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“Best trip to Cuba so far!”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Ajax, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Best trip to Cuba so far!”
Reviewed 6 December 2011

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!

Room Tip: The entire resort is small but if you're worried about bugs maybe stay away from the perimiter a...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank DewyDew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 23 December 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

We thank you immensely for taking the time to share your detailed experience with others and for your nice comments about our resort.

I have read all your comments, and certainly we will take seriously your feedback and see possibilities to improve.

I am overjoyed to read that It´s your fourth visit to Cuba and you had the Best Trip with us. We will keep on working hard to provide the best of all ourselves. Our goal is always to exceed our guests´ expectations.

Warm regards from Sunny Cuba,

Ernesto Osuna

Manager
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English first
Burlington, Ontario
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2011

If you want a quiet vacation this the place to go. The pools were great, the service was great, the food was wonderful, the rooms were amazing. Don't miss "Cuba " night and "Italian" night at the one restaurant. Those two night the food was amazing and the entertainment they had those nights was great too. Orestes the pool bartender was absolutely the best Bartender I ever had at a resort. He was always smiling and always hustling making sure your drink was never empty. He looks like he could be Mario Lemieux's Brother. I would go back to this resort for many reasons but especially to see Orestes. I hope his boss knows this and respects the job he does. All the staff is very friendly and I mean all the staff. We stopped to talk to Armondo the gardener everyday, his english was very good and he too was always smiling. We had mentioned to him that we enjoy gerbera daisies as he was tending to them, he told my wife that when the flower bloomed he would give it ter her. So one day we waved at him as we saw him in the distance and next thing we know we hear him shouting "Lady, Lady" and he came running with a Gerbera in his hand and gve it to my Wife. The "No See Um bugs were quite bad, my wife had manny itchy welts all over her body. They were bad after about 3 pm so take bug spray (with around 30% deet) and Vanilla candles and air freshener. Also bring an anti histomine for the itch because it will keep you up all night scratching. The beaches were nice and the pools were great. They need a few more lounges and better cushions around the pool. The manager of the resort was very visible and was very interested in your comments good or bad. We saw him every night at dinner speaking to each table. Every night at 5:00 they served Champaigne and orange juice at the Lagoon beach to view the sunset , this was a very nice touch. The only real draw back to me was the 90 minute drive from the airport. If you arrive during daylight you get nice scenery but at night it is pretty dark. All in all I strongly recommend this resort if you want a relaxing holiday
Brian and Lois Saunders

Room Tip: We were in 2212 on the ground floor and had a great view of the ocean. Second floor might have been...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
21 Thank brianjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 29 December 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we wish to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us, and especially about our food, service and staff.

It is very satisfactory to know that you enjoyed the Sunset Experience and I want to inform you that now we have a saxophone player which creates a very romantic atmosphere.

We are also pleased to know that our associates, whom we are very proud of, were always helpful with your requests.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna

Manager
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Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
80 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2011

I hope that this review goes through as it is the 2nd time I am trying to send it.
What can I say, this was our 28th trip to Cuba (6 to Melia CSM, Royal Hideaway several times and now the Melia Buenavista). My husband and I got reacquainted with several of our Cuban friends from these other hotels so that was an added bonus.

Our bldg. was #4 upper floor with spectacular sunsets, less wind, and on the lagoon side so very quiet. Our maid Nuriely was excellent and always asked if there was anything we needed. Lasaro ensured that my husband always had his Crystal beer and we had plenty of wine for the room too. We never did have nightly turn down service but it rained most nights so I guess that was the reason - didn't need it anyway. The rooms are well appointed and large living/sitting room, sleeping area, great bathroom vanity and walkin closed, jacuzzi tubs and outdoor shower (hint - nobody can really see anything but if you're really shy, go to the Dollar store and buy an cheap shower curtain or else hang your beach towels over the wooden slats)

Our room butlers were Edel and Javier and we never wanted for anything - they always made sure to touch base with us several times a day to ensure we had everything we needed or to make reservations for us at the various restaurants. They even delivered bouquets of flowers to our room for us with nice little notes. The big surprise was the rose petal jacuzzi bath that Edel had prepared for us one late afternoon with flower petals from the minute we opened the door right through the room to the hot bubble bath. Thank you.

We never had a bad meal either at any of the restaurants. Breakfast at the Ranchon Restaurant was a combo of both a mini buffet - European style cold cuts, cheeses, etc as well as regular breakfast fare or you could order off the menu. The also served lunch with mini buffet or off the menu too.

