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“Honest Review Of Our Grad Class's Trip Of A Lifetime”

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Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Honest Review Of Our Grad Class's Trip Of A Lifetime”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

INTRODUCTION
warning: this review will probably be as long as it gets. after graduating high school, 17 of us (all aged 17/18) decided to take a trip together to Cuba. I've never travelled to any Caribbean places, only Thailand and around the Asia's so I was quite worried about my heightened expectations. we picked the right location, and although the resort itself I would give 3/5 stars, the experiences I had on it would definitely be 5/5 stars. I thought that because we were teenagers, we wouldn't have been taken seriously, but that was not true at all. we received excellent service, even while we were somewhat rowdy! (all inclusive + free booze + teenagers , how could you not)

AIRPORT (2/5)
getting 17 teenagers, half of us not quite of legal age, all through customs was a lengthy process. the immigration staff was nice to us, but with the Spanish-English language barrier it was very hard for us to understand them. our luggage was all safe and arrived on time. the bus ride into the resort was a good hour and a half, but there was a lot to see as we drove through local Cuba, and we were all excited and singing extremely loudly (sorry to the family sitting on the bus in front of us) the check in at the resort was quicker than I expected. we waited half an hour at most, and keep in mind that's to check in 17 different people, as well as other guests in between. while waiting, we were served cute cocktails.

MONEY EXCHANGE (4/5)
after checking in, we proceeded to the money exchange, where we waited for no longer than twenty minutes to exchange from CAD to CUC. that's not bad considering how many of us there were.

ROOM (3/5)
as a group, we requested all of us to be in the same building, preferably building 7 or 15. although we didn't get the building we wanted, we all got put into building 6, which still faced the beach. most of us were on the top floor, and some on the second floor. my room (0662) was the only room with the breathtaking ocean view, so naturally everyone came to hang out here. there was enough room, these rooms are surprisingly spacious. we had two double beds, which we ended up putting together to create a giant bed. the beds were comfortable, however the pillows were old and worn. the mini fridge had three beers, two pops and a big bottle of water, and was refilled everyday at around 4pm. cleaning staff were loud at 6am but were always extremely friendly to us and left cute towel sculptures. always gave us flowers whenever they saw us. we would tip them with a bag of candy, a thank you note, and three pesos every morning (there were three of them) the only issue I had with the rooms personally was that the towels had stains on them, and some even had holes. the bed sheets were clean and they smelt clean, but they had marks on them as well. also, the shower head had hardly any water pressure. I heard some talk of bedbugs but did not experience them myself.

BARS

Lobby Bar (4/5) excellent, great vibes. as a teenager sometimes I felt like I was in the wrong crowd because there were many older adults there drinking coffee and lounging. Robin served us and was very sweet to us.

Pool Bar (2/5) service was great, Hanoi made a delicious Miami Vice with the perfect amount of rum. almost too easy to drink. I just felt that it was not the most cleanly bar, as there was sand on the pool floor and on the seats in the swim up area as well.

Beer Garden (3/5) did not have a good selection of what I wanted (I don't drink beer, so yes I was at the wrong location) but it was always packed with people watching the FIFA World Cup. great vibes, and at night it was really quiet before it closed at 10, so we would head over there for the guys to grab some beers. Javier served us and we were nothing but impressed with his service.

Snack Bar (4/5) hung out there a lot as it was open 24 hours and us teenagers never went to bed. the alcohol selection was all there, but the food selection at night was lacking. a lot of the time they ran out of the crowds favourite, the chicken fingers. service was hit or miss on most nights, however by that point we were probably too drunk to even care.

Cigar Bar (5/5) we went there after the theatre show at 9:30 every single night. certain nights were more quiet than others and we found that a lot of the times it was just our crowd. it was the only air conditioned bar and at around 11-11:30 music would turn on and everyone would get up and dance. we bought cigars here because the bartenders seemed to genuinely know what they were talking about. they also cut the cigars and lot them as well. a lot of seating and bar stools. Yadiel served me the first night, and wasn't wearing the bartender uniform but was still very nice to me. Andy was also serving but on the nights he was working, there was no music playing. he offered fast service but did not seem like he was enjoying himself. Jorge is by far my favourite staff member on the resort. so sweet, hung out and spent time talking to him for a little while. always entertaining even when he's making you a drink, and makes you feel so special. be sure to ask for Jorge's Special if you see him - and tell him Tatiana told you about it.

