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“Loved the Melia”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
St. Catharines, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Loved the Melia”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We just arrived back from the Buenavista last night and we had a great time at this resort. The staff are bar-none the best we've experienced, the entertainment was great, the room was clean and spacious, the outdoor shower was heaven... in all this was a great resort.

We read through the reviews listed below before we arrived and we noticed that just like every where else in this world, you get what you put in. If you are rude and short with people, speak to them like they don't understand you and refuse to tip for good service... you might not like this place or any place for that matter. If you are kind, you are grateful, you enjoy the sun and sand and you are looking for a week of relaxation made even better by a team of people that are hell bent on ensuring you have a good time... this is probably where you want to book your trip.

We saw people barking orders at the staff and they in return didn't get awesome service. That much is true. We spent our week saying thank you, enjoying the experience and taking in everything the resort had to offer and we had an incredible vacation and we will absolutely recommend this place to a lot of other people.

The food was just okay, the bartenders were so much fun and they made awesome drinks, the snorkelling is out of this world and the beaches are sandy, sunny and have turquoise water for you to gaze upon and dive into. This was paradise.

HUGE BONUS: You get access to the other Melia resorts if you get restless... better bonus: they don't have access to yours!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Allie H
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, 26 February 2014
Dear Allie H:
We sincerely thank your showing so much respect and appreciation for our staff. Be certain that we will pass your comments onto them. It makes us really happy to acknowledge you have had a very good time. In any case, it stimulates us to keep on working on our staff performance and attitude so we can really achieve the high levels of satisfaction we want to offer to our clientele.
Needless to say: it will always be a pleasure to host you at Melia Buenavista.
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English first
Didcot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

This is a very comfortable hotel with good beaches and snorkelling from the beach. The rooms are large and the beds very comfortable. The food is average but quite good by Cuban standards. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The only point against is that you do not get the feel of the real Cuba in this hotel. You could be in any Caribbean resort. However if that does not worry you, it represents good value for money.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Ian P
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, 26 February 2014
Dear Ian P:
It has felt very good to read your synthetic review. We understand you have had a really good time, even when your experience has not been exactly as expected. We have been working very hard in the improvement of all our services and we will continue doing our best to make our guests feel relaxed and satisfied while under our care.
In the area of entertainment we are working to incorporate some typically Cuban artistic presentations in order to offer a richer picture of our culture.
Thank you so much for your comments. We will be looking forward to your next visit.
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Toronto, Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

It appears the week we were here (Feb 14-22), was a bad week for them from reading the reviews - this resort cannot deal with even the small number of visitors there; it appears this place is badly managed. We were very disappointed in the service and our stay stressed us out - it started from check-in when we arrived - the receptionist did not want to see us, instead some other man told us to take a seat on the couch - she gave him the envelope with our room keys and he then told us to wait for the butler. We were so tired from our trip, the last thing we wanted was a butler taking us around the resort showing us where everything was. The resort is so small, you do not need that service. We just wanted to go to our room, change and rest. The first room he showed us was not acceptable but after arguing with the receptionist, we received an acceptable room. I have to say the rooms which are large, clean and well maintained by the wonderful maids, plus love the outdoor shower), and the beach was beautiful - those are the best things about this place. The butler service needs to be removed as it's useless - all they did for us was make dinner reservations - just put a couple of concierges at the front desk to do that job. Pool service was terrible (they were not working but fooling around all the time or on the phone), the towels are so old, ours had holes in them and bad blood stains (those should be thrown out and if this is a 5 star resort , they can afford to change them. . The beach bar another problem as we are beach people, not pool. They have one guy which was never there when we wanted a drink. Sometimes he would wander off and then we noticed he'd take orders on the beach. You would think they would have 2 people staffing the beach bar one taking orders on the beach and another filling them, but they waste they manpower on the butlers (some people I guess like that service from reading the reviews), but we could never find ours. They open the towel service at 9:00 a.m. which is so late if you get up early like we did and wanted fresh towels. They close promptly at 5:00 so if you get there at 5 to 5:00 they tell you to come back tomorrow. The food in the a la carte is terrible. The beef is the worst - the chefs all need cooking lessons. The waiter at the Caribe restaurant was so rude to us one night, we were so upset. Please do not think that because this is Cuba they cannot cook decent meals - they can. We were in Veradero years ago and it was really good. Be warned there are lots of mosquitos there, so bring bug spray - I came home with so many bug bites. This resort is nice, but we would never go back simply because of the bad service we received. Not sure how this place is #2 in Santa Maria, but I guess the other resorts must be worst than this one. I have to say, the last day we were there, there appeared to be a big change and everyone was very nice. Not sure why that happened.

Room Tip: Unfortunately there is not a tip that would help
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JoanneV095
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, 26 February 2014
Dear JoanneV09:
We are deeply sorry to have made you feel the way you describe in your review. Please, accept our apologies for it. You can be certain that your comments will definitely be taken into consideration to reorient our efforts in order to be more consistent with the service and satisfaction we provide to our guests.
It seems that the period of your stay was not exactly our lucky week but so far, we seem to be recovering, with some very hard team work.
We would always be really honored to have you back.
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Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

My husband and I were at the Melia over the Christmas and New Year's holiday. Although I wanted to be able to rave about this holiday sadly I cannot. For the amount of money you pay for so called "Royal Service" save your hard earned money and spend it elsewhere where you will get the same or better service.

We were celebrating our tenth anniversary in Cuba as we were married in Cuba. Also, we are not fussy people and we have been to many places (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Grenada and Jamaica) most of them 3 stars and we had friendly service without all the workers expecting tips ALL the time.

Starting with breakfast... They have several workers standing around but guests would be ignored for 10 minutes or more before they finally felt like serving you. If you did not leave any tips they would ignore you for even longer. On top of that the food at the buffet was always cold as they did not have the burners turned on to heat the food. I understand that this is Cuba but the food selection was very limited. We appreciated being able to take the shuttle to the other two resorts for other restaurant choices. Oddly enough we found the service friendlier and better at these places.

I also agree with the other reviews that some areas of the resort are not being maintained. The umbrellas on the beach are ripped and the sun bed mattress are filthy. The only way the beach personnel would help you is if you tipped them. This includes the so called included snorkelling guide.

As far as the "friendly" manager goes I really did not feel that he cared one way or another how we felt as guests. He would ask how we were doing but never stayed around long enough to really listen to suggestions for improvement.

Our butlers were okay with the exception of our first butler who was very condescending and like some other employees I sometimes felt like we were an inconvenience. However, are other butlers, Joel and David were great. They went out of their way to make our anniversary unforgettable.

Snorkellers and swimmers be aware of the jellyfish. As well, the bugs that you never see bite a lot. We were covered in bites. Also, they fog around 6:30 -7:00, right when people are out and about or showering getting ready for dinner. How healthy is that?

The grounds of the resort are beautifully kept especially by the wonderful gardener Armando.

Our maid ( Digmelys) and night service person were outstanding. Probably the hardest working people on the resort.

Also, Lester at the Caribe restaurant is an amazing person.

Again, I hesitated writing this review for a long time but I feel that fellow travellers like us work very hard for their money and should know all the facts before spending an exorbitant amount of money on a so called five star.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank JC T
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, 26 February 2014
Dear JC T from Winnipeg:
It feels sad to acknowledge that you left Meliá Buenavista bearing in mind a rather somber image of our staff and services. Please, accept our most humble apologies.
You can take for granted that all your comments will be taken into consideration and will definitely help to improve our staff performance and attitude. Likewise, we are very seriously committed with the improvement of our gastronomical services; being the food temperature and hygiene some of the issues more paid attention to.
I would like to mention that the product used for foaming against mosquitoes has been certified by our health authorities. Being Cayo Santa María a reserved area, we are not supposed to constantly pour chemicals into the atmosphere. That is why it is recommended to do the spraying against mosquitoes at the most critical time of the day: sunset.
We sincerely hope this recent experience does not discourage you from visiting, once gain, our detination.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

