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“First time to Cuba”
Review of Melia Las Dunas

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Melia Las Dunas
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We went for 1 week from Feb 4-11. The trip from the airport was quite long, although not a negative. We arrived at the hotel, there was no one to tell us where to go so we ended up trying to check in at the money exchange. Our baggage was taken to our units which were comfortable. We had a towel animal in our room every day, we did tip daily. The beach was absolutely incredible, a person could walk for miles. We were also lucky to have beautiful weather for our stay. The staff were for the most very friendly, especially Karel the guy in the lobby bar who wheels his cart of alcohol around every night. Cheers to him. Breakfasts were .. great, the omelette gals were so friendly, nothing was too much trouble. We had lunch on the beach every day, it was okay., we found this meal the most, We found the supper lines quite long, but we did usually find something we liked. We did not find the cats annoying, we like cats.
We would definately go back to this place

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank kadence681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberto J, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Kadence:

I want to thanks you for let us know your opinion. It was a pleasure to read you are happy to have been here in Melia Las Dunas.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience during your check in. We always have somebody around the entrance to show the way to our front desk, located just at left of the welcome area.
I will extend your greetings to Karel in our lobby bar, I´m sure he will remember you.

You can be sure it will be our pleasure to receive you again and satisfies all your expectations. Do not hesitate to contact us if you decide to give us another chance.

Best regards,

Alberto Jerez

General Manager

Melia Las Dunas

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Reviewed February 13, 2013

The resort was very nice and the rooms large and clean. Most of the staff were pleasant and helpful. While it's true that you don't go to a resort in Cuba for the food I have to add that the food was quite simple and repetitive but no one would starve here; it was disappointing that certain food items ran out quickly and were not replaced, never to appear again for the week we were there. Breakfasts with the egg stations were the best, especially the made-to-order fruit smoothies. The lobby bar made the best coffee and cappucino.

The 'relax' pool always had lounges available but had no music or activities of any kind. The evening entertainment at the theatre was either non-existent or repetitive of previous evenings. The grounds were nicely maintained and I liked the fact that the size of the property required a bit of a walk each day. There were also shuttles going back and forth constantly for those who did not want to walk.

This resort is not at all 5-star as is listed on some travel websites. Everyone has different expectations and standards, so this has to be considered when reading each review.

In general they try very hard but if you want an upscale resort this is not it.

Room Tip: If you choose an oceanview room, ask for a room on the second floor so you actually have a great vie...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Buseeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberto J, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Buseeb:

I want to thank you for take your time writing in trip advisor. Your opinion is very important to us in order to increase all services we provide to our clients.

I´m so sorry because we could not fulfill your expectations, but believe me Melia Las Dunas is one of the best options in all Cuban beach hotels. I agree with you we are not an exclusive hotel, but according to our category, our standard is a reference in the area.

I´m so happy to read your comments regarding our gardens, we will take into account your opinion of our animation activities and gastronomic offer, I will check every single detail of it and you can be sure we will show you a new face by your next visit.

Best regards,

Alberto Jerez

General Manager

Melia Las Dunas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

I have been to Cuba only once before and that was Veradero 3 years ago and altho it was a 5 star and a brand new resort the food was ok. I have been to the DR twice, more recently, and the food there was better; that is, until I went back to Cuba to the Melia Las Dunas Resort. Although this is rated a 4 star, the food, I thought, was top notch certainly comparable to the DR, in fact I would say that it was better. The staff were more than accomodating; in fact the last day of our trip was our son and daughter's birthday, I know same birthday good family planning; having said that; the manager at the Buffett had, upon our request, set up a table for the 10 of us and when we were seated poured each of us champagne (there were a total of 3 bottles) and a birthday cake (which was very tasty by the way). The waiting staff couldn't do enough for you to make the celebration happier. My next vacation, Cayo Santa Maria and the Melia Las Dunas.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Debbie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorMLD, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2017

Dear Guest:

Thanks a lot for taking your time sharing your experience on Trip Advisor web site and showing to all the travelers how good is our hotel.

It will be a pleasure to receive you here again, thanks again for trust in Cuba, Melia Hotels International company and our Melia Las Dunas hotel.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you decide to give us the chance to serve you again.

