing by far is the staff. From the general manager Miguel, to the staff on the beach, everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly, and each person you met seemed so happy to be working there.

From the minute you get off the bus at the hotel you are spoiled. No lining up to check in, after a warm welcome from the staff, your passports are collected and your check in is taken care of while you relax and have a delicious cold drink, skewers of tropical fruits, and a cold cloth to freshen up. Once checked in, your butler meets you, gives you a short tour, then shows you to your very spacious and comfortable suite.Our butlers were Yoldy and Frank, two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. They will do everything to make sure all your needs are met and that you have a fabulous vacation.Our maid Sandra was super, our room was always spotless, well stocked and decorated with towel art and/or flowers. We were very happy to have booked an upper floor, the ocean view in building 11 was breathtaking.

Even though both my husband and I have food allergies, we never went hungry, and enjoyed some really wonderful meals at all of the restaurants. The staff and musicians were fantastic, making every meal a great experience. We also enjoyed the late night room service.

The resort , for us, was the perfect size, and even fully booked, never felt crowded. The crystal clear pools were very inviting, one closer to the reception which was quiet and peaceful, and a second in the centre of the resort which was more lively, and you never had trouble finding a lounger at either. We are beach people and spent every day on the glorious powdery white sand. This is by far, the most beautiful beach we have seen anywhere, you can walk for miles and no one hassles you, and even here you are pampered. Your lounger is set out for you, the sand swept off and frame wiped down, then your towel is laid out for you. The beach waiters do an awesome job. We were fortunate to have Yuri (hope this is spelled right)wait on us daily. He always remembers what you like to drink, has a great personality, and not only brings yummy beverages, but also brings fresh hot made to order pizza and quesadillas at lunch time. He made us smile every day!

We had read the reviews on trip advisor and figured that if our vacation was half as good as what we read, we would be happy. Our experience at this resort superseded all of our expectations, we had the most magnificent vacation ever, and although we don't usually go to the same resort twice, we have recommended the Royalton to all of our family and friends, and are planning to return next year. Bravo to all of you at this resort.

If we could make any recommendation to the hotel, it would be to put toppers on he mattresses, which are very firm, maybe a bench or stool in the shower for the women who shave their legs, and finally, to open a small boutique with Royalton merchandise-we would have loved to purchase things like the Tshirts worn by the staff, or the aprons worn in the Senses dining room, or the caps worn by the beach waiters. Anything really, with the hotel name or logo would make great souvenirs and momentos.

Tips for people thinking about this resort: don't hesitate, book it, change money at the airport, but if you don't, the bank in the pueblo has better rates than the reception, if you can, get an upper floor suite, the view is worth it, and most important...these people will treat you with the outmost respect and courtesy, return the same to them. They do not expect to be tipped, but really appreciate and earn them.

Our deepest gratitude goes out to every staff member we had the good fortune to meet, we had the most wonderful vacation, can't wait to see you all again next time. Gracias, thank you all so much!

Room Tip: Every room is beautiful, upper rooms have the best view.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Diana L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Diana L ,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the best service during your stay with us, but we are also humble and always looking for new ways to pamper our dear guests and make them feel in their home away from home. I will certainly pass along your kind comments to all our team members.

Looking forward to pampering you once again on February!

Hasta Pronto!

Miguel del Fraile
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We went to Cayo Santa Maria October 30 to November 13. Thought we would try out both 5 star adults only resorts on the island. First week at the Royalton and second week at the Melia Buenavista. What a fantastic first week we had, this was my 5 th time to Cuba and I would stay at the Royalton anytime. Beautiful beach, wonderful hotel with nice rooms and fantastic staff. Love that it is not one of those huge resorts with tons of people. When we felt like walking around we would go to Puelbo Estrella. We would sometimes get a golf cart to take us next door for a drink at night for a change of scenery. The staff was wonderful, from the lifeguards at the beach to the butlers. My friends ate so much lobster they couldn't believe it, lobster for lunch, lobster for dinner. The second week staying at the Melia Buenavista we just wanted to go back to the Royalton.

Room Tip: Stayed in building two but because this is not a huge resort I don't think there could be any bad locations.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank happywhenonholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear happywhenonholidays ,

Muchas Gracias for your kind comments! It is so great to hear that you had a wonderful first week in Cuba with us in your home away from home and also that you made the right choice to stay. We will keep working very hard to keep pampering you every visit!

Looking forward to welcoming you back very soon!

Hasta Pronto!

