Family of 4, 45, 42, 14, & 12 years old - March 9th to 15th - - First of all I would like to start by saying that anyone who gives this resort a very high rating has obviously never stayed at a high end resort before. Resort is medium large, (there are bigger resorts out there)... But also much smaller ones. I dont mind the larger resorts as walking in the sun and warmth is what I like to do. Airport is very small and its quick to get through. But when you are waiting to leave for 3 hours, there is very little there compared to Cancun airport for example where you can walk around and snoop or go on the internet.
Cuba is different than Mexico or Dominican... You dont have ketchup, no butter, no coke or pepsi on the resort (but oddly enough its available off the resort), this is just one small example of how I would say they cut their costs, but not offering good quality sodas, which then makes the drinks taste crappy. If you like beer, not problem, I would recommend the beer, its quite good.
They do not keep this resort as clean or up to the standards that I am used to. There were a couple of toilet seats missing on public washrooms, and when they run out of toilet paper, it takes a while before it is refilled. If they run out of paper towels from the dispenser, they simply put 2 rolls of toilet paper in, which as you can imagine is fun to peel off your hands after you wash and try to dry. Buffet plates are OFTEN not clean, they still have food on them from the previous user (yuck), and soft food, not like it is baked on from the dish washer, but rather just rinsed and placed back in the rack (yuck again).
The food was sub par. OFTEN, the lasagna was cold, the chicken was cold, and then the next day it would be warm, lack of consistency. Overall food was ok (3 out of 5), but with the consistency of cold/warm being low, I would rate the buffet as poor overall - it simply made the experience less enjoyable.... VERY LITTLE FRESH FRUIT. Apparently spending over $6000 on this resort for a family of 4 during March break gets you delmonte fruit salad in a bowl, canned pinneapple, and other canned fruit. It would have been easier to get fresh fruit at my local grocery store here in Waterloo Ontario in January than this tropical region... They have Mango trees and talk about them on the way too the resort and back, but try to find a mango on the resort... Good luck.
Buffet food was also very similar EVERY night, not really anything different, just some small changes. There is a long lineup at the omelete station and the pasta station. instead of having a person supply the station with fresh product and wash the pans etc, the chef is supplying the station and washing the pans, this means a 20 minute wait behind 15 people to get some pasta in a pan heated up. UNACCEPTABLE !!!!
Beach was absolutely beautiful, we had a blast at the beach. This was a super plus of the resort, and Cayo coco or Cayo Santa Maria island beaches are known to be some of the best around. Water was fairly warm, probably 80 or so... Windy at beach at time, and weather was a bit cool a couple days, but thats not the resorts fault.
Rooms, are fairly basic, face clothes are hard to come by, but if you bribe the maid you will get some daily. Overall we were ok with the rooms, even though you could feel the springs in the beds a bit, you can always put a blanket on top of the matt if you are uncomfortable, and the extra blankets kept us warm on one night that was a bit cool.
Staff were generally ok, I found them to be a bit stern, as in straight faced, not smiling very much. Some were more friendly than others, and I did tip a bit, but sometimes when I would wait at the buffet table in the morning for my orange juice for 4 of us, the waiter would just stand there and not even notice me until I started waving, then I would be reluctant to leave any tip.... I thought this was a bit rude as others would come to you right away and ask you if you would like any drinks, and I would leave a small tip for them.
A la Carte restaraunts are better than the buffet, would recommend them. Quite good actually.
Overall I would say the resort was just OK by my standards, but the fresh fruit situation there really threw me off, and just some of the other quality issues... It can be a bit crowded around the bar at night but overall this wasnt a concern. The shows at night I would give a 4 to 7 out of 10 depending on what they are putting on. The pathways at night are not that well lit, There are some chunks of stone missing around the pool that you can trip on if you are not looking.
Dolphin experience off resort if quite reasonable for $75, and my daughter found it awesome.
Get a top floor room if you can, and try to avoid the smog machine if you can when you are out walking.
You might find some of the smaller restaurants that are open over lunch to be better than the buffet, I would say the buffet was overall the worst food. But the convenience of it makes you want to go to it, so it impacts the quality of your experience. Other buffets I have been to have be very good compared to this one. The restaurant behind the pool bars have a decent burger.
I only rate the location average due to the 2 hour drive from the airport, otherwise with the beach being very nice I would have rated it higher.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA and HotelsClick so you can book your Melia Las Dunas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Melia Las Dunas Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
- Melia Cayo Santa Maria
- Melia Hotel Las Dunas
- Melia Las Dunas Cuba