The highlights in this small, quiet, adults only, 3 STAR (MY RATING) resort include (1) large rooms/suites which are better than most in Cuba and being a newer resort that is well maintained with good housekeeping, most everything works in rooms including AC/lights/room safe/flat screen TV. Our coffee maker didn't work but they quickly replaced it and ceiling fan didn't work but we did not need it. Nice having a bar sized fridge which was supplied with soft drinks and water everyday - not always consistent with same brands everyday however. Hot water is heated with rooftop solar units but beware if other guests in your bldg. unit drain all the hot water before you get up in the morning! Some insects & cats, remember your spray and Benadryl. (2) the beaches are beautiful, although no hard packed sand for walking just lots of soft sand so if you have knee or hip problems take care, lots of shaded chairs and service on beach for drinks - a real bonus. You could see many species of colourful fish just standing in the water up to your waist - no snorkel needed, just a banana or bun from the breakfast buffet table. A few activities of interest around the pool including yoga, Spanish, dancing and volleyball but very few people were interested/or participated. No entertainment with exception of a few musicians during evening dining hours. Public washrooms were well maintained with supplies all the time - unusual for most resorts anywhere! (3) the royal service butlers try their best to please booking you into one of the several restaurants on site or at the other 2 nearby resorts. Butler gushing and smiles are over the top at times with high expectations of getting big tips from you when you leave.
We found the food average with not enough salads or vegetables especially in dinners. Lunch with buffet was somewhat better with a few more healthy choices. Breakfast items were below average with exception of eggs! Don't expect snacks. Soy milk is available at breakfast and if you ask.
We paid about $1500 each for 1 wk package but price went up $600-$800 the following week and I would say the experience would not be worth paying over $2000 for a wk.

Room Tip: Although the outside balcony showers are private, beware of critters on the ground floor. We had a...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hummingcrane
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 Hummingcrane,
We have really loved your review. Everything about your recent experience at our premises has been described in a synthetic, matter-of-fact and honest way. We are sure our potential customers will benefit from it, and especially, from your simple and wise recommendations to make their stay more pleasant.
It would be very nice to have you back in MBV so you may enjoy all the privileges of our Royal Service.
Thank you for your contribution.
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St. John's, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 16 February 2014 via mobile

Very well maintained resort, friendly staff, Hats off to Yoan our night Bartender , very friendly professional gentleman as to our Butlers Edel and Gerardo. Room service was fabulous , whether you wanted food by the pool or beach, staff went out of their way to please . Thanks Luis (beach bartender ) night entertainment suberb for such a small resort. Especially the boys who sang at Valentines dinner. They need a record deal. Perfect place to unwind in a quiet adult environment. Recommend spacious ocean front second level room overlooking main beach. Thank you . John and Sherrie.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank John B
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 John and Sherrie,
We have been delighted at reading your review on your recent first stay at Meliá Buenavista. It feels nice to know you have had such a good time. You can be sure we will extend your praising words to all our staff (and artists), so they feel even more motivated to provide some really personalized and professional services.
We would be very pleased to host you again in the near future to provide you another memorable vacation.
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

Having travelled to many part of the Caribbean, as well as many places in Cuba, my wife and I decided upon a week stay at the Buenavista mainly based on the outstanding reviews posted. This is at very best a three and half star resort.
Observations:
- Room clean no complaints
- Booked ocean view received partial ocean view
- Wait times to eat if you get what you ordered far too long, typical Cuban quality had better in other Cuban resorts less than five star
- Drinks are diluted
- Ordered two beers at beach bar got two plastic cups and a bottle of warm beer to share and a barman two busy servicing on the beach where the tips where more plentiful
- (Resort) is in some disrepair and heading down (daybeds falling apart, beach umbrellas ripped and the list go on)
- Most of the staff do the best they can however some couldn’t care less
- There are three beaches in this resort; main beach sand is so soft it is hard to walk on plus tons of seaweed everywhere. Beach two no comment, beach three the one we stayed mostly on full of jellyfish and surrounded by coral.
- Despite heavy fogging and judging by the amount of bits on our bodies the bugs seemed to at least experience a five star a la carte.

In closing please note this is the second review I have written in fifteen years of travelling to the Caribbean and tried to keep it as brief as possibly, we were by far not the only ones that got the wakeup call, this is not value for your hard earn money.
SPEND IT ELSEWHERE

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Roy G
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, 18 February 2014
Dear RG from Toronto:
We are sorry to acknowledge your experience at our resort was by far not as pleasant as we would have liked. We thank your sincere comments which shed some light on several issues in which solution we are already working. For instance, some crucial repairing and renovations have already been scheduled in order to improve our hotel’s image and comfort.
Working on our staff performance and attitude is a day-by-day task we keep focused on. We heartily hope that, within a short period, the whole feeling experienced by our guests will have noticeably improved.
We would be really honored if ever given the opportunity to welcome you again as our guests.
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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 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 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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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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