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“Melia Buenavista - Muy Bueno!”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Manitoba, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Melia Buenavista - Muy Bueno!”
Reviewed 13 February 2014

This was our 2nd trip to Cayo Santa Maria, having stayed at Sol Cayo Santa Maria several years ago. Previous other vacations in Cuba have taken us to Guardalavaca, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Largo, Varadero and last year, to Cayo Ensenachos. It's safe to say we love Cuba!!

The resort is beautiful! Well laid out, small enough that you get to know your way real quick, very clean, very quiet, very peaceful, great ambience.

Lovely that there are ocean vistas wherever you look.....no crowding anywhere, with 3 beaches and 2 pools there are more than enough chairs for everyone - some days there was just us and 1 other couple by the quiet pool. Floaters and padded loungers at both pools.

No shortage of beach towels, even a can of bug spray was included in our room - which we didn't use. While we did receive a few bites it was not intolerable.

The 3 beaches each have their own personality. The sunset beach is very peaceful in the morning, great for an "eco-walk" in the afternoon, crabs galore!, when the tide goes out you can walk around the corner and see the beaches of Cayo Ensenachos. The snorkeling beach is great, loads of shells and though we didn't snorkel, looked to be a great place to do it. The swimming beach is spectacular in its own right, the colors of the water, the beach, and the availability for long beach walks all a plus. Although in places the sand is very deep, we liken it to walking in ankle deep snow although much more pleasurable.

Our oceanview room was located overlooking the sunset beach, building 4. Loved the outdoor shower! No worries about privacy at all. For indoor showers, there is a handheld shower with the tub. We loved to open the patio doors, using the screen door, listening to the waves and birds, feeling the gentle breeze.

Entertainment was outstanding! Especially the Flamenco Dancers, the Aqua Ballet, and the male singers AudiNos, It was provided every night while dining in Los Caribes, after dinner in the Lobby Bar, and then most nights outside the Lobby. A weekly Activities sheet is included in your Welcome package.

We were well looked after by our butlers, Gustav and David. 5 bottles of champagne delivered to our room at 4pm!! (not all in one day....) Thanks for the bubble bath too!

We ventured off the resort a few times. One day we walked via the beach to Melia Cayo Santa Maria and had lunch at their pool snack bar, then continued down the beach to the Memories resort, walked into the Pueblo, and then taxied back. Another day we walked to Melia Dunas and had lunch at their pool snack bar, then took the shuttle back. We did the Sunset Catamaran excursion, which in hindsight we shouldn't have done....we were trying to recreate a memory of a catamaran tour we'd taken on Cayo Largo. Lobster and a short dolphin show was included, but we couldn't wait to get back to MBV....

Although there is a limited menu, what we did eat was very good. At breakfast we ordered our eggs, mimosas, and cappuccinos, then did the buffet for fruit. Lunch was usually at Los Caribes. While green salads are not on the menu, they are available, you just have to ask for them. Supper was at Los Caribes, or our favorite, Los Navegantes. Service was excellent at all places, bars included.

The entire staff (gardners and maintenance included!) of this resort are to be commended for their friendly and helpful nature. There are too many to name for fear we'd miss one. The General Manager was very visible as well, eager to know if there was anything he could do for us.

Having saved the best for last, the Sunset Ceremony on the sunset beach is an occasion not to be missed. Listening to the saxophone, while sipping champagne, watching the sun go down is an experience like none other. From now on we will always remember our visit to MBV every time we see the sun set.......

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank rejuvenate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 20 February 2014
Dear Rejuvenate,
We have very much enjoyed reading your review. We heartily appreciate your taking the time to describe your whole experience at Melia Buenavista in details and also, your having praised our staff and facilities in such a touching way.
We will extent your compliments to our employees, definitely our strongest point, so they keep motivated to provide their usual friendly and professional service. We specially appreciate your comments about our “magic” sunset ceremony.
Thank you for all your kind words and the good promotion we may get from them.
We hope to receive you again for another memorable vacation.
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Kamloops, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Our holiday to the Melia Buenavista in Santa Maria was absolutely wonderful! The entire time - one week - we had nothing but "royal service", which yes we literally paid for, and there were no interactions that didn't hit that benchmark. We felt completely safe at all times. The only conern we wished to have known was to ensure we brought along dinner evening clothing - specifically dress pants, this feedback was eventually brought to the attention of SunWing who chartered this holiday for us, as they had no information on the website, nor did the holiday advisor who booked us the trip let us know this one small but important piece of info. Fortunately, the hotel manager - James - was approachable and present daily, and he pointed out he was able to appreciate our concern about feeling out of place initially until we could purchase some pants, but assured us our stay would not be impeded by this oversight, and it was not - in fact we did not need to buy pants and we were told to do what we came to Cuba for, to relax and be pampered. We were...

The butlers Lukas and Janvier who assisted us with keeping our evenings organized and our cleaning lady Alina who kept the spacious kingsize bedroom/outdoor shower/balcony/sitting area room amazingly clean, were all superb...our every need was anticipated with specail attention to detail. On the evening of my 50th birthday the staff ensured I had a cake at the evening dinner table and a bubble bath with chilled champagne when we returned to our room, very nice. We were constantly trying to finish all the fresh fruit provided to us in our rooms each evening. We of course ensured the monetary tips were respectful and provided small gifts at the end of our holiday to these staff, the staff loved them and humbly expressed great appreciation.

As the two of us, men, have travelled to other holiday destinations where we had experienced intermittent and unfortunate reactions by staff and guests, it was different this time. At the Melia Buenavista we experienced complete respect and acceptance by EVERYONE including the janitorial and maintenance staff. There was fantastic food options at all three restaurants, and fantastic activities at the three beaches - snorkeling here was the greatest experience EVER! We had a fantastic private taxi/tour operator Carlos (ask about "Carlos" at the front desk/or your butler to arrange) who took us to Santa Clara and the fishing and farming cities. During the eight hour day trip we had the most amazing historical tour including Chavez' memorial, lunch at a discreet and authentic location, all arranged by our taxi operator (Carlo's father was the driver).. what an amazing time...we can't wait to return.

thank you, Melia Buenavista staff - and the Melia Hotel Group.

Room Tip: no need to upgrade - they may do this anyway...the upgrade is only to the second floor in the fourpl...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank Wade A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 20 February 2014
Dear Wade:
We really appreciate your having taken the time to post this review describing in details all our facilities, services and staff. Thanks for choosing us to celebrate your 50th birthday. We feel very proud to acknowledge you show so enthusiastic about vacationing at our premises and we heartily hope this will not be your last visit. We will extent your compliments to our employees, definitely our strongest point, so they keep motivated to provide their usual friendly and professional service.
We have been honored with your presence at Melia Buenavista and we heartily hope this recent visit will not be the last one.
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Montreal
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

One of our best cuban trip so far. But be careful this is the place to relax - not to party. Zen atmosphere everywhere. The staff are doing all they to make your stay an enjoyable. Wonderful rooms for Cuba. Clean. I would recommend this place to 40yrs and up. The food was good but not excellent but still the overall experience was wonderful. Snorkeling spot just in front of the hotel - I strongly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Frazoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 20 February 2014
Dear Frazoo,
We heartily appreciate your synthetic comment on our resort. It feels good to know you have enjoyed our services as much as our unique “Zen atmosphere” in the middle of our beautiful natural setting. It is really nice you recommend us to other travelers.
It would be a great pleasure to have you, once again as our guests to enjoy some really special vacations.
See you soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014 via mobile

My wife and I just came back from the MBV today. It was our third time in three years. We only have good things to say! The food at the dinners has contained to improve. No towel issue anymore. The main beach continues to be great and continues to allow clothing optional tanning and swimming!
Our amazing bartenders are still there and continue to amaze.
Shout out to Joel and Javier, our amazing butlers! So many staff make this place amazing it's hard to mention them all.
The new General Manager, though not as outwardly present as Ernesto, seems to manage his staff from the inside out (more work and less PR). I cannot for the life of me remember his name but he's a good man. The return guest dinner changed this year but it's new format was fun. Another shout out goes to Carlos, the head butler.
New this year was the out of this world Flamenco dance show. The quality of movement of these dancers is fantastic and beautiful to watch/appreciate.
We are going back there in April 2015 for sure!!