Best regards,
Laurent Labal
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

I have found you can not keep everyone happy.
Yes the resort is large and you have problems walking it is gonna be hard but I found the food so good I needed the extra walking.
Yes there is cats but in my eyes I never saw a rodent. The cats more than keep them in check.
I found the food comparable to anywhere I been including DR and on way back to airport I heard the people behind me complaining they almost starved cause the food was so bad.
I know we were there at same time and was totally confused but to each their own.
Yes from time to time things run out. Oh well choose another drink or food. Was not a big deal.
I do not go to places to meet people and was shocked that my Wife and I made friends that just seeing them made me smile. Yusimy in the Buffet is a very good person and the service was very professional.
Mirely at the egg station put up with my brutal Spanish and helped me learn a new word each day.
There is others that I would love to thank for making my vacation a great one but I am brutal with names
My wife and I are already trying to find our way back which I thought I would never say because people always told me Cuba is not the place to go for food ... I was proved wrong

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
19  Thank KodiakOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My boyfriend and I traveled to Cayo Santa Maria Feb 1 - Feb 9 (We were delayed an extra day due to the blizzard in Toronto). We landed later on Friday Feb 1 from Sunwing flights, the bus shuttle took approx 90 mins from the Airport and although it was dark, the guide was still able to point out buildings etc of importance and gave us some history on Cuba. We were given our room keys, wristbands etc on the bus and our bags were delivered to our room. My only complaint about this was it was difficult to find our room in such a large resort so late at night (though we could have asked for help). Our room was about a 5 minute walk from the lobby and beach and most restaurants but quite close to the pool. Our room was very clean upon arrival, my only complaint was a large spider on the ceiling. We did not go to any of the a la cartes as we were both quite iffy on the food quality in Cuba as we had read on Trip Advisor so we stuck to the buffets. I was quite pleased with the variety in the buffet. I found all the pasta to be very good and the fresh fruits and vegetables were of good quality. I did not eat any meat on this trip just to be on the safe side. The beach was absolutely breath taking and even in my own pictures it is not done justice. The beach is quite busy from 10 am - 1 pm and you likely wont be able to find a beach chair during this time. The pools were well maintained and not overly busy or loud. I didn't find the entertainment to be anything above average as compared to other resorts. The service at the lobby bar is quite poor later at night, very hard to get a drink and we found that unless asked most drinks (ie pina coladas, daquiris) were made without alcohol. The maids were very kind to us, we were sure to leave tips everyday as well as gifts such a perfume samples. Our maid went out of her way to thank us (many different times) for the gestures. The grounds are well cared for, and a gardener had stopped us one day to give us a grasshopper he had made from a palm tree leaf which amazed us! We tipped him as well. There was a particular waiter at the buffet who always remembered us, remembered our drink choice and always gave me a flower at lunch time. The main buffet was always quite busy at dinner time but the one to the side (Remedios) was just as good and quite slow most nights. We only went on one excursion, The Jeep Safari - which I enjoyed very much as I find it important to really experience what the country is all about. Be warned that you are taken into the country side where bathrooms are less than ideal to use, and eat a traditional cuban lunch. We were offered sweet potatoes, rice and pork. When traveling through the cities I witnessed at several places improper storage of meats as in a pile of dead plucked chicken sitting in the sun. We also witnessed a meat salesman with the same thing a wooden platter of meat sitting in the sun. I advise strong caution eating meat off the resort. If you chose to go through the tours I would advise to bring gifts for the children. The locals who live on the route of the Jeep Safari wait at the roads waving at the cars and are so thankful when they are given gifts of candy, toys etc. Overall our week was very relaxing, would I return? I would not return with a large group of friends but would strongly rec this resort to couples or those looking to relax!

Room Tip: The resort is very large so regardless of where your room is, walking will be required. We had alot...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Tdane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberto J, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

Dear Tdane:
First of all many thanks to take your time letting know us your opinion. Let me tell you I´m always checking these reviews in order to increase our services.
We are so happy to read your comments and we will take into account every single detail. Just to point out something, I need to clarify that here into the hotel we follow all the rules to preserve all kind of meals, so do not be afraid of it. I´m so sad to read you never were in our thematic restaurants, believe me could be a very nice experience.
Our staff is waiting to you in your next visit, will be a pleasure to receive you again with the commitment to give you another amazing stay.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything else.
Best regards,
Alberto Jerez
General Manager
Melia Las Dunas Hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Got back from a 1 week at MLD, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 9. This was my third time in Cuba and I've always stayed at Melia Resorts so far. This hotel is no exception; clean, professional staff, good food (for Cuba), magnificent beach, beautiful grounds. There is 2 sides, one for families and one for adult. We requested a standard room on the second floor on the adult side and got what we wanted. Our maid did a great job every day. However, the king sized bed was not very confortable.

