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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

TIPS: Bring your own straws as I don't recall seeing any at the resort. Bring seasoning salt for the food. Ketchup is scarce as people hog it so bring your own packets if you love it on everything. Stay on the resort on Wednesday night as it is the best buffet dinner, entertainment show and on-site disco party.

The Dancers: Laura, the bubbly blonde; Linetta, the risk taker; Roberto, the choreographer; and Carlos who is always dancing enthusiastically with guests and other dancers. Shely is genuinely engaging as part of the entertainment team on the beach and by the pool. Everybody is respectful and not pushy trying to get you to participate and they genuinely enjoy their jobs and it shows.

The Wednesday night entertainment was incredibly amazing. I would pay good money to watch that 9:30PM dance show. I'd say it is rated PG13 - may be inappropriate for young children due to some sexually explicit dance moves.
After the show, there is a disco with open bar that stays open late. You get to dance with the professional dancers and it's a great time!

The entertainment team really makes the vacation fun and memorable. They enjoy getting to know you. You can also win bottles of alcohol if you participate and win competitions!

There are no pushy people soliciting you to buy anything on the resort nor on the beach.

The beach is amazing. Soft white sand and clear shallow water. January is cooler temperatures and high winds so you are constantly being pelted with blowing sand while laying on the beach. It's warm when it's sunny but when the clouds roll over, it's chilly. Locals suggest April for less wind. Beach chairs are free and plentiful and there are people who help you bring them to the spot you want and brush off the sand.

*there are fresh coconuts available in the hut right before you take the boardwalk onto the beach - usually available after 10:30AM - he also creates things out of the leaves like a hat, flower etc. Suggestion: take the coconut juice and add vodka.

The actual resort is huge. We were in Room 2575 (Bungalow 25) which was near the beach and the pool so it was great...but far from the restaurant and lobby. Lots of greenery and lots of walking and it's so quiet in the morning and night. The paths could be better lit - we needed to use our cellphones for flashlights at night. The golf carts are infrequent but if they're around, try to jump on. The Estrella market is nothing special but where you can buy souvenirs and have a paid restaurant meal. Most guests are Canadian, some from Quebec and Russians. Lots of families.

FOOD: Adrian and Jose took care of us most days in their section. You can sit anywhere in the dining room without being seated.

The good stuff at the buffet tends to be located where the omelettes and grilled meat stations are. Closer to the theatre entrance.

Guests go crazy for the fries and hashbrowns so they go fast when they come out. Lineups are long for the breakfast crepes and the dinner churros as they are made fresh. I think we waited almost an hour for churros and they weren't worth it.

Wednesday night has the best buffet dinner with a whole roasted pork, a whole salmon, boiled shrimp, mussels, razor clams. They had 1 acapella group and 1 live band perform 1 set in the dining room.

Bars don't open until 10:30AM so if you want alcohol before, try requesting it in the buffet breakfast restaurant.

I would say don't bother with the a la carte restaurant as it's clearly the same ingredients at the buffet but plated nicely with place settings. We had an 8PM reservation for the Mexican menu (changed from "international" the day of) and many items were unavailable. Ex. only 2 appetizer options out of 5, only chocolate and strawberry ice cream were available for dessert when the menu has 5-6 options.

The 24 hour snack bar by the pool only offers small sandwiches on the same buns and fries. The chicken sandwich tastes and looks like tuna salad. I was not a fan but the fries were good. The beach bar only offers sandwiches but they are better because they use a panini grill.

We also found a small bar hut further east on the beach on our last day that's near the currently closed section of the resort - they play easy listening music.

Room tip: There are no elevators but there are only 3 floors. Bungalow 25 is next to the beach and the pool.
Date of stay: January 2020
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank klo8it
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rrssBDcuba, Director General at Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Kristine,

On behalf of all Starfish Cayo Santa Maria staff, we would like to give you a huge thank you for providing part of your time to share such a detailed and breathtaking review with the TripAdvisor readers. Trust me when I say that your review made us really happy. It was a pleasure to have you again at home and we are already missing you and looking forward to receive you again. Thank you for remembering every person of our staff that made your stay unforgettable, we will ensure they receive your beautiful words. They will be very proud to know they did such a good job. We work hard everyday to give our usual excellent experience and your review is the proof we succeeded in reaching our goals.
Thank you very much for choosing Starfish Cayo Santa Maria and we hope to see you again soon at your home in paradise for another experience.

Warm regards,

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I will definitely revisit the resort because of the 5 star entertainment/activity team. And the food was the best I’ve had in Cuba (crepes, omelette and smoothie stations).

The beach was beautiful but windy most of the time because of the time of year (January). We did a lot of walking on the beach instead of swimming. The property is well maintained and lush with greenery.

Thank you to all the amazing dancers!!! especially Laura, Linetta, Lillian, Carlos and Roberto the amazing choreographer. We were speechless at the talent level we saw. They give us Lady Gaga, Adele, Christina Aguilera and beautiful professional contemporary choreo every night!!!

Also the activity team members were great as well. Especially, Shely who stopped to greet and talk with us when we saw each other. I learned a lot about life in Cuba and can truly see the entertainers love their jobs and give it their all. They spoke highly about how they were treated by the resort, which is an important part of my stay at any resort. I’ve done 7 other all inclusive resorts and by far this was the best entertainment. The front desk staff and management went out of their way to help me with an issue that came up. I was very thankful for this.

The best part of our stay was the resorts entertainment and activities. The late night shows in the theatre, beach activities and pool parties were really fun. Adults, kids and young peeps seemed to be enjoying it as well. The kids had their own fun disco show every night.

If you are into dancing, check out the “disco” night on the resort. We were annoyed at the repeated dance music but once we requested Urbano Latin music the DJ played it thanks to Ray! Lots of bars spread out throughout the resort if you’re there for the drinks.

We didn’t do any excursions this time around as we’ve already done some of the more popular ones. Definitely check out Starfish resort!!!!!

Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Traveled with friends
1  Thank quasig2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rrssBDcuba, Director General at Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Gemini,

First of all, we would like to thank you for providing part of your time on writing such a beautiful review about your experience with us. We are very proud to hear that, not only we succeeded your expectations but also that this was your best experience. We are also pleased to know our staff was so kind and nice to you. We will forward your message to all the people you have mentioned. We are sure they are going to be very happy to hear about your words.
Thank you very much for choosing Starfish Cayo Santa Maria for your holidays and we are already looking forward to welcoming you again very soon.

Best regards,

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

2nd time here and loved it. Check in was quick and painless, room was clean and spacious, staff were as friendly as ever, food was excellent. Noticed a lot more staff in bar and dining room than last time much better! Meylin in the lobby bar was excellent and Mislady in the dining room was one of the best waitresses. Only got to see one show as I was exhausted by the end of the day and it was really good. Bathrooms in the public areas were always clean and lots of toilet paper!!! Can’t wait to go back.

Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank 262Tammy567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rrssBDcuba, Director General at Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Tammy,

First of all, we would like to thank you for providing part of your time on writing such a beautiful review about your experience with us. We are very proud to hear that, not only we succeeded your expectations but also that, this experience has been better than the previous one. We are also pleased to know our staff was so kind and nice to you. We will forward your message to all the people you have mentioned. We are sure they are going to be very happy to hear about your words.
Thank you very much for choosing us for your holidays and we are already looking forward to welcoming you again very soon.

Best regards,

General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2020 via mobile

myself and five of my friends just stayed a week here jan2-jan9 and we all had a blast. The resort was very clean, the staff was amazing & very kind, the beach was so beautiful and lacked all the seaweed because people cleaned it up. I met many people there that keep coming back because the staff is amazing and I agree! Hector is a sick guy

Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Traveled with friends
1  Thank simonbridge69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rrssBDcuba, Director General at Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Simon,

We would like to thank you for sharing your experience at our resort with the TripAdvisor readers. It was a pleasure to have you at home and we are already missing you and looking forward to receiving you again. We work hard every day to give our usual excellent service and your review is the proof we succeeded in reaching our goals. Last but not least, we are very proud to know our staff has been always so attentive with you and that they are the main reason why our guests keep coming back. We will forward your message to
Thank you very much for choosing us and we hope to see you again soon at your home in paradise for another amazing experience.

Warm regards,

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2020 via mobile

Wow!! What a wonderful vacation we had at this resort! The staff was amazing from beginning to end. Welcome cocktail then every time we went to buffet or a la carte dining we were served like family. Never has to wait for service. The food was great all week! Deserts yummy as well . The entertainment staff was always waving to us and telling us what the upcoming activities were. My 20 year old daughter went out dancing at the nearby Estrella and told me one of the entertainment team staff member was there all evening to make sure everything was ok!! We had been to this resort 2 times befor and it was great but this year was amazing. Honestly best service and entertainment I ever had on a trip and I’ve been on several. Room was clean and kept every day. My daughter lost her charger and Maid helped her find it! Drinks were very yummy too . My 21 year old son enjoyed making his own drinks at the self serve bar at the buffet. My 8 year old loves the kids club and the animation for them is great! They even had a pyjama party from 7-10 so gave us parents some alone time. She came back with awards from the colouring contest and a hand painted necklace and bracelet on her skin. I highly recommend and I will be back very soon!

Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Traveled with family
3  Thank Fabulous-family-of-5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rrssBDcuba, Director General at Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

On behalf of all Starfish Santa Maria staff, we would like to give you a huge thank you for providing part of your time to share your experience with the TripAdvisor readers. Trust me when I say your review left us a wonderful feeling. It is wonderful to hear our guests had such a great time with us. Moreover, it is a pleasure to know all our staff was so attentive and they took care of you and satisfied all your needs during your days at Starfish. It was a pleasure for us to have you at our little paradise and pamper you. Your happiness is our main priority.
What makes us more than happy is to know we are going to have the pleasure to welcome you again next year and we are already looking forward to it.
Thank you for choosing us.

Best regards,

General Manager

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