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“Distinctive hotel although not central”

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Melia Santiago de Cuba
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Certificate of Excellence
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
731 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
“Distinctive hotel although not central”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

Santiago de Cuba is quite a sprawling city and so having the hotel on the outskirts was not too much of a problem - the distinctive shape and colours make it a landmark so you can never get lost!
We travelled as a group and I have to say the check in was a little slow mainly due to the fact the staff kept changing their mind as to what information they wanted the tour guide to provide despite her having prepared a comprehensive list of all passport details names etc etc. However, the welcome drink and art exhibition gave us something to do whilst waiting.
The room was very good by Cuban standards and certainly clean and comfortable. We had no issues with it. Everything worked, even the hairdryer. Room was a good size and being quite high up we had a good view.
The rooftop bar is good for views but seating outside is limited. Bar prices are good. Staff were efficient if not the friendliest we had come across but certainly nothing to complain about.
We were on a half board basis and both dinner and breakfast were good. I especially liked the fact you could choose fish, seafood and a selection of meats to be cooked in front of you so everything was hot and done to your preference. Staff were very quick to clear plates - sometimes too zealous!
Pool bar area at happy hour (17.00-18.00) is busy and only certain drinks are in the happy hour but staff make it clear to you what is and isn't. There is also a list of drinks.
The pool area seems a bit small for the size of hotel but appeared clean if a little "tired". There is a selection of small shops around, including bureau de change and pharmacy.
Take a walk out from the hotel - it's worth it to people watch. There are a few bars nearby plus residential areas to walk around. Downside is the amount of petrol fumes in the air. Taxis around (car, bike) if needed.

Room Tip: Rooms on higher floors give better views. Air con is quite noisy.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy119186363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Subdirector General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Ms.
We are very thankful for your review and we are very glad you had a nice experience among us.
We are very sorry your check in lasted longer than usual and we have been analyzing the possible reasons of these situation.
It was very pleasant to hear you liked your room and you found inside the comfort that you were looking for. We are glad to know you enjoyed the food at the Buffet restaurant La Casona, where you can choose the food of your preference and they prepare it to the order. In fact, this is the section that our clients like the most during dinner.
We hope we gave you enough reasons to be the chosen ones whenever you feel like coming back to Santiago de Cuba city again. It will be a great pleasure to welcome you one more time.
Best regards,
Wifredo Villaverde
Vice Director
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

During our stay in Cuba, this was one of the nicest hotels we stayed at. Great food at their restaurant (buffet with a great variety), big swimming pools, clean rooms. But one big disadvantage: cockroaches. I know this is Cuba, but it is unacceptable to have a cockroach of about 7 cm 2 meter away from your room door. When I told reception, the guy went up and put his foot on it to kill it. And he didn't even clean up the mess. After our stay at this hotel, I heard that the terrace at the roof of the hotel, was filled with cockroaches...

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Review_1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Subdirector General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.:
We would like to thank you for your compliments related to the fact that our hotel was the nicest one of your trip in Cuba, a quiet place where you enjoyed of the several services that we offer.
Thanks for mentioning the quality and variety of the food at the buffet restaurant as well as the rooms cleanliness. Those are the main aspects that we focus on every day and pretend to keep the same way.
In respect to the disadvantage that you have mentioned we can guarantee that it was reported to the enterprise in charge of these affairs and it was properly addressed and supervised by the hotel management. We are very sorry for the inconveniences this incident could cause you.
We do trust all the positive points you found in our hotel will make you decide for us again.
Best regards,
Wifredo Villaverde
Vice Director
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Manchester
Level Contributor
652 reviews
142 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

The Melia is an unmissable feature on the Santiago skyline with it's Soviet style architecture and gaudy colour scheme based on the Cuban flag, however inside it offers something approximating the facilities of a decent Western business style hotel. I enjoyed my stay here, the rooms were excellent and spacious with great views over the city and plenty of hot running water (a welcome surprise after a week of cold showers!) The pool was great and the views from the rooftop bar were impressive (although I did get short changed there so be careful....). We enjoyed the live music in the lobby and had a more than passable Italian meal. This is not a spectacular venue and lacks the character of many Cuban accommodations, but it is safe, clean and, by local standards, relatively luxurious.

Room Tip: Obviously, the higher up you are the better the views!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Howellsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Subdirector General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.:
It was a great pleasure to know that you found in our hotel a very comfortable place to make your holidays really worthy. We are very glad you loved the views over the city from your room and are content with the idea that you could finally enjoy the hot water for a shower in our facility. Those are precisely the comments we like the most, taking into account that we are constantly in the struggle to make the difference and outstand our values.
We always recommend our clients to visit the bar at the 15th floor because of the marvellous picture you get from the city and the outskirts. It is lovely to recreate the places you have been and find others you would like to get closer to.
We would like to welcome you back in our hotel and will be looking forward to it.
Regards,
Wifredo Villaverde
Vice Director
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Sydney
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2013

This hotel purports to be 5 star. It's not! But it is the best hotel option in Santiago de Cuba. Hideous building could be overlooked if interior was properly maintained and greater care was taken with standards. Rooms OK, but public areas (with exception of pool) all need work and a little tlc. Whilst 'good' by Cuban measures, this international joint venture should be excellent, and one cannot help but wonder why the Spanish partners are not paying closer attention to its investment. The buffet breakfast (and dinner) are mediocre in the extreme, with food not refreshed or monitored by the numerous staff who clearly prefer to stand about chatting. The food is awful as well as unhygenically presented. Unlike other reviewers, I found many staff rude and unhelpful. It's a shame that this potentially good hotel is not good, and would deter me from staying in the area on future visits.

The location is quite removed from the town centre, it's too hot to walk, and one thus feels a little isolated or 'trapped' in the hotel. Look for a good Casa in the area instead - you'll at least be treated courteously and hospitably rather than as a troublesome pest!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KathSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 28 October 2013
Dear Mr. /Ms.:
It is quite disappointing every time we are not able to gain the satisfaction of a client. There is a moment, then, in which we think over and determine where to take actions and where to focus the attention. It has to do also with the perception of the one who judges, but we always give credit to our clients opinions and overlook, and try to be in his/her place.
Concerning the food in the buffet restaurant we would like to affirm that it is completely fresh and hygienically treated. We are responsible for its safety and all the norms are properly followed and supervised. The quality of the food is the best and usually praised by the reviewers and clients of the hotel. We are used to receive positive comments related to the staff and the services; however we will pay special attention to the aspects you have mentioned.
Our hotel is at all quite removed from the centre; we are only one kilometre away from The Cuartel Moncada, Plaza de Marte, the Revolution Square, San Juan hill, Heredia Theatre, and two from Céspedes Park and the shopping area.
We will continue to be the best option in Santiago thanks to the importance we offer to our clients’ feedback.
Thanks for writing.
Best regards,
Manuel Martínez-Corbalán
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2013

We booked the Presidential Suite, which is a beautiful accommodation on the 9th and 10th floors; our reward for managing to get to retirement in one piece! Staff were professional, attentive and smart. The entertainment was varied - bands, pianists, singers, dancers and even a magician. Food was excellent and I really wish I could have enjoyed it more - sadly I was ill for much of our stay (absolutely nothing to do with the Melia!). The hotel is a bit of a blot on the landscape but the interior is modern, well designed and the air conditioning is efficient - an escape from the exterior heat/humidity. I enjoyed the nightly dance lessons available and the bar on the top floor is fantastic. The pool is beautiful and as there were few hotel guests, there was plenty of space to relax and swim. Just a couple of criticisms; 1. the VIP lounge was closed and locked for well over half our stay (we were able to call for snacks/drinks at no cost, but because the computer was located in the lounge we were unable to go online), 2. the many requests for guests to buy the CDs produced by the entertainers. In all however, a really enjoyable stay and if in Santiago again I wouldn't hesitate to book this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to book one of 'The Level' suites if within your budget.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Suzietwink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 18 October 2013
Dear Ms.:
We are very pleased with your review and we should say it was very nice to have you in our hotel those days.
Many thanks for your rewarding phrases to describe the hotel staff and service. We are grateful for all the suggestions, points of view and elements you use to let the people know about your experience among us.
We are really sorry you were sick and hope you have recovered very well. But we are happy you could enjoy of the different entertainment activities we prepared for you during your stay, specially the dancing lessons.
We expect you will choose our city one more time in the coming future for vacations, and hopefully we will have again the pleasure to see you around.
Kind regards,
Manuel Martínez-Corbalán
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Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
331 reviews
153 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 383 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2013

Very efficient hotel with excellent rooms , good service and good food.
Expensive Wi Fi though as everywhere in Cuba. The hotel is not architectural gem but you find everything you expect from an international hotel in Cuba (where nothing is perfect).
Actually is the best option anyway in Santiago area.

Room Tip: The higher floors have better view
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BIZAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 18 October 2013
Dear Mr. / Ms.
We are thankful for your review and are very satisfied you could find in our care the efficiency and good service that you were looking for.
Our challenge everyday is to accommodate our clients as comfortable as they can be and to pay close attention to their requests and suggestions. Every detail is important and with a 24 hour service, there is an exclusive line where our specialists in Customer Service are ready to answer.
Best regards,
Manuel Martínez-Corbalán
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013

This is the only modern hotel we've stayed at in Cuba, and we thought it might turn out to be garish and horrible. Actually, we had a delightful time. It was a luxury, for a change, to have a modern, well-equipped room where everything works. The service is generally good, and the reception, concierge, housekeeping staff, etc., were very helpful. The hotel complex also includes a useful selection of shops: chemist, money changer, sportswear, gift shop, etc.
The pool area has two restaurants and some lovely shaded tables where you can relax for most of the day if you're over sightseeing, moving gently from coffee to beer to lunch to coffee...
Breakfast is not a high point: the coffee is lamentable, the service is grumpy, and there's a strange and erratic range of food, scattered around the large dining room in a way that makes it difficult to find what you're looking for. But in Cuba you have to remember that supply is a problem, and hotels have to make the best of whatever is available at the time.
In looking for a hotel in Santiago, we were initially dubious about the Melia because it was described as being "outside the town", and the photographs of the building itself looked hideous. Don't be put off: it's a four-minute taxi ride from anywhere, the grounds are lovely, and you don't see the architecture when you're inside! We enjoyed our stay very much.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Stephanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, 10 October 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
Many thanks for writing about the delightful days you spent among us. It is a great pleasure to know that you found extreme comfort all around and a well equipped modern room where everything worked.
It was great to hear as well that the pool area was really pleasant and you could enjoy of its amazing gastronomic services, fresh air and nice shadows to relax.
We are sorry to read your experience in the buffet restaurant was not as good as you deserved, and we will make sure we improve the service paying close attention to your point of view and suggestions.
We would like to appreciate the fact that you decided for us when planning your trip to Santiago de Cuba. We are happy you end up satisfied and recommending us. Thousand thanks for your review.
Best regards,
Manuel Martínez - Corbalán
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Additional Information about Melia Santiago de Cuba

Property: Melia Santiago de Cuba
Address: Calle M y Avenida de las Americas | Reparto Sueno, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Santiago de Cuba 5*
Number of rooms: 302
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), Holiday Gems, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U. and Evoline ltd so you can book your Melia Santiago de Cuba reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Melia Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba
Santiago De Cuba Melia

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