The resort is huge, so there was a lot of walking. We did not mind; that was our daily exercise. Waiters at the buffet were always nice and found us a good table. Their service was exceptional. Plus, they speaked English, French and Spanish.

We had to get up early to get a chair at the beach, cause by 11AM, we couldnt find one. As for the pool, chairs and beds were available all day long.

There were about 6 cats hanging out on the resort and were not dangerous at all. Everybody was petting them and got them food. I dont understand why some people gave a bad review because of cats, because they were always staying near the lobby, under a tree.

It is a very nice resort and I have nothing to complain about, except for the bed. Cuba is Cuba and you wont get the same standard as Mexico or anywhere else. You go to Cuba for beaches and the culture. Not for the food, or luxe, or comfort. Make your homeworks and learn what Cuba is before going and make pointless reviews.

If you have any question, please dont hesitate to send me an email!

Room Tip: Send an email to the resort 2 or 3 weeks before departure, requesting what you want. If you can...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Eric297
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorMLD, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2017

Dear Guest:

Thanks a lot for taking your time sharing your experience on Trip Advisor web site and showing to all the travelers how good is our hotel.

It will be a pleasure to receive you here again, thanks again for trust in Cuba, Melia Hotels International company and our Melia Las Dunas hotel.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you decide to give us the chance to serve you again.

Best regards,
Laurent Labal
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We found our week at Melia Las Dunas Jan 26-Feb 2 very enjoyable. The walls are a somewhat thin. The rhythmic snoring from next door put us to sleep every night, though I'm sure they could say the same from our side. One of us thought the food was excellent while the other thought it was just average. The espresso & cappuccino every morning in the lobby was excellent. The staff has a great attitude for the hours they work & all of the people they have to put up with. The beach was excellent. We walked from one end to the other over the week. Speaking of walking, yes the resort is large & there is a lot of walking. What a great way to work off the extra food & drink intake everyday. The weather was about 50% great & 50% poor, but as one patron said, "you can't shovel rain, there is ice in my drink & my phone doesn't work". (it does if you choose but it cost's a lot of $$$). All of the staff at the lobby bar are excellent. Special shout out to Harold...
We had trouble with our lock one day. After walking back & forth to the lobby a few times, they had the guy from maintenance come over on his bike. He was really professional and I was amazed at his ability to repair. Much better than most maintenance staff at US/Cdn hotels. Really enjoyed the lobby & outdoor entertainment. the sax player is awesome. The cover band "Cry Out For" was really awesome. The evening shows were average and the dancers are very talented but it got a little tiresome every night. Bring kleenex if you want & also they didn't have any paper towl & used toilet paper. A little different but really was just a first world annoyance. We went to the spa for a couples massage and was able to utilize the whole spa. Very enjoyable. We'd recommend this hotel for any age group as it had something for kids, young parents, young adults, and even some of us older folk. Remember, vacations are what you make them. If you're expecting the Ritz, spend the money & go to the Ritz. If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive, enjoyable, laid back vacation, Melia Las Dunas, this is the spot.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ted P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberto J, Director General at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

Dear Thede:
Many thank for let us know your opinion. I´m very happy you mentioned some point of our service you found really well. We are always trying to increase the offer and provide to our clients their best experience.
I will extend this review to my staff and will be our pleasure to receive you again, with better weather I believe.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything else.
Best regards,
Alberto Jerez
General Manager
Melia Las Dunas Hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melia Las Dunas

Address: Cayo Santa Maria, Caibarien, Villa Clara | Jardines del Rey, Villa Clara, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#6 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Las Dunas 5*
Number of rooms: 925
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Magic and Legend unveils an ancient story that goes back in time to 1492, with the discovery of America. Melia Las Dunas, a 5 star resort, All Inclusive, ideal for your vacation with your Family, Reunion & Incentives, Weddings, Honeymoon Distinguished by the variety of services, the inviting atmosphere and the confort of its facilities, Melia Las Dunas offers the vacations of your dreams. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Melia Las Dunas Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Hotel Las Dunas
Melia Las Dunas Cuba

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