THEATRE (4/5)
theatre bar was very well maintained, great service from Roberto the bartender. never had a shortage of anything, I guess because the bad connects to the cigar bar so they share their supply of alcohol. the shows were all very entertaining, my favourite being the romantic show because my friend got to go up there and dance. hung out with Kamerun a few nights after the shows and he showed us a good time. shows were supposed to start at 9:30 but all the show times were very inconsistent (tough to plan our predrinking) and it was extremely warm in the theatre with so many people there.

FOOD

Asian (5/5) excellent service, excellent food. a favourite amongst most of us. we ended up dining their twice. servers dropped a couple wine glasses but never had a problem with them serving us our food.

Italian (2/5) reservation was at 6 but did not end up being let in until close to 6:30. the AC wasn't working for the first half an hour so we were all sweating in our dressy clothes. menu was very confusing. the lettuce in our salad was not fresh and very chewy. my veal was very tough, but the flavour was delicious. our server did not look like he was enjoying himself.

Buffet (4/5) hit or miss. some days the food was absolutely amazing, other days we would stray from most food items. always had fruit, although the grapefruit and pineapple could've been fresher. never went wrong with the fried rice bar, pizza bar, and seafood/meat grill bar. these guys serving are fast and friendly and make delicious food.

POOLS (4/5) we mainly hung out at the big pool in the middle of the resort. the water was not very deep but perfect to stand in and socialize with friends. there were always loungers available although they were darkly coloured and always got scorching hot at around noon. sometimes the bottom of the pool had sand in them, which made them feel not as clean as they should be. we also went swimming after dark in side pool next to building 5, before we read the sign that said no swimming at night (sorry about that) but that was a very nice pool. it was clean and quiet, and very big.

BEACH (5/5)
I've been to many beaches in Thailand, and this beach in Cuba beat my favourite Surin Beach in Phuket, Thailand. I have never seen water in so many different shades of blue. the sand was practically white and although there are rocks going down to the shore, the sand was soft and smooth. we went during the rainy season so the water was very choppy but the waves were fun to play in. the free catamaran rides were fun, according to my friends. I felt uncomfortable walking back up the boardwalk because there were builders on the gazebo cat calling us girls.

STORE (2/5)
selection was alright, but the staff was not welcoming at all. they were in their own conversations and brushed me off when I tried to ask a question. don't buy cigars from here, they will rip you off... go to the cigar bar for that.

EXCURSIONS (4/5)
personally, I only went on the catamaran excursion. the boat was beautiful and the sailors were really sweet. we snorkelled (snorkelling was better on the speedboat excursion apparently) interacted with dolphins, ate lobster and visited a beach. it was a good time, but not sure if it was worth 85 pesos.

VILLAGE (4/5)
we went into town by bus on a Sunday where almost everything was closed. I imagine if it was open it would've been a better time. we managed to buy some souvenirs but wish we could've made it to the bank to exchange more money. we visited two different night clubs (discos as they say) and it was cool to experience. mainly people from different resorts but it was fun to meet new people. drinks were not free at these clubs outside of the resort so we all drank before we left. the bus ride there and back was awesome, a double decked bus with an open top for 1 peso.

STAFF/TIPS (5/5)
most of the staff were very friendly. everyone, including gardeners, greeted us as we walked by. many even picked me some flowers, which was a very sweet gesture. I was a very generous tipper but all of the receivers were extremely grateful. special thanks to our room staff (don't remember their names, one of them was Jorge with tribal tattoos) for the lovely room, the chefs behind the grill in the buffet, and Jorge L in the cigar bar for the amazing time.

OVERALL
I had an amazing time with my graduating class here at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria. some minor fixes needed but definitely got my money's worth and exceeded my expectations. trust me, I will be back very very soon!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tatianakma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 14 July 2014
Dear guest:
Thank you for your honest review.
We are happy to know that you will be back very very soon. You gonna be WELCOME here.
Our Management & staff are at your service anytime.
Best Regards,


Ms. Mareyi Gómez Montano. Customer Service Manager.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

I can honestly say I had a great time at this resort. A big thank you to all the entertainers who made an effort to make our time enjoyable. Richard, El Capy, Yamila and Ruben were all amazing. I was not able to interact much with the other entertainers however Michel and Lisdania were also great!