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank travellingjudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 20 February 2014
Dear travellingjudge,
Receive our most respectful greetings from sunny Cayo Santa María.
We would like to thank you for this nice review expressing in details how it felt to stay at our resort for 3RD time (!) and experience our natural environment, personalized service and some of our spectacular shows as the Flamenco night.
We are certain that other vacationers will find your comments very useful while choosing their next holiday destination.
We really hope to see you again next April!
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Mount Uniacke, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

We recently stayed for two weeks at the Melia Buenavista. January 16-30, 2014 in room 2622. We have travelled to Cuba a few times prior to this (resorts in Cayo Santa Maria, Holguin, Varadero, and Cayo Guillermo). This resort was the best we have been to in Cuba . The reviews about this resort are accurate thus to avoid being repetitive we are going to comment on some of the things that stood out or were unique for us.

- The quality of the service and the friendliness of the staff. As it is a small resort the staff get to know you quickly and remember your preferences if you are in any way repetitive in what you order for food or drink. Of course everyone has different servers or areas they frequent so have different staff members to pay tribute to. Ours would be Yami at reception, Mario in the lobby bar, Osmany and Orestes at the pool bar, Iosbany at the pool grill, Aylin our butler , Yunny (not our butler but helped us out by times and very friendly), Lester at Los Caribes, Pedros at the main beach and Eva (our housekeeper). There were a few others but unfortunately we didn’t get their names.

- The butler service was something we had never experienced before. Our butler, Aylin, was constantly asking if there was anything we needed or wanted to make our stay more enjoyable. She booked our dinner reservations at Melia Buenavista and also at the two other Melias we had access to while there. Some afternoons she surprised us with bubble baths decorated with flowers and champagne on ice.

- The resort was very quiet, thus very relaxing...which, with our stressful jobs, is exactly what we were looking for. At times we felt like we were the only people in the resort. We would go for meals and often be the only people there. No loud music by the pool and no animation team yelling through a microphone. We visited one of the other Melias for dinner and soon realized how much we appreciated this resort. At dinner the only sound at our resort was the music from the musicians, which wasn’t overwhelming at all. No chairs scraping, no pots clanging, no children crying....very nice!

- We have never been to a resort where the General Manager was so visible. He was there every day, always with a smile and asking how we were enjoying our stay. They seem to be genuinely interested in addressing/improving any concerns of the guests.

- The room was in excellent condition. We found the bed (and pillow) very comfortable. There was a pillow menu but we were quite happy with the one on the bed so didn’t utilize that. The outdoor shower was something we had never experienced before..didn’t really care for that on chilly mornings. The fridge in the room was kept well stocked with beer, pop and juice. If anything else was needed, it was just a matter of asking.

- The nightly turn down service was neat. They must have co-ordinated with the butler to find out when you were eating and would come in, tidy your room, make your bed, close the curtains, turn on the music, and put chocolates by your pillow.

- Our room was always cleaned and replenished before noon. Just having it cleaned at the same time each day was a treat for us. At other resorts we have been to, it wasn’t uncommon for housekeeping to arrive at 4:00pm (sometimes later) just as we were returning from the beach. Thank you Eva!

- There were never any issues getting loungers by the beach or the pool. It was nice to be able sit where you wanted when you wanted at any time of the day. No towel games.

- As the sun went down each day, there was a sunset ceremony at what they called the Sunset Beach where a saxophonist played romantic music and champagne was served.

- Checkout, although always a sad occasion for us, was seamless at this resort. Our butler asked us what time we wanted a wake up call, our breakfast delivered, and our luggage picked up. At 4:30 we received our wake up call, at 4:45 our breakfast was delivered and laid out on our coffee table, and at 5:00 our luggage was picked up and delivered to the front lobby. Everything was on time. We were very impressed.

- A couple of other things that stood out would be free wifi, great snorkelling, 24 hour room service and a la carte suppers only....no buffet suppers.

For those of you looking for the negative comments..we can only say the food is different from ours....good but not great. It was cooked to your specifications and well presented but plain....not a lot of sauces, gravies or spices....but we are eating Cuban food not Canadian eh? We still managed to go home heavier than when we arrived.

Three employees stood out and are definitely an asset for this resort....Osmany (at the pool bar with his upbeat, always pleasant attitude), Lester (at Los Caribes with his very gentle, kind and professional demeanour) and Aylin (our butler with her winning smile and attention to detail).

Overall, we would highly recommend this resort. Thank you for making our stay very enjoyable and hope to see you next year.

David & Elizabeth

Room Tip: It seems people in rooms by the Sunset Beach experienced more issues with bugs.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DavidElizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Dear Davidelizabeth M:
We have very much enjoyed reading your review. We heartily appreciate your taking the time to describe your whole experience at Melia Buenavista in details and also, your having praised our staff and facilities in such a touching way. Thank you so much.
You can be sure we will extend your praising words to all our staff, especially those you have just mentioned I your review. They will be more than motivated to keep providing their personalized and professional services. We would be very pleased to host you again in the near future. See you then!
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Essex, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

Had a wonderful stay at this beautiful resort. Our first visit to Cuba last year was to Memories. We decided to return to Cuba again this year but wanted something a bit more "special". The Melia buenavista, location, staff, facilities, and experience did not disappoint. We experienced amazingly beautiful and easy accessible snorkelling off all three beaches around the resort. Because there are a limited number of rooms, the atmosphere remained peaceful, relaxing, and guests can not help but feel special by the friendly and accommodating staff. The food was impressive and healthy. If you want that all-you-can eat experience, it is only a short, free shuttle bus drive to another of the Melia resorts that you have full access to. Yes, the price for this resort is higher than the other locations offered in the area, but it is more than worth every dollar more. As a side note- I required medical care while in cuba. The clinic was close by. The nurse and doctor were wonderful and I was impressed with the medical attention. Thinking about going? Stop thinking and do it. Thank you Melia Buenavista for a most memorable vacation.

Room Tip: There is not a bad choice. Each room location has it 's strengths whether it be view, accessibil...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Seashell6467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
Dear Seashell6:
We have been delighted to receive your review. It feels very rewarding to acknowledge you have had such a great time at our resort enjoying our natural setting as much as our services.
Thank you so much.
Need less to say, it will always be a pleasure to have you, once again, as our guest, some time in the future. We’ll do our best for you to have another excellent experience.
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Erin, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

We stayed at this butler service hotel in mid January having been upgraded from the Melia Cayo Santa Maria. The suite was lovely with everything you could want for comfort. We loved the outdoor shower. The first morning we went to make coffee and there wasnt any so we left a note requesting some. The next morning we had coffee but no cups! We called 700and cups arrived very quickly. The coffee in Cuba is really not good but a good cup can be found at the piano bar. We were advised when we checked in that we would have a butler but we didnt meet ours for 2 days andnever received the advisory tour of the facility as did other vacationers. We then met our wonderful butler Yunny who was amazing and she made both our birthday celebrations extra special with cakes and somgs and champagne. She is a treasure!
The beach was ok but the water was too rough to venture in. The beach at Sunset beach isnt good for swimming atcall. Each eveniing the sun is serenaded as we drank champagne. That is really very nice and a must attend. You will get some beautiful sunset shots there.
the biggest probkem this hotel has is the breakfast as it was cold every day. We enjoy a good breakfast and found this to be a huge disappointment every day. They use tea lights to keep the food warm which evidently usnt enough. The meals at the restauranrs was good and the staff there are great especially Lester who treats people with loving, tender care. I must not forget to mention Armando the gardener who took the time to chat with us everyday and he will find yiu a lovely ripe coconut for you.
All in all we had a good time at this hotelvwith the exception of the cold food and the bugs that you never see but you will most certainly feel. I had and still have dozens of bites and they are extremely itchy!
enjoy this hotel but take coffee and bug repellent!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank marina034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
Dear Marina 034:
We heartily thank your taking the time to review us on Trip Advisor in such an honest way. It is evident that some of our services did not exactly meet all your expectations but your comments are some valuable feed back for us to identify and correct these flaws which impair our guests’ full enjoyment of our touristic product.
A lot of attention is presently being paid to our breakfast service at the beach restaurant. We have found some more effective ways to keep food warm. One of our first priorities at the moment is improving our employees’ performance and attitude. Surveillance, quality control and discipline have been reinforced in order to achieve this goal.
We will always be really honored to host you at our resort to provide some more pleasant vacations.
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Additional Information about Melia Buenavista

Property: 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
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts 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 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travel Republic (UK), Holiday Gems, Melia, 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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