Los Caribes Restaurant for lunch or dinner where we re-connected with some great Cuban friends like Maibel, Arturo, Yani and Yamisela to mention a just a few. The fixed menus at night were "theme" based and excellent. You could also check with your butler to see what was being served there or have reservations made at one of the other Melia hotels.
Los Navigantes was smaller and more intimate with excellent service by Sol Angel and our chef one night was Hector who prepared our filet mignon and lobster tails to perfection.
Pool bar-b-que - we didn't get this chefs name but he slaved over a hot bar-b-que every day from about 10.00 till 5:00 preparing amazing cabobs of shrimp, beef, pork, chicken, veggies and mixed fruits - great snacks or by the pool order the best freshly made burgers we've had in a very long time (made in the Los Caribes restaurant).

We could not have asked for much more pampering than to have Norge and Oreste the 2 pool bartenders/waiters wait on us and everyone else, hand and foot. Even if we were in the pool they knew when the drinks were running low and brought fresh ones. Amazing duo that service not only the main pool but the smaller pool and the central beach area as well as order food from the restaurant if you wanted. They even have their own mint garden behind to pool bar so that there is always a fresh supply for their amazing mojitos.

We only went down to the beach bar for a quick visit as it was too windy

Congrats go to the recently appointed Head Chef from Florence, Italy - Stefano - for changing up the menu daily and having his cooking staff do such a great job. (Your home made pumpkin style soup is to die for).

Also to Yulesey the Food and Beverage Manager who is most deserving of this position and we've know him from Melia CSM for several years.

Entertainment was usually subdued in each of the restaurants and the Lobby bar always had something different each night whether is was a trio, soloist, pianist, or other entertainers but it was always great. Even the water ballet one evening at the main pool was great. Osmony and the other lobby bar staff always made sure there were snacks in the morning and lunch time and nice appetizers at cocktail hour and home made banana chips later in the evening.

The enterainment team of Yaiset, Lily, Navy and Yulekys made sure that guests had snorkelling equipment, spanish lessons, water arobics, dancing lessons and most of all they played gentle relaxing music by the pool for the entire day.

An honourable mention goes to the hard working gardeners who are make changes and improvements on a daily basis. I only wish that we had brought more gardening gloves for them

The front desk team was great too and we were surprised to see so many people that we knew from the other hotels.

Most of all to Ernesto the recently appointed Manager. What a great job you are doing with your staff and the great changes you are making to the hotel itself. You never missed a day of speaking with all the guests and always made sure that we had everything we needed or wanted during our stay. It is very rare to see the Manager of any Hotel, be as visible and personable as you are. We can hardly wait to come back. Hasta luego and muchas gracias.
Campanita and Ricardo

Room Tip: Buy a dollar store shower curtain if you're really shy - Buildings 3 and 4 are on the quiet sid...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
16 Thank Belle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 5 December 2011
Dear Campanita and Ricardo,

I would like to thank you for such a beautiful and lovely commentary.

I have shared it with Stefano, Yulesey, Oreste, Edel, Javier, Norge and many others and all remember you and they were very happy and pleased to receive it.

We are waiting for your second visit to Melia Buenavista and I would love to have the opportunity of receiving you again very soon!.

Warm regards,

Ernesto Osuna

Hotel Manager
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2011

This hotel was perfect for what we were looking for. It was so quiet and relaxing! And the snorkiling was astonishing!! I don't know what they were called but these small fish that looked like swordfish but much smaller and bright blue fish were constantly swimming around you! It was amazing! Tip: if you swim around the rock to the left of the beach there are some beautiful deep trenches! Also, just ask the rental place if you can keep your snorkling gear for your trip. It's much better than returning it every day! The staff here were remarkably helpful and so polite! Don't buy cigars from anywhere but the airport duty free store!!! Much cheaper. We thought we would do a bunch of activities but we stayed for 8 days and wanted nothing but this beach and perfectly made drinks. We tried out some of the other melias restraunts (completely free to you!) and I would highly recommend their restraunts! Do one night at the Buenavistas, but the other resorts have American buffets and meals.. which in Cuba is a god send after a few days. Over-all I think I would go back a million times. So perfect.

Room Tip: The top part of the bungalows have a balcony and a much more private shower than the bottom.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank smturnbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 5 December 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for your review, and for letting us know about your experience in Melia Buenavista.

It is really a pleasure to receive such a positives comments about our work. We will let our staff know about your opinion, which is very important for our daily performance. Of course, this is a commitment of keep working hard in order to improve the number of clients satisfied like you.

The name of the fish that you have mentioned it could be one that is called Trumpet Fish.

Warm regards,

Ernesto Osuna

Hotel Manager
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2011

Will try to keep my feedback simple:
Pros:
1) fantastic and friendly staff
2) pool/bar area is lovely
3) great resort if u are a couple wanting to relax as there isn't that much to do
4) rooms a decent size

Cons:
1) food not amazing (but expect this from Cuba)
2) lots of little details overlooked ie our room handle was broken, paintwork not 100%
3) massages expensive but not upto international standards

HOWEVER Ernest's the hotel manager was absolutely brilliant. He had only been at the hotel a month and is clearly trying to make significant improvements to the hotel. On my last day I sat down with him and pointed out numerous ways he could improve the hotel and he wrote everything down. He even sent me an email a week later updating me as to how he had improved things. As Cuba is very limited as to what they can source (even good quality paper is difficult to get hold of) it isn't straight forward to improve standards immediately, but this hotel is certainly trying.

In conclusion I recommend this hotel as it is good for Cuba standards but try to book as a package holiday as booking directly I found it wasn't worth the money.


  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Psoni79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 4 January 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write of your recent experiences at our hotel. On behalf of Melia Buenavista Family, we deeply apologize if your stay with us was not a perfect experience.

Personally I want to thank you for your kind words about me. I do take all our guests’ feedback into strong consideration. Indeed, your ideas are most helpful in guiding us to further improve the quality of our hotel and I am happy to say that we have improved the items you have mentioned to me.

We sincerely hope to welcome you to Melia Buenavista on a future occasion so we can have the opportunity to redeem ourselves providing you with the service you deserve.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna
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Newmarket, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2011

Just came back from Melia Buenavista where I stayed from Nov 18-Nov 25th with my husband and 3 friends. We have previously been to Cuba twice, staying at Superclubs Breezes Jibacoa (in Jibacoa), and Superclubs Breezes Bella Costa in Varadero. We've also been to Panama once (just for background history).

We read the reviews leading up to this trip and were not dissapointed. From the outside pulling up some people were confused about the decor and style of the hotel - I loved it. Except for the construction-esque feel which I'm sure will diminish soon as the resort is only a year old, the buildings are all designed very contemporary and posh.

Do note - this hotel is tiny! Which is just what I wanted. The reception is the smallest I've ever seen, and there seems to be 3 of everything: 3 restaurants (one which serves as a buffet for breakfast and lunch, something I was pleasantly surprised at as I thought we'd have to order every meal), 3 bars (2 beach bars and 1 piano bar), and 3 beaches (one private one with great snorkeling off this small penninsula, one main beach in front of the main pool, and 1 off to the side by the beach bar. The exception to the rule is there are 2 pools, one larger one and 1 smaller one near the rooms.

Ernesto is the manager and did take time during breakfast one morning early in our trip to introduce himself and ask us to find him if we had any problems during our stay (thought that was very nice of him).

PROS:
Rooms - the rooms are huge and well appointed. Loved the walk in closet, gorgeous bathtub and outdoor shower. Depending on where your room faces some of the showers have more privacy than others but you can place towels or sheets over the fence for additional privacy if needed. Flat screen tv was nice, and many english channels including HBO (I confess we did catch a few movies during the week). Even our back patio which walked out to the smaller pool had a comfy little couch in the shade perfect for reading.

Service- The butlers usually touched base with us daily, either on the way to breakfast or in the lobby, and would ask us about making reservations for the restaurants. TIP - might be better to make the reservations at the beginning of the week, as sometimes things can get lost in translation or things will be booked in 'cuba time'.

We did have some problems with some random things (ie our phone and our friends phone just stopped working one day) but if you tell someone about it they get fixed in a jiffy. If your mini fridge isn't stocked well enough just mention it for the next day and it will be fixed. Also 2 days in a row our room wasn't cleaned till 4:30 pm even though we had our sign up for the maids to come. We complained about it after the second day and cleaning service was prompt the rest of the days.

Restaurant service (other than our last night) was prompt and friendly. As soon as you sit down you're brought water and drinks are ordered. Each section of the meal was brought in a timely fashion.

Bar service is the best I'd ever had - Orestes and Norge surpassed all my expectations and we tipped them well for it. If you're sunbathing by the pool or on the beach - no problem they will be around to take your orders. If you're up for trying something new just ask them to surprise you and they will. After a day or two they had memorized our usual orders and would always know what to bring. These men work tirelessly and need a raise!

Spa - The complimentary massage that is included with your stay is 25 minutes long and comes with a "water journey" which includes time in the sauna, steam room, and hot tub. The spa was lovely and very relaxing, our apt was an hour and a half long and was completely free.

Ambiance - Loved how small the resort was. There was no loud music blaring by the pool (unless it was the hour for aqua aeorobics), usually just low level cuban music. It didn't take longer than 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other so you quickly developed your favourite places to hang out and a routine for your days (which is just what I liked).

Snorkeling - I didn't partake myself, but my husband and friends did and they had a ball seeing all kids of fish, starfish, eels, octopus, sea urchins etc. Only 1 or 2 days did the odd jelly fish appear.

CONS:
Tours - The tours available are not that abundant and because you are so far away from most things they do take a long time to get to, but that is simply because of the location of the resort. Most people would choose the resort to relax anyway, not for an adventure so that was fine by me. The same goes for the night entertainment: there is pretty much none (although we did see a nice water show the one night). If you're getting bored hop the bus or pay the 1 peso/person for a cab to one of the other Melia resorts (Santa Maria or Las Dunas) and hang out in those HUGE resorts).

Beaches - The beach(es) are not the best I've seen as they are divided up into 3 smaller beaches but they are still lovely. Quite windy depending on the day, but I think this is normal as you're on the north most tip of Cuba. Also the wind cut out a lot of the heat so that is helpful in that way. Also a lot of seaweed washed up on the main beach and bar beach and I thought it might have been raked up or cleaned but it wasn't. Maybe it was the bad time of year or our week was considerably worse in that regard.

Bugs - The first 3/4 of the week I didn't notice a thing, until it rained one afternoon for about an hour or so. The following days after that if you spent any time on the beach you could easily get eaten alive. They are so tiny you barely see them and its not till later that night you can survey the damage. They leave bites that itch like mosquito bites. The day after our return I texted my friends to see how many bites they had. I thought the 45 I counted were a lot - my friend had stopped counting at 83. Again it might be worse at some times of year and we never used any bug spray but I would bring some and talk to the staff to see if there is worse times of day or how to prevent them.

Fogging - My husband was chased out of the shower one day before dinner (around 5:30-6:00) as the fogging truck drove down the pathway behind our room and was fogging the bushes etc for the biting bugs (I'm assuming). He ran into the room trying to hold his breath surprised that they would brazenly gas chemicals into the air during such a popular time of day (now the truck is quite loud so during the night would be safest time when no one is out but also the loudest). I put this down to a one off but it happened to him once more around dinner time and once to me in the morning. I do think this is quite dangerous to be bathing while insecticide chemicals are floating all over your body and many people shower before dinner so I'm not sure what is to be done about this but I don't think its safe at all.


Room for improvement:
Our room 2712 had some dodgy plumbing where the sink had no cold water so we brushed our teeth in luke warm water. The bathtub also had no cold water on its own, but if you turned on that tap while hot was already running it would cool down the hot. The outdoor shower also never got really hot water, and when its breezy in the morning you do want the hot. It would sort of cycle through very warm, warm, luke warm over a 20 second period over and over so I just showered quickly. No one else had this problem so I think it was just our room and honestly we should have insisted on moving after the first day because this seems like a permanent plumbing problem specificially to our room but we just put up with it as repacking seemed too big a deal.

Foliage - As the resort is so new they've done a great job with transplanting trees and plants etc, but the gardens are still quite bare in some places, and right beside the breakfast/lunch buffet is a large area of construction dirt and rock that I'm not sure if they are building anything else there in the future. Right now its pretty bleak and ugly so I hope there is plans to develop that. Otherwise its just the fact of being a new resort and in 5 years I'm sure the grounds will be even more beautiful.

Chair covers - every day there was plenty of (nice) wooden chairs in the pool and beach area, but there always seemed to be a shortage of cushions. I don't think there are enough cushions to match the number of chairs so we did end up reserving chairs in the morning on the way to breakfast as we noticed everyone else doing this. I don't really like doing that and leaving a chair 'secured' for hours if you're not using it but otherwise we wouldn't get a cushion so I think if you can't beat em join em. If they could get some more chair covers that would be great.

Food - I am not a "foodie" and I've never had a problem with the food at either of our two Cuban or Panama resorts and I continued to love the food here. With there being only 3 restaurants if you don't go off resort for a few meals I can see that you would get tired of the same food but the food itself is quite tasty. No one in our group had a bad tummy the entire trip.

Overall we had a fabulous time, I would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a laid back, relaxing, pampering vacation, with no children running about. All of the cons we knew about ahead of time and the room for improvements were certainly not deal breakers. I would love to go back to this resort in a few years to see how its improved and developed. For the $1065 that we paid it was excellent value for money!

Room Tip: 2712 - Our room block had a walk out to the smaller pool which was nice, but the plumbing was a bit...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Stephanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 4 January 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us, and especially about our staff.

Your comments are helpful as we strive to make Melia Buenavista the very best Boutique and Exclusive Resort property in Cuba. We aim to make your holiday special and will continue to improve our service and amenities.

I am happy to say that we have improved the garden area around the breakfast restaurant, our chair covers are all new and our talented Italian chef and his culinary team are taking care of every meal to ensure the best quality.

In sum, thank you again for your observations and rest assured that your opinion makes a difference. We will endeavour always to make each guest’s vacation the very best it can be.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2011

We stayed in Melia Buenavista Nov 12-19 2011

we are couples from Vancouver in mid 30's and like sun vacation and not party type. we travelled over 20 beach resorts and 4th times in Cuba second time in cayo Santa Maria before we stayed in Melia las Dunas.

In my honest opinion this is a fairly new (1 year old) low 5 star Hotel (A-) that needs a bit more attention to be real 5 star. We had great vacation and non of the Cons really got to me. This is just for improvement and advise for picky people.

Pros:
Rooms: spacious, Jacuzzi tub, with outside shower ,mini bar. We had nice ocean view room in villa 24 , quality vacation for people looking to relax and service attention from staff, specially bar tenders(Best ever seen Bar tender "Eresto"). staff try to make best of available things (you have to consider this is cube).A la cart dinners (no line up for buffet), option to go to other Melia hotels (sol,Santa Maria,Las Dunas),Concierge available form 7 to 11.Hotel manager (Ernesto) and concierge inetration with staff and Customers. Great staff. Nice property grounds (but not the best I've seen)

Cons:
Not much activity: could get boring even if you are not party type, Small resort,need to go to other resort for water activity or night entertainment (limited free shuttles goes hourly from 6pm to 11pm and included but not too reliable 2 times the bus broken and waited over 1 hour),Not the best beach to swim (better beach either on left island (iberostar hotel) or around Las Dunas resort or resort on the right side of islands , too shallow pools, very poor variety/Selection/Availability of food, Dinners are set menu (no other options!) (not the case in Melia las Dunas),No buffet make it worth if you don't like the Menus, Clean but stain in towels, sheets, beach bed etc. I think something wrong with their cleaning machines!, Poor room supplies i.e. no conditioner, no lotion, limited soap and Gel. Limited chairs by beach near the main pool. Fresh beach towel were not available 2 days we were there.

Other notes:
It is long way from Air port to hotel about 100 minutes and this is a bit remote area so consider this. Take the Catamaran tour it worth it. there is free double decker bus for 1 CUC goes around the Cayo santa maria area hotels from 10 AM morning to 2 Am if you need to every hour at least. Not a great place to shop but you can go next to Barcelo resort (it closes at 5pm for shopping)

Overall we had great vacation and the staff were great. Bring Lots of Tips staff and cuban people DESERVE to get paid more,I tried to give every person at least I 1 CUC and nothing but the smile and attention from these great people .

If you are beach person, like to party or do many activities or site seeing this is not the best resort to stay, for beach in Cuba Best is Cayo Largo followed by cayo coco/Guillermo then Varadero.... if you want to see Havana stay in Varadero resorts. For party Varadero or Cayo coco is better option. In Cayo Santa Maria Melia Las Dunas has better activity...

If you want to stay by the pool and read the book, relax and somebody brings drink and some food then this is the place to go!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank soleia2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Director General at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 20 October 2014
Dear guest;

Thank you very much for all your comments, as always we are taking all the feedback in a very positive way and we are using as a tool to improve our resort and the service that we offer.

I would like you to consider to comeback in the future and check the improvements done based in your comments.

Best regards;

The direction
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 Buenavista

Property: Melia Buenavista
Address: Punta Madruguilla, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Buenavista 4*
Number of rooms: 105
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

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