Fourth time in Cuba, first time in the Santa Maria region (nov. 23-30/2011) and while the trip started out bumpy (sunwing reps missinformed about their own lugguage allowence policies, milking extra money for weight with three scales giving three very different weights ... also the long drive to the hotel that was even longer due to a bus accident we had) it was a rough day but in the end the hotel BLEW US AWAY!!
It is so elegant, modern, posh and luxurious in every way, it has the zen spa type of feel. The resort is small but that's what makes it feel so exlusive and fabulous.
I've been to places like Dubai and the buenavista has that desert "arabian ranches" villa look. Our junior room (SUITE!!) was huge and walked out to the pool. The outdoor showers are great, privacy was not an issue with the screens and we were on the lower level (there were some wood panels placed in between for privacy) The tub was amazing and bathroom is very modern.
There is a pillow menu in the room where you can select from a wide variety (at no charge) a type of pillow that suites your sleep style as well as a selection of bed linens from Egyptian cotton to satin ...
We've been to the Paradisus in Cuba before which considers itself a 5 star and we thought we had seen the best Cuba has to offer until the Buenavista blew us away!
- Food: We don't understand why people say the food is not good in many reviews because we found the food could hold its own against any good restaurant even in Canada, though there is a quality over quantity approch the selection was always adequate and they were always willing to modify or substitute to taste (my significant other is allergic to fish & Seafood but they accomidated him quite nicely)
The cappuchinos are AWESOME!! Be sure to have some at the lobby bar or at breakfast.
On cuban night at the los caribos restaurant there was a band playing live music, while it was suitable for the dinner theme we found the singing and instruments to be a little too loud for the size of the room. Also the same band played on the "Romantic" night and we thought this was a little odd as you pretty much can't have any conversations or hear anything over the music, we were just expecting some soft romantic music and ambiance for that specific night. The menu for the romantic night is all seafood (when we heard romantic we thought french or italian cuisine, or lobster?) I found the seafood dishes a little on the salty side and was hoping for more variety to choose from with the main course.
We ordered room service a few times, the food is well cooked and very "gourmet" though sometimes certain items were not available so call and check up to see.
We also visited the buffet at the Las Dunas (very very noisy and busy) lots and lots of food but quality was not great, we did not find it necessary to venture out there for food as the food at Buenavista was good. We did however go to the Melia Cayo buffet one night and the service was AMAZING, 5 star, over the top, I was very impressed by the waiter and waitresses. The food was good, simple but fresh and clean, but the service really made the night.
Also weate at the Romantico at Las Dunas and were interested in the Japanese @ MCSM but did not get in so do book in advance if you want to attend.
Ian the grill master barbecues some yummy chicken and beef skewer kebobs every afternoon near the smaller pool... Also Arjmando the gardner is super nice, harder working and loves talking about plants, he knows where to find fresh coconuts to drink the juices.
- Staff: very friendly and all of them were pretty fluent in english with no language barriers.
- Butler service was very personable and they do well to host us and take care of us throughout the week, constantly checking in to make sure things are right and going smoothly and attending to our needs and requests. Our butler was Danny and he was very kind and attentative.
There is free transportation between the Buenavista and other two melia hotels in the area after 6 PM which is quite good. We advise from experience not to take the shuttle that runs during the day (panoramic, double decker type bus) bceause it's extremely unreliable and even though they charge a paso per person you could never be guaranteed that you'll arrive at your destination on time or even get there at all!!
We were taken in circles for almost an hour and missed out on our shopping because the driver kept skipping our stops and we reminded him several times where we wanted to go.
Also the Pueblo Las Dunas (which is a little shopping village with a disco, restaurants and bowling alley) has strange hours and we've been told is closed on monday so also kind of unreliable and dissapointing from our experience.
The beach and wildlife are beautiful, there are some issues with sea weed depending on the day and season but if you catch a sunny day with calm sea you're guaranteed to have a great time in the crystal blue waters.
Do take advantage of the spa's water journey if it's in your package, it is really refreshing, relaxing and cleansing. My skin never felt so smooth!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located west of Cayo Santa Maria in a privileged ecological environment, and surrounded by beaches and coves. All-Inclusive five-star resort with 105 junior suites and suites, and the Villa "Zaida del Rio." Designed for adults over 18 years. An entire hotel featuring Royal Service. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and wellness/spa. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Holiday Gems, LoveHolidays, Melia, Travel Republic (UK), Hotels.com, Traveltool, S.L.U., TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your Melia Buenavista 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 Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria