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“Simply wonderful”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 December 2011

From the moment we landed in Cuba, we knew we had come to the right spot.
Unlike many other reviewers, we loved the bus ride to the hotel - it was a great way to see the area, and the tour guide provided many insights into the local customs and traditions.
The hotel itself is simply spectacular. The grounds are lush, colourful and serene; the common areas are spotless but welcoming; the spa is tranquil and the massages more than soothing; and the rooms simply magnificent.
Our suite, besides being the largest of any hotel we have every stayed in, was incredibly appointed, with everything we could possibly ask for, and more. The bed comfortable, the pillow selection unparalled, the jacuzzi huge and the outdoor shower is simply brilliant.
The restaurants were beautifully decorated and the staff incredibly attentive. The onsite entertainment is excellent - the band at Cuban night brought me to tears they were so beautiful. Sadly, however, the food did not quite match the decor. While it was obvious that the Chef put in considerable effort, they are simply not quite there yet, with the majority of items being drastically overcooked. That being said, we certainly never went hungry, and Ian's BBQ chicken was the best I have ever had...oh, and their lattes put Starbucks to shame.
The best attribute of this paradise is, however, without a doubt, the service. Be it a huge smile and a hola from Arjmando, the ever toiling landscaper; a drop-in from Lucas or Gerrardo our ever-diligent butlers; or a handshake of appreciation from Ernesto the manager, EVERYONE at the Buenavista truly cares if you are enjoying your stay.
A special thank you to Norges (and his two bad boys) and Orestes (our man-by-day and lovely lady by night) for their unbelievable, undivided attention - you simply our made our holiday.
We shall return...

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Carolyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

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

Armando, Lucas, Gerardo, Norge, Oreste, my self and all our team we are very glad to know that our effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.

We are glad that we fully met your expectations, while sorry we were short in certain areas in our F&B department. Certainly we will take seriously your feedback about our food and make sure your next visit will exceed your expectations.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista soon.

Ernesto Osuna
Manager

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1,231 - 1,237 of 2,666 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2011

Excellent vacation getaway ,private,not bothered by locals selling trickets on beach or anywhere at all for the week. Food was excellent , fresh fish cooked Canadian style, lobster from room service was perfectly cooked, bottle wine delivered to room nightly,butler, bartenders, room service,maids,front desk, all staff were very helpful and did their jobs perfect with a smile. Beaches were private and beautiful, pools clean nice,piano bar nice with local singing talent in some nights. Would I go again definitely in a heartbeat. Recoment this place definitely

Room Tip: Our room was requested as an upper(all 2-story buildings)we got a lower with-in 15 feet from our doo...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank tzh99h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

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

Our goal is to make our guests, repeat guests. I am delighted to know this experience was spectacular in every sense.

Congratulations!
It will be an honor for us to welcome you back soon and very often.

Ernesto Osuna
Manager

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Reviewed 8 December 2011

Stayed from Nov 25th- Dec 6th.
I must thank Javia and Edel who made sure that we were never without anything. Yaima and Alina who kept out room clean and well appointed. Dyana and Mary whose promt service and many smiles made us feel welcome at every meal. Noe and Oreste who kept our cups full to the brim with many delightful drinks. To the rest of the staff whose names I cannot remember thank you for making our trip one to remember, this includes ALL of the staff and workers.
I must not forget Ernesto the manager,who no matter what time of day seems to be everywhere making sure that things run like clockwork and coming up with new ideas for the resort like champagne on the beach at sunset. Ernesto do you ever sleep!

To go into details would take to long. So all I have to say is " Listen up folks" get yourself down there and sample what the resort has to offer.

I know that I intend to go back.
Room 0222

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank 1simon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

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

Javier, Edel, Yaima, Alina, Dyana, mary, Norge Oreste and all our team will be very glad to know that their effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.

It is a great pleasure to read that you enjoyed Our Sunset Experience. The latest addition to the Sunset was Our Saxophone player.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Meliá Buenavista soon.

Ernesto Osuna

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2011

Wonderful relaxing vacation. Bedrooms are spacious, comfortable & SO CLEAN. Everywhere, lobby, bar, restaurants, very clean. Our room on quiet pool, best spot. Beach is OK but spent our days at the beach at Melia Las Dunas. Food is good but because small resort can be repetitive but always the possibility to go to the other two Melia. What made our trip so relaxing and memorable is thanks to our butler DANNY. What an amazing gentleman. Always present, very professional, always smiling (even working long hours), was able to work out miracles for us. Don't see that in Canada, unfortunately. Bartenders are fantastic. A special thank you from our heart to Armando, the gardener. Armando, you are very special and your smile every morning made our day! Keep smiling, we love you. I must finish by saying again thank you DANNY, we love you and we are sure that all other visitors will enjoy your service, your smile and your kind heart.

Room Tip: Quiet pool view, 2nd floor. Building 16.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ann N
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 reviewResponded 20 October 2014
Google Translation

Estimado Amigo;

Muchas gracias por sus comentarios, gracias a ellos sabemos que estamos en el buen camino y nos ayudan a trabajar con más ánimo. Es un placer saber que cumplimos con sus expectativas y que disfruto de la belleza y de la hospitalidad que el Melia Buenavista ofrece.

Les haremos llegar sus palabras a todos nuestros miembros del equipo y esperamos tenerles nuevamente aquí en este bello país Cuba.

Un cordial saludo

La dirección.

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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...
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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...
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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...
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Melia Buenavista

Address: Punta Madruguilla, Cuba
Phone Number:
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: £209 - £453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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