Beach- Beach was amazing. I have never seen anything like it. I traveled with 6 other people and we never had an issue with finding chairs. There's a mini boat ride you can go on which is great! (No extra charge, but we did tip). We had an incident where my aunt got stung by a jelly fish in the water but the 2 men that work there were great and quick to help out!!

Buffet- buffet service was amazing. Nicest people at the resort I think. They were so quick to help out and prepare tables for us and serve us. Even the morning of our flight back home one of the servers prepared some fruits for us for our ride home! Lazaro (one of the guys who cooked the fish) was amazing and one of the nicest people I met there! Suggestion- know your times. There is a snack bar open all day but we always preferred the buffet so just know your times so you can make it.

Rooms- rooms were fairly big. We had 3 people in the room so we needed an extra bed-- was delivered and ready by the time we got back. It was an uncomfortable bed but they provided a lot of blankets to put on top. Rooms were clean--it was also cleaned everyday. Our room was a bit far but we did not mind walking. We had a great view.

Reception- at times we had difficulty reaching them on the phone but they did eventually answer. Service was quick however! We locked the bathroom door and someone came to fix it within 20 minutes. Our key also stopped working but someone came to fix it within minutes(and we also received 3 new keys). We needed an extra bed and blankets and we got it delivered right away. Water was never an issue, we had it delivered everyday. Great service!

Entertainment- night shows were great. All amazing dancers. They had a pre-show at 9 and the show would start around 9:30ish. Again the entertainment staff was really nice. Yamila, Richard, El Capy and Ruben all did a great job.
Only thing I was upset about was how the disco wasn't on the resort. It was only 5 minutes away but it would have made it much easier if it was on the resort.

All in all I had a great time- I would defiantly go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sandra-matti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 14 July 2014
Dear guest:
Greetings from Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
I would like to thank you for choosing our resort for your recent stay in Cayo Santa Maria.
Thanks again, and we hope you'll choose Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria the next time you're in Cayo Santa Maria.
Best regards,


Ms. Mareyi Gómez Montano. Customer Service Manager
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Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

The beach at Cayo Santa Maria is phenomenal. Although the walkway to access the beach area would be a challenge for people with mobility concerns. The food was superior to any cuban resort we have been to in the past . This was our first time to hotel playa and would like to thank some old and many new friends for making our trip special. Activities are going all day long and the evening shows were very good quality. Entertainers, yuslemy, anier, capy, yasser, Annie's, Ruben, Lenny, yamila!! And a special thank you to the best bartender in Cuba Rafael. We look forward to seeing you all again when we return in October!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nancie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear guest:
Greetings from Playa Cayo Santa Maria. Thank you for your review.
We are pleased to know that you can't wait to return. You gonna be WELCOME again.
Hoping to see you in October,

Ms. Mareyi Gómez Montano. Customer Service Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

i had looked on trip advisor daily for a few months prior to going to this place. beach is nice, white sand , not crowded..water warm as bathwater..our room was average but was cleaned daily..some of our issues..
1- only get 1 bottle of water a day , that's not enough when there are 2 people drinking water and when you ask for water they look at you as if you're from another planet..one girl at customer service was very nice and got us extra water delivered to our room right away when we went to see her but a few days later, we had no water , we called 4 times no one came so we went to the bar to see if we could get some water, they didn't have any, so we went to see the customer service person but this time the girl that was there was very rude to us when we asked if we could have some water delivered to our room, she told me , i saw the water guy in your building..yes he was there but he didn't bring anything so finally she says "well he has until 8pm to deliver" so we spent the day , no water..plenty of booze [we don't drink] but no water..we ended up going to the buffet where there are tons of bottles of water and a very nice waitress went and got us a bottle after being told she wasn't allowed which we brought back to our room..when we got there the water guy ha come and left 1 bottle on the dresser not in the fridge...

