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“The best vacation”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The best vacation”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This all adult property is the best I have been to. My Husband and I travelled there in May and should we have the opportunity to travel without kids in the future we will be returning there, no second thoughts necessary. I have absolutely no intention of searching for another property. This resort is small, about 100 rooms, surrounded by 3 beaches, every one lovely. Staff and management are extremely attentive and genuine. Management interacted with us daily to see how our stay was, explore if there was anything that could be done for us and just to socialize. Sergio is a new addition to the management staff and he was a pleasure to chat with each time we visited the beach restaurant. Each butler was wonderful, very attentive and even concerned about nasty sun burns (mine). This is geared toward a mature demographic so if you are looking for a party place, keep on movin' its not here. however, if you are looking for a relaxing place, fantastic amenities, wonderful staff and a modest, but meet your needs gym then look no further! I would go back with my husband and for a girls trip. absolutely loved it.

Room Tip: all rooms are great. only a few bungalows are only pool view, otherwise each room has beach view...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sumadinka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Dear Sumadinka
Thank you so much for your review. We heartily appreciate your sharing with other travelers your experience at Melia Buenavista and making such positive comments on our services and staff. Feedback from our guests is crucial in the process of orienting our efforts towards excellence so; we will share your review with all our staff so they keep motivated to provide their usual warm and professional service.
We hope you honor us with a second opportunity to serve you and provide you another memorable holiday.
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Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed at the Melia Buenavista July 18-25. This was our second time at this resort...first time was January 2013. We returned because of the staff, customer service, ambiance, relaxation, facilties, beaches, rooms and yes the food! We stayed at the Royalton last July and were not impressed... the food was good, but the staff weren't like family, unlike the Buenavista. Please note we have been to Cuba over 30 times.

Weather: It is very hot in July...around 40 with the humidity. We knew that from the summer before, but at least there is lots of shade and since the resort is on a point (it has 3 beaches) lots of breeze. Still even the Cubans found it very hot too. Weather Network predicted thunderstorms every day....ignore the predictions.....it stormed once for an hour then cleared up. But it cooled things down nicely...we were all very pleased with cloud cover! Spent a lot of time on the blue float mats in the pool splashing water on ourselves to keep cooler. Likely won't return in July.

Pool Bar: No need for a swim up bar...Orestes and Osmany will place your drink on a floatie and push it out to you! Still the best bartenders in Cuba. Orestes ( Mario Lemieux) even perfected a sugar free Mohito for me! They are constantly on the move and know when to come by with a drink if you're lounging anywhere...pool or beach. Very personable and fun. They deserve every tip and appreciate all gifts, even candy from Walmart! 'Burro', the BBQ cook, is very accommodating, and spoiled us with our favourite lobster paella twice....best paella I've ever had, including in Barcelona.

Restaurants: There is no buffet. So all the people who say they hate the food in Cuba do not fear that here! In the breakfast/lunch restaurant there are tables of lovely tapas at lunch...scoops of shrimp appies etc and lots of choices for breakfast, including salmon and capers, eggs, bacon ( crisp and not...your choice), fruit, huge variety cheeses (including blue), eggs Benedict, smoothies, sweets....sooo much to choose from, without the menu. Then there is a huge menu of choices. You can request anything you want...if you don't see it, just ask! I asked for an egg white omelette with mushroom, onion and a teeny bit of cheese, no salt. No problem.

At lunch I wanted the calamari but it was breaded. I asked for it grilled without breading...no problem. We asked for paella...not on the menu......no problem. Jose is a wonderful chef!