Miguel del Fraile
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Just got back from the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria and I have to say, it was even better than my expectations. Excellent service from our butler Lionel loved him, he was so kind and attentive to every need me and my mother had, always in a good mood and very pleasant to talk with. Dayana at the eggcelence was always smiling and so king loved her also and Drialise went by far out of her way to make us happy. What great staff you have. Miguel was very professional and kind. The resort is very clean, the food is excellent but needs a bit more choices for lunch. Its a must !! We loved it so much we are planning to go back in February !! Thank you everyone we had a great stay !!! Sylvie xxx

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sylvie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Sylvie,

Thank you so much for such a nice review of our Resort and most importantly of our staff. They truly work very hard and we are very proud of each of them. We would love to have you again in our paradise for you to enjoy more of our Royalton and the flavors of Cuba

Warm regards,

Miguel del Fraile
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We arrived mid April for a week.This was our seventh trip to Cuba & first to Cayo Santa Maria.
Arrival - At Resort by 1pm after 4+hr. flight from Halifax,Nova Scotia with Sunwing.Flight adequate...left on time & arrived on time.Hour & a half bus ride from the airport. becareful of any liquids you drink as there is no bathroom on the bus.They do make a "pit stop" at half way mark.On the bus with in 30 minutes of landing.

Reception - Outstanding greeted with cool towels & complimentry drink.Check in was fast & courteous.Taken to our room with in 20 minutes of arriving.

Entertainment - We stayed near the pool for the week.found 'Model Show" invasive...Staff appeared to be partying...asked us for our Buuba mugs with in 30 seconds of introducing themselves.Tied up washrooms as change rooms.Also went to Flamingo Dance on a Friday night...As soon as it was over dancers over "mingling" with guests looking for tips quite up front about it.

Pool - Very nice staff at pool bar excellent....friendly.They do need name tags so they can be properly recognized...especially the bartenders at all the bars who always went above & beyond.Offered BBQ & snacks all day long.Nice touch!

Butlers - Noelvis & Frank definitley customer oriented were always there if you needed them,nothing appeared to be to much trouble.Very polite & friendly.

Beach - Beautiful stretch many kilometers of pure white sand & blue sea.We did find that once you left the 'Royalton" area the other hotels were to close together.You could hear the music pumping from the other resorts.Not to annoying but noticeable.We are a couple in our 50"s so we are not the "partying" type.There is no bathroom facilities beyond the second pool area as you make your way to the beach.A small bar located approx.100 yards from beach.Staff again friendly.Last few steps down to beach are narrow & slippery sand covered...no railings.As you made your way to the right toward the other resorts there was a strong septic odor very unpleasant.

Restraunts & food - Excellent waiters fast efficient service.Surprisingly did not miss the no Buffet.

Dolphin Excursion - Was what we thought had our Pic's taken with Dolphin but staff here were also looking for tips...I don"t consider myself cheap but when you purchase someting for $12.00 & pay with a $20.00 you don"t expect the cashier to ask if you want your change back!We also experienced a rude bus driver on the way back to the resort.He had by passed the Royalton As we were the only ones on the bus. He made it well known he was most annoyed about taking us back after the last drop off. We had him stop about a 1/4 mile from the resort & walked the rest of the way.This was not booked however through the resort so no fault of thier"s.

Rooms - No issue our room attendant was Arazay kept it spotless & her towel art always brought a smile to us. certainly a hard worker & dedicated employee! Air conditioning worked fine.

Staff over numerous times through the week to ask our opinion & took notes.'Super Mario" & Frank" the Tank" were always around to share a joke & pleasant conversation.

Over all we had a nice vacation, you will always hit bumps in the road.In comparrison to the other resorts near by which we visited the Royalton is way ahead...once I left the Royalton to visit other resorts couldn"t wait to get back.Not the nicest resort we have visited in Cuba but certainly far from the worst.We would recommend it to family & friends & would return...price dependent. Also Management always on hand mingling with guests & yes helping out the front line staff which was nice to see.considering they had only been open for a few months i think Royalton is on the upswing....a little bit of work to do but certainly has the foundation laid.Hope this review was helpful with a bit of constructive criticism...everybody will experience there own unique vacation & opinion.We have been to Cuba,D.R.,Mexico you will probably get different opinions from everyone.The adults only is the way to go for those who are middle age+ & not up for the excessive drinking & kids doing cannonballs in the pool.We met with some very nice people from Engalnd & other parts of Canada who were great to relax with & share conversations with,we met a lady from England by the name of Lynn Aylward and took some pics to share with her but have lost her email address - she was travelling from St John's Nfld where she was visitng her daughter and new granddaughter Bobby, born in Feb 2013. If you know Lynn please ask her to contact us at this email. It was quiet & relaxing & was exactly what we wanted. keep on trucking Royalton your heading in the right direction!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear Capebretoner64,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this wonderful review of your stay with us at our Royalton. We will work very hard to create new experiences, and new ways to enhance our service so that you can enjoy a relaxing 2nd visit in your home away from home!

Hasta Pronto!

Miguel del Fraile
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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