Sorry for the low rating. There are really good things about this hotel but they should not be allowed to cloud the issues and someone at Melia really needs to stop being complacent and look beyond the high scores, we wish we had done.
The food is nowhere near the standard you should be able to expect from a large chain such as Melia and their Royal Service hotel in Cayo Santa Maria. The main Breakfast/Lunch Restaurant is unhygienic and the 2 evening restaurants have limited choice and lack consistency in the standard. Room service is inconsistent. This is not a Cuba issue as we had great food in Havana and the sister hotels up the road did not seem to have the same problems.
Breakfast and Lunch are served for 4 hours at a time and food is left uncovered. Flies were over the salads and cold meats/cheeses every time we ventured in. Cold meats were dry and curling at the edges and the cheese was allowed to sweat. Lettuce was brown and limp (don't know where the previous reviewer found his crisp lettuce as we never found it) and the tinned fish looked as though it had been there for days.
The lunch BBQ is OK and the chef did a great job with chicken, burgers, sausage and tacos but catch the bus up to Las Dunas and try their BBQ - All of the above plus shrimps, large variety of fish and regularly replenished fresh covered salads and bread etc. The Caribe did not open for lunch when we were there presumably due to lack of numbers which is fair enough but surely the guests at the Buenavista deserve and have paid for the same variety.
For the evening there is a choice of two restaurants. One is a fixed menu selection and the other changes each night with only choice of two for the main course. On our last night both restaurants served the same menu selection. We opted for room service pizza. Great room service breakfast one morning but the following day the food was cold and items were missing.
The flies have been mentioned on previous reviews and the problem has not been fixed. The Quality Assurance Manager told us the lunch/breakfast restaurant is A L Carte not buffet but if you have different food stations where people help themselves this is a buffet. Why not just cover the food? We were told that they are aware they have a problem trying to meets the standards of Europeans, so was this our problem?
Regular guests seem to not notice or even make excuses for the problems at this hotel because yes it is nice being known by your first name and remembered from your last visit but If you have saved for a long time for a one off special occasion holiday the food here is a big disappointment. We were at the Buenavista from 25 May - 1 June the same time as a previous reviewer and you would think we were at different hotels.
The service and most of the staff at the Buenavista are excellent (special mention to Javier our Butler for all his efforts). The rooms are clean and spacious, the location is great and the management are very good at listening (maybe so nice that guests are reluctant to complain) but please don't be fooled by the ratings if you are looking for something special and the full package - you will be disappointed.
- 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