There are 2 restaurants...Caribe changes nightly, and always has fabulous musical entertainment. I do find that the Cuban Night food is our least favourite. Navigantes, the other restaurant, has the same menu nightly and is fabulous, but no room for musicians :( ( the musicians in Cuba are outstanding...all professionally trained..but I wish they would not play North American music...Cuban and Spanish is so much more lovely).
At Navigantes we would order the Chateaubriand with a Lobster tail on the side. Perfectly cooked medium rare. No extra charges.
We also went to Cayo Santo Maria, the resort next door (free shuttle provided) to Le Bistro...again steak & lobster.....amazing meal, incredible ambiance. Service is meant to be slow ( we asked the manager why it took so long between courses and that's because it is French Service. ) But our waitress (blonde, tiny, very sweet and remembers everything.. Danalys?.....we went to the other restaurant Portobello at CSM and she served us there as well...and she remember I liked white wine, glass of ice, glass of soda on the side...she had served us once at the other restaurant 3 days earlier!)
At the Portobello I had the smoked salmon (homemade) gnocchi....the best I've ever had. My husband had the seafood gnocchi with TWO lobster tails on the side ( ask and ye shall receive!) He is Italian and raves that this gnocchi is better than his Mother's. Good thing she doesn't have a computer.
So do not fear the food. If you don't like what you see JUST ASK!!!!! They want to make you happy and they will do everything in their power to make your vacation the best you've ever had. We've never had issues with the food in Cuba, but we're not shy about asking for what we want. Also, the lobby bar has the most beautiful and delicious cappuccinos.....Leo is a master!
Pool BBQ is great..Burro makes chicken, pork, fries, paella if possible ( remember...we treat them like family by yucking it up with them and tip with small gifts as well as $...not a lot-pack of gum, candies, one CUC ....then leave bags of special loot from home for the people who are like family to us.
What does it tell you about a resort when it's your second time there and everyone greets you with a warm welcome back hug? And don't feel that's because we're a spoiling them....we treat them like friends and we get that back. I can't say enough about the wonderful staff.

Exercise:If you want to be active (and few people did! It was sooo hot) the facilities are great. The gym, which is open at 7 am to get it out of the way for the day, has state of the art treadmills, ellipticals, recumbant bicycle, plus weights, a Universal machine, bench, exercise ball, mats, water, air conditioniing and a TV which gets Canadian (well, Montreal) news and CNN! I was usually alone but that suited me just fine.
At 10 am Navi does yoga on the covered deck at the end of the pier between Bldgs 6&7 at Sunset Beach...imagine doing yoga with a beautiful breeze, the sound of the waves and the birds, and looking through the wooden planks to the schools of fish below....truly calming and magical. And Navi is an excellent yoga instructor. But they badly need new yoga mats...the 2 they have left have totally worn out in 18 months. Bring your own if you have one and leave it for them!
At noon there is Aqua Gym, which is true exercise when Navi teaches it, but not tough at all if someone else does. (If I'm going to get off my lounger and put down my book, it better be for a good reason!!)
At 3 there is pool volleyball...please partake even if you think you won't be good.....it's fun and builds comraderie with the other guests. Then it's time for Happy Hour. Oh yeah...every hour is Happy Hour at the Buenavista!
Everyone said the snorkeling is absolutely amazing at all 3 beaches. Somehow we didn't fit it in...next time!!
By the way, I was often alone in yoga and aqua gym....fabulous to have your own private class with a personal trainer at no charge!!!

Sunset Beach Serenade: Have to mention it......Carlos, the sax player, made every evening special by serenading all on the beach while the sun set. Truly magical, special moments you will not forget. One night we got a treat in the Caribe restaurant where he played during our dinner. So talented and charming. If you are lucky, you can get a room overlooking the CORRECT sunset beach...it changes during the year of course!..........without having to go to the beach to see and hear Carlos and watch the sun set.

Entertainment: If you want to see those big shows, go to Cayo Santa Maria...they have a good Michael Jackson show, if I recall correctly. But at the Melia Buenavista they specialize in small shows outside the Lobby Bar and they are fabulous. Cuban singers and dancers are amazing. They will also have solo artists or quartets in the Lobby Bar around dinner (so you can be entertained before or after dinner) and they are lovely.

Clientele: Mixture of English and French Canadians, plus many Europeans and British...a very nice mix. Italians, Spanish, Germans, Swiss, Norwegian, as well as Mexicans....it's actually very cool to speak with people from all over the world and learn about their cultures....if you hit it off you may find a place to stay next time you visit that country! Don't be afraid to say hello to everyone...it is such a tiny resort (5 min walk from one end to the other) and it has only 100 rooms. I think it may have been 70% full, but you rarely saw others...I have no idea where everyone was! Certainly no need to save chairs in the morning........or any time.

The mark of a 5 Star resort is how they treat their guests. We were there during the week of a turnover in management: the manager was moving to Varadero while the new manager, David, (both Spanish) sort of 'shadowed' him. They made sure they walked the entire resort multiple times a day greeting every guest, asking if they enjoyed their meal, if everything was fine with their stay.

I know they find it frustrating when people write a review that complains about a number of things but when asked by staff if everything is ok they say all is fine......how can management fix anything if they don't know there is a problem?! Don't hide behind a review when you return.....tell them the problem when you are there!

And we always do. We had issues with our room. Actually three rooms. The Management team dealt with each issue quickly, professionally and with overwhelming apologies. The good thing about that is that we know which rooms we want at certain times of the year to hear and see the Sunset Beach Serenade! I won't tell you what was wrong or how they compensated us...what is important is that they dealt with each issue with such class and sincere apologies that I didn't even hesitate to say we would absolutely return.
Conversely, at the Royalton all I wanted to do was switch my room to an upper floor at cost and you'd thought I was asking for a free week. Nothing but arguments and the need to discuss at great length with three different managers over a couple of hours.... lousy customer service there. Still can't understand why they are #1. (they ran out of beers &club soda for 3 days at the Royalton when we were there last summer....rather than apologies they shrugged and said they can't help it... no one had it, which wasn't true...we went to the Buenavista the next day for a visit and they had never run out!)

Our butlers tried very hard when our issues arose and informed management right away. When I became upset at the third move Joel had management to our room immediately and all stayed until they were sure we were happy. They also made sure they kept a close eye on us daily to make sure if we needed something they were on it right away. Javier really bent over backwards for us. I was a little disappointed that we had to ask for a special bath and champagne, something at happened twice without us asking last time we were there. And we had to ask for turn down service three times, which should have happened each night without asking. But perhaps they were just so concerned about us changing rooms and fixing the problems that the special touches were forgotten.

Since we were returning guests we had the good fortune of a private dinner with David, the manager. The meal was very special and lovely, and also gave us a chance to discuss some of the issues that we felt were important for management to know. David listened intently and did not offer excuses, but solutions to problems.
One small issue: I noted that last time we had smoked salmon at breakfast with capers, onions and diced egg. David said they can't get smoked salmon right now, so rather than omitting it all together, they decided to go with cured salmon. It was a great solution and just as enjoyable. Classy guy. Outstanding manager. I love this place!


Yes, the drive is long. If your flight is early you can learn a lot from the bus guide about the area and Cuba itself. If it's at night you can sleep. Either way, beer is cheap at the airport...be sure to grab some for the trip. There is a washroom at the back of the bus, and the bus is air conditioned.

All staff are truly lovely...everyone in the Lobby Bar...Leo, Mario, Lester;, all Animation (love my personal trainer Navi!), Orestes, Ozzie, Burro, Yami at the front desk, and especially (bellboy) who took my wrath like a trooper the first move and the last when I was crying and made sure I was happy by the time he left. I miss my Cuban family!! Thank you, Buenavista!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank botcha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Dear Botcha

Words cannot picture how pleased we have felt at reading your review. It feels indeed rewarding to receive such nice compliments which make evident that all our efforts to achieve our guest’s satisfaction have been worth it. Be sure that we will extend your praising words to all our staff so they too feel motivated to keep on working towards excellence. Thank you so much! We heartily thank your praising words which will definitively cause a positive impact in our potential guests reading you. Above all your accurate conclusion about the frustration we feel when receiving a comment which complaints about something and the way clients should act when they find any issue: I know they find it frustrating when people write a review that complains about a number of things but when asked by staff if everything is ok they say all is fine......how can management fix anything if they don't know there is a problem?! Don't hide behind a review when you return.....tell them the problem when you are there!
It will be a great pleasure to welcome you back for another vacation in your new home away from home.
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markanddi
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

3/7/14
We arrived at our original hotel (Melia Cayo Santa Maria) and were immediately asked if we wanted to upgrade (free of charge) to the Buenavista. We were a little worried about what had motivated this move but our concerns were unfounded. The Buenavista is a beautiful, couples-only resort, with very special service! Here is a review of our experiences:

Royal Service – The butler service is a refreshingly simple concept. You have a dedicated pair of butlers who alternate their (very long) days and take care of your every whim. They are friendly and attentive and make your stay is more relaxing because you know you will be looked after. No queuing to book restaurants, shuttle busses, excursions, ask for mini-bar to be refilled etc. They come and find you and make a list of anything you might want – it just happens. Great idea! Our main man Joel was great: Not at all intrusive but always there for us when we needed a hand with something. All the butlers we encountered were the same. One small point: When you arrive you will be given an escorted tour and lots of verbal info which is difficult to take in (and after talking to other guests can be quite inconsistent e.g. rules for booking restaurants, gym times etc). It’s worth checking a second time if your hear something that sounds silly. The basic rule we followed is just ask and you will get it (within reason).

Grounds and beaches – The resort is quite compact but the design gives the impression of spaciousness. The resort has three small, immaculate beaches with different “feel” for each one. One large and open with a bar, one with an enclosed “lagoon” and one very beautiful beach surrounded by mangroves and featuring a lovely covered jetty. The grounds are maintained to a high standard with a team of gardeners who are very friendly and willing to talk about what they do (they get very excited about the land-crabs). A special mention goes to Armando who is a big friendly guy and became our official coconut supplier. If I had to do physical labour in that heat and had customers pestering me for coconuts, I don’t think I’d be very friendly. Armando always had a smile on his face and a joke to share (Thanks Mate!).

Accommodation - The rooms are all junior suites and there are only around 100 rooms in total. They are large, spacious and very comfortable with more or less everything you could want including Jacuzzi bath (the butler will prepare you’re Jacuzzi with special potions from the spa), enormous bed, walk-in wardrobe with safe, lounge area, balcony with lounger, mini-bar, pillow menu (yes, pillow menu!), two umbrellas etc etc. Ours had an ocean view which only added to the sense of space and provided a beautiful view of the sunsets and spectacular (but mercifully short) storms. My only quibble about the rooms is the open-air shower. This just doesn’t feel right given the luxury of the rooms but is an interesting idea, I suppose. It’s certainly novel taking a shower when it’s pouring with rain!

Room maids and turn-down guys were lovely. We got a personal, hand-written note each day and many examples of towel-art, flowers and chocolates. Several times, small items were tidied up for us. Alina and Oreilies were lovely, as was Lester.

Restaurants – This was quite puzzling as the food was generally OK and sometimes quite special. It just wasn’t very consistent (but never bad!). There are three restaurants:
1. A breakfast/lunch “buffet” + a la carte which was very nice but a simple buffet would have been easier for customers I suspect. I know this comment has been made before and many of the guests commented that a buffet would be easier for breakfast/lunch. However, I recognise that the resort is trying to be a notch above the norm in terms of service and once again this was excellent. Aduishka is a lovely waitress who took the time to have a chat and was always asking if we were enjoying ourselves.
2. Los Caribes: Dinner only with the menu here seeming more relaxed that the last (Los Navegantes) restaurant. It was here that the food seemed quite variable in quality. Generally it was nice but sometimes it was a bit odd. I believe that the restaurants have a new manager who has just started and some of the regular visitors commented that the food has improved of late. I guess that the improvements will continue because we spoke to the executive chef who was making the effort to talk to as many guests as possible (which has got to be a good thing). Unsurprisingly, the service was excellent and there was live music every night. A special mention goes to all the musicians who were universally excellent. One band even came to our table and played my favourite song “Chan Chan” (a great moment!).
3. Los Navegantes: Dinner only and more like fine dining. This is a small restaurant and must be booked early. However, it is very good with many of the dishes being quite adventurous. The service here is up a notch (thanks to Ruby, Jesus and all) on the rest of the resort, if that is possible, and makes the evening feel really special.
4. Room service available pretty much all the time. Some people had to resort to this when they forgot to book a restaurant but they reported that the food was excellent, though simpler, of course.
5. Pool BBQ – See pools comments.

Bars – Other than the pool and beach bar which are open most of the day until 5:30, the only other bar is the lobby bar. This is a nice cool place to hang out and has live music most evenings though sadly this ends quite early. After about 9:30 you have the mini-shows which happen just outside and are great fun if you like that sort of thing. The bar staff are all great fun and take great pleasure in tailoring a drink to you. Lestor is particularly good: Always smiling, singing and dancing. Roberto and everyone else are a superb team and capable of fixing hundreds of cocktails.

Pools - The two pools are both very nice and the main one is very warm. Activities all take place around the main pool with the other one reserved as a quiet area. We had a lot of fun around the main pool and much of this was down to the guys and girls running the activities. Navi was terrific at ensuring everyone was having fun (no pressure, volunteers only) whether it was volley ball, dancing, aerobics etc. The pool bar guys (Onestes and Osmanny) and the barbeque chefs were also hilarious and very attentive. You were never left without a drink and the food was delicious. There is also a lot of banter between them and the guests so the main pool is a very happy place to be. The sun-beds are all well maintained with 6 four-poster sun-beds and plenty of loungers. We had no difficulty getting a nice spot even though a few people still insist on towel-hogging early in the morning and then don’t show up until late afternoon (Selfish).

Internet – What internet?! Seriously, if you don’t need it just don’t bother. I had to access email for work reasons and it is agonisingly slow. Thankfully I got a connection eventually and then went back to enjoying everything else about my holiday. My wife found it OK for things like Facebook and WhatsApp. It’s also fairly cheap.

Tips – Please tip generously. Staff are paid a pittance for very long hours and they are genuinely lovely people. You might want to also consider the following gifts which are really appreciated: Vitamin tablets for children, school/story books for children, children’s 2nd hand clothes.

Spa and Gym - I defer to my lovely wife here and she tells me that the facilities are good. She used the gym a few times and felt the equipment was in good condition, clean and well maintained. The gym is quite small but then it’s a small resort. The spa looked nice but neither of us used it which is a shame. Maybe next time.

Overall the Melia Buenavista is a lovely place to spend a quiet break, especially after the excitement of Havana. We had one our best holidays and much of that is down to the lovely Cuban staff who went out of their way to make our time special. Thanks guys!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank markanddi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Dear friends
We really appreciate your posting this review describing so lively how it felt to stay at Melia Buenavista. We feel very proud to acknowledge you sound so glad about having spent your holiday at our premises. We have been specially touched by the way you refer to all our employees and your praising their professionalism and human warmth. We will extent your compliments to them what will certainly make them feel happy and motivated to keep up the good work.
Thanks again for your contribution and be certain that it will always be a pleasure to have you as our guests.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

My wife and i just got back from our honeymoon yesterday. I wanted to go out of my way to write a positive review on this resort. The food was amazing, the rooms were cleaner than we were expecting and the staff was top notch. If you are looking for a quiet vacation with friendly and fun people this is the place to try. Only bad thing i have to say is the hour and a half drive from the airport, i promise its worth the trip. Cant wait to go back!!

Room Tip: Ocean view second floor
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mcarroll167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear friend from Toronto Canada
We very much appreciate your synthetic and well focused characterization of our touristic product after celebrating your honeymoon; it is a perfect occasion to visit our 18+ resort. I believe that your review may certainly help other travelers while choosing a destination that would really suit their needs and expectations. Your nice praising comments constitute some valuable motivation for all our staff to keep on working on providing guests a memorable vacation. Thank you so much!
Kind Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peterborough, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria for two weeks in May, without a doubt, our best vacation ever. We had done a little research beforehand, so we weren’t surprised by the hour plus trip to the hotel. Scenery along the way was beautiful and the guide was very knowledgeable.
Our butler met us in the lobby of the hotel. Lucas was fantastic, as was Javier his counterpart. They each worked every other day. They arranged all our meals and went out of their way to make our stay memorable. If you needed anything done or wanted something particular in your room, these were the people to see.
Rooms were very clean, and our view of the ocean was amazing. Our bar fridge was always well stocked. The outdoor shower was a bonus.
The staff at breakfast were very friendly and service was quick. The servers quickly knew what wanted, and greeted us as friends every morning. Marry was close to our hearts, as was our waitress at lunch.
After breakfast my wife would go for a yoga class with Navy, I would enjoy a coffee and conversation with Lester, a true Cuban gentleman who always began his sentence with “my friend”.
Daytime fun was provided by the bartenders, Orestes , Michael and Osmanny. They took care of all your drink orders both on the beach and at the pool. Great guys, always good for a laugh! The entertainment director did a great job of picking musical groups. We had excellent entertainment at meals and the piano bar.
Beaches were clean and well kept, great for an early morning walk. Julio took us for an amazing snorkeling tour of the reef, my wife’s first time in fins. The reef was one of the best that I’ve swam on. Finding a chair was never a problem, and sometimes we were the only ones on the beach. In the evening, before sunset, we loved to watch the sax player while having a glass of champagne.
Dinners were excellent .All of the restaurants were great, but our favorite was Dos Navegantes. Roberto always greeted us with a smile as did the manageress. Every evening the hotel manager would make his rounds to visit with guests and have a chat. Jaime, a great guy!
What makes this resort so good is the people. Service was fantastic, food was great, and the scenery beautiful. We are planning another two weeks next year; it’s by far our favorite vacation spot. Jim and Alison, Peterborough, Ont.

Room Tip: "Ocean view rooms are amazing"
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear Jim and Alison
We really appreciate your having taken the time to post this review describing in details all our facilities, services and staff. 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. It is really impressing that you are able to remember each and everyone from our staff, we really appreciate it.
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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Bath
Level Contributor
69 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Just got back from the Melia Buenavista, we were there for 2 weeks. The best thing about the hotel were the staff in terms of them trying to be a helpful and friendly as possible. Yunior in the Navegantes Restaurant stood out for us.

In the brochure we used and this was confirmed by the hotel manager the hotel is supposed to be 5 star. This it is definitely is not. In 2 weeks we had a lot of niggly issues that mainly arose because of this expectation gap. You bill yourself as 5 star you charge 5 star you should deliver 5 star. Little issues such as stained towels, no cooled white wine in the restaurant, laundry going missing for 36 hours, very slow service in the buffet restaurant (waiting 25 mins for shrimps which were then cold) your coffee being left on the counter for 10 minutes before the waiter realised etc. I know that they are trivial but to me they were important. The butler service we found very hit and miss, our original butler was awful but the replacement was much better.

The aircon in our room was also very underpowered and was barely sufficient ( it was the hot season though)

The quiet pool was lovely, couldn't use the main pool as we personally found the continuous piped pop music intrusive, ( personal preference).

We had one much more serious problem that the management dealt with well.

With the enthusiasm of the staff , a bit of training and management and this place could be 5 star

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Derek S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Dear Derek S

Receive our most respectful greeting from sunny Cuba.
We heartily appreciate you honest review. We understand some of our services did not exactly meet all your expectations but we thank your giving us the chance to identify these improvement opportunities. We can proudly say that some of the issues mentioned in your review, such as the air conditioner and laundry issues, have already been solved and we keep implementing positive changes. Besides, several corrective measures will be implemented for those problems not to happen again. It will always be a pleasure to welcome you at Melia Buenavista and serve you as our guests.
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I would like to start off by saying that I miss all my new friends at the Melia Buenavista!! We started our trip at the reception and where taken great care of by Dailyn who was extremely caring and most importantly professional. All the front desk agents where exceptional, they attended to our needs at all hours of the night. We had the best 5 day vacation ever, all thanks to the gracious staff. Shout out to my friends Osmany and Orested at the pool bar, Navy that provided our towels for the beach and lots of laughs! Thanks to the chefs at the pool for the delicious sausages and great pizza from the wood burning oven. ARMANDO the best gardener ever is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He went out of his way to provide us with a wonderful experience, cant say no to a delicious coconut in the morning!! Our good friend David and Lester who we adore, there were so kind from the beginning to end, we miss them greatly. Can not forget about our friends at the beach Pedro and FELIX( we miss you) ... we had many great conversations and jokes that we still laugh about three weeks later and we talk about them almost everyday, believe or not they are ALL part of our family. Maday miss your great personality I will never forget you. If we forgot anyone don’t be offended we love and miss you all. This resort is more then 5 stars and my eyes it cant be rated because it tops all the fabulous resorts we have been to throughout the years. The beach (where Felix works) was amazing, it was never busy so that we could not find chairs and the crystal blue water was heavenly!! Dont listen to what you hear about the food, the food at the Melia Buenavista is mouth watering.

Room Tip: Get the outdoor shower. It's amazing!!!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Samantha C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia B, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear Samantha C

We are flattered by your review which highlights our services and the warm and joyful way guests are treated by our staff. We certainly consider our employees our strongest point since it is them who actually make the difference. You make us feel really proud by assuring, so enthusiastically, that you will be back to MBV.
We heartily thank your praising words which will definitively cause a positive impact in our potential guests reading you. It will be a great pleasure to welcome you back for another vacation in your new home away from home.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Luxury 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travel Republic (UK), Hotels.com, LoveHolidays, Holiday Gems, Traveltool, S.L.U., TripOnline SA, Cancelon and Evoline ltd 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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