2- we went to the seafood restaurant on the tuesday night, service was long, they ran out of lobster tails so we waited with 2 other couples for at least one hour before we finally got our food . it was not edible... another thing about this restaurant is that it's near the beach and has the daytime restaurant attached to it..so when i asked to go to the bathroom i was told i had to go out of the restaurant [ in the dark] and go the the bathroom that was designated for the daytime restaurant..so i go in..it is filthy and there are only 2 stalls...one has paper but NO TOILET SEAT!! and the other has a seat no paper and is full [use your imagination] i couldn't get over it how can you have bathrooms with no toilet seats!!!

the snack bar was a good spot to grab something to eat, though you have birds pooping on the chairs and no one cleans them...
buffet has a lot of stuff so you can always find something to eat..

all in all we had a nice vacation...too bad there were some easily solvable issues..

Room Tip: we were in building 7 3rd floor facing the spa..nice and quiet ..building 15 is a good choice too
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Robdup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear guest:
I would like to thank you for choosing Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria for your recent stay in Cayo Santa Maria.
Receive our sincerest apologies beacuse your vacations wasn´t as great as you deserve it and as perfect as we wanted it. We took note about the solvable issues that you had here in order to improve our service. Your satisfaction matters a lot to us.
Sincerely,

Ms. Mareyi Gómez Montano. Customer Service Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Went there for a week of March Break last year (Mar. 2013), wanted a nice hotel for my father to enjoy, so paid quite a bit, but thought it was be a great resort... It had quite a few issues, and other than the food, which I found better than in other Cuban resorts, and we had been to other parts of Cuba about 6 or so times, and the pools LOOKED nice when you just look at them from afar, but that's all that was good.

1) Problem with the luggage. My new expensive suit case was given to me with one damaged side, but still locked. In the hasardous atmosphere of the Santa Clara aiirport, without ANY local rep meeting us by the carousels and the armed guards preventing anyone from going outside to the buses to bring in some assistance (I tried, but was told that once I exit, I would not be able to come back), we decided to wat till we get to the hotel to see if the suit case could be adjusted / fixed. In the room, we took pictures of the suit case, emptied it and saw that the case was perm. damaged. I am glad we were able to bring our stuff back in it. Now it's garbage, and we had had a horrid time trying to get any compensation from the local rep in the hotel (unsuccesfully, she was so rude! Only interested in making money on selling trips to tourists) or from the Cubana Airline in Canada. The obstacles they created on the way to even trying to submit a claim upon return, worked in their favour, and as of now, I have received zero cents from them.

2) Arrival to the airport / check in
Trip along the causeway is nice. Pretty, with water on both the sides, unless you arrive in the dark. The location of the hotel means you will be isolated form "real Cuban life", you are on a narrow stretch of land, nothing but other hotels, a market for crafts a few hotels down the road, and a Delphinarium there.
The impressive and huge hotel lobby has a few desks - Customer service, a few tour desks, and the main one in the middle, Reception. It was not clear where exactly to go upon arrival, but I figured I would go up to the middle one, while the others were still getting their luggage from the bus outside. The check in counter (reception) had a FEW employees in nice suits in there, but NONE of them acknowledged us, a whole line up of the newly arriving Canadians - all line uped benind me with their suit cases, with the documents and vouchers in our hands, tired form a long trip + flight. Not a glance, not a smile, not a Hello, nothing! Shocking.

By the way, the hotel calls itself 5 stars, if you judge by the sign clearly displayed at the entrance to the hotel's property from the road.

Then one woman employee picked up a box of envelopes - I guess with our room numbers inside, came from behind the counter, did not stop next to us, continued walking toward some narrow corridor to the side of the counter, and kind of threw a command back at us, "Come this way". Wow!
I questioned whether she meant we were all supposed to folow her, because we were here obviously trying to check in. She indicated that yes, continued walking, the people hurried behind her, with their suit cases. My father was still outside by the bus, so I did not know how to let him know that we were being taken somewhere, but figured I would better follow this strange "welcome procedure". We were brought into a large room with rows of chairs and some tables at the front. A few employees, incl. the woman with a box, settled there, the guests kept on standing on the side, by the wall, not knowing what was going on. We were eventually told to sit down. Turns out they were calling us up one by one, cross referencing our papers, vouchers, etc. with their paperwork and hgiving us the envelopes and the keys.

Long before the trip, I had written to the hotel and to their managers elsewhere asking for a room on the first floor, closer to the beach, to make it easier for my father. I had a printed reply from them, promising that it would be done. When I brought it up upon receiving some envelope, and asked them if it would be a room like that, they marched me (!) back to the reception, without telling me why, looking very upset at me (!?). I was glad I was able to find my father, who by then was standing with the luggage in the vast reception area, obviously not knowing that the bus loads of Canadians had been taken into some strange room at the back for a check in... One would think that someone at the reception could have directed him there... The local rep took my papers from me, took out the Rm. number from the envelope, and was saying smth angrily to the men behind the counter. When they switched to English, I could tell that they were making negative remarks about the manager outisde of the resort who had promised to give us our requests.

Of course if I had not mentioned this promise, we would not have received a room anywhere close to the beach in eithe of the 2 buildings I had requested. It is a large property, not easy for everyone to walk through back and forth. Boy, they were not happy. I was nothing but polite, and could not get over the treatment this resort, so-called 4.5 or 5 stars, was giving us. Like I owe them something. No concept of customer service at all.

After a week there, I was no longer surprised. The HORRIBLE SERVICE of the reception is the worst! I wrote this in the eval. form at the end (- guess how fast it was thrown away by the same employees before whoever up there may see who cares could have noticed it?).

3) The room is OK, nice, but nothing wonderful. Better than some 3-3.5 resorts, but not that large, and our room, while we wanted quiet, was facing one of main large pools and was NOT on the first floor. But at least it was on the 2nd, not 3rd fl, so not too many stairs, but still, some, which I did not request... You can certainly find much better roooms in other resorts in other countries.

We started having problems with the safe, the fridge was not filled in, etc, etc, from the moment we arrived. That building was far from the reception, the only was to ask them was to phone them, but the pohone had no info provided ON it or NEXT to it. e checked the whole machine, inside the drawers, etc, - nothing. Dialing any combination of numbers, like 0, 9, 99, *, etc. did not produce any result. Wouldn't you think that an expensive hotel would provide info on how to reach reception in every room? I think I had to walk back there to get somewhere to our room. Later, when I found out the weird way to conttact the hep desk, the phone would not be answered 99% of the time.

The trick was to keep dialing, dialiing, dialiing, until eventually, they would get tired of this game and bother to pick up.

We had issues with our fridge not beeing filled almost daily. It is not, you come, you want some water, or some pop without having to walk somwehere far and lining up for it by a bar, but the fridge has not been refilled. Some days, the cans and water bottles would arrive late, when we were going for dinner, some days - not at all, though we called the reception hrs ago about it.

Leaving daily tips and souvenirs for the maids made no difference.

4) Food.
We liked the food in the main buffet by the reception. It had a nice display of hors-d'ouevres, mind you, the same every day, but there was a LOT to choose from, also a cheese station and some other stations. However, the biggest problem was HUGE LINE UPS to get any food For this reason, in a whole week, we could not get made-to-order chicken, shrimp, omelette, nothing at all, because we could not imagine standing in those huge line ups!

Even to get yourself coffee form a machine at either of the 3 meals a day in the main buffet, we had to stand in line! Occasionally, a watress would bring it, but most often than not, I would need to go get the coffee myself. There would be a few people ahead of me to the coffee machine, and while I had 2 cups, someone ahead of me would have 5-6, and even a waiter wouold sometimes stand in the same line with a full tray of empty cups. Imagine how long it takes to fill in about 10 cups of capuchino!

So if you go to this hotel, be prepared to ask yourself a question all the time, "How much do I really need / want it?", ebacuse the LINE UPS are everywhere!

The main buffet would sometimes not have enough tables at dinner time and some that were becoming available, remained with dirty tablecloths and crumbs, sometimes with only 1 chair instead of 2 next to it, so it was often Go fend for yoursellf situation, totally unacceptable for the $$ we had paid. The staff was there, they saw the buffet was busy, but the dirty tables would remain, and new people would have to sit at them.

There were times when the plates, cups and cutlery would run out, too. Once you knew your way around the large buffet room a bit, you could know the tricks - e.g., if you want a dessert, but there are no plates of any kind, and no saucers left on the cups table either, you can make your way between the crowded buffet room - all the way to a mostly deserted soup table far away, which usually had some funny little plates on it, and that would have to do as your dessert plate, etc.

Yes, we brought gifts for some wait staff, too, and tipped them on good days, but the staff changed daily, and it did not seem to make a difference. Certainly not a 4-5 star hotel level of service.

The pool had a bar with full meal service. It was conven. to eat there if you werre out and missed the main lunch hrs. They had a small choice of meals on the menu, like pizza, etc., but still, better than in some other places where there is nothing to eat till dinner if you miss lunch.
The same bar would be open very early and some people liked having breakfast there instead of walking to the front of the hotel to the main buffet in the morning. I usually got coffee there on my way to the beach at 7 am.


5) Beach -
The worst. If you were not already ON the beach at 7 am, you coud not get chairs in the shade! I had an alarm clock with me and would ahve to get jup before 7 am daily. 10 more minutes of sleep - you will be out of luck for the day! I have seen some guy paying a lot of money to the 2 guys working the beach, who usually collect your chairs the moment you leave them, so that the new people have to require their "help" when they arrive and consequently, pay them... In exchange to the "fee":, the guy was asking them to make sure his family would have chairs inb the shade every morning. Up to do - do you wnat to be doing it or do you wnat to say it's not right, and be getting up before 7 am every day of your vacatin just to save a chair?

It is VERY WINDY on that beach, and the sand blows into your face, more on some days than others. We were with sand all over our bodies, clothes, bach begs, etc. Peple would try to put a spare chair sideways, trying to protect themselves form the sandy wind, but it only helped somewhat.

There is almost no safe way to get from the chairs / palapas to the water edge. There used to be some stairs / cement squares on top of the sand, but they must have gotten ruined by waves, and never fixed, so there was a high wall, ilke a cliff, and people were sliding down on it to get swimming... Not safe and plain impossible for elderly people.

The beach and that wall of sand, once you are looking down, is filled with garbage, like empty water bottles, etc. - same items, same position, for a whole week, were never piocked up. Alkso weeds were raked only sometimes.

There were no shells on the beach.

You can walk on the beach back and forth for a long time.

The water is VERY wavy. You cannot snorkel there at all. That was a big disappointment for me. Someone went to this hotel in May 2014, and said the kids enjoyed jumping in the waves. If you want to swim, calm water, stay away from Cayo Santa Maria!

6) There is a double decjker bus, which runs in bwteen all the hotel and you can take it for $1 US a person one way. It ttakes you to a crafts market if you cannot walk tat far, and then continues to the Delphinariu, where you can enter for $3.00 p.p and walk around as long as you wish. You willl not swim with the dophins, but beats the ___ out of the $80 or so they charges others to bring you there by an organized tour bus or a catamaran. The loacl rep was visble UPSET at the orintation mtg. when I asked her wjhere to take that double decjer bus to go for a ride and if it was tru that Ihad read and one could just enter into a Delphinarium for 3.00. She did not like that! Her main purpose was to sell trips, not to help tourists with anything. Well, it was true, with the bus and delph., and we had fun.

7) If you need a bank in the hotel, be prepared to stand in line for 1.5 hrs on any given day!! It was like a joke! Over an hour!! When we arrived and saw it, we thought iut was just a bad day, but some people who were leaving, told us Be prepareds to stand in line in this resort no matter what you do and where you go. Boy, were they right!

8) Check out. Early in the moirning, in the dark, there was some employee at the receptin, who was so rude! He grabbed out key, did not say Thank, Have a good flight, Thank you for staing with us, nothing! Like this, with every person. The reception really is horrid in this hotel.

We will not be back. With the bad beach, waves and bad service / attitude, they have nothing going for them.

Room Tip: look at the map of the hotel, there are only 2 buildings closer to the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank SubjectivelyObjectiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear guest:
Greetings from Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
I would like to thank you for choosing our resort for your recent stay in Cayo Santa Maria.
We're always eager to hear what you liked and how we can improve. We are so sorry for all the inconveniences that you had here, your impression about our resort wasn´t good and we feel bad because of this. We work in order to satisfy our guests, a smile and a great treatment are little things that we can provide without any cost and it make the difference.
We are going to analyze what happen with you beacuse itsn´t usual in our resort.
Best Regards,

Ms. Mareyi Gómez Montano. Customer Service Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

THE GOOD:
I stayed at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria from June 21-28 and it was my second time visiting Cuba. The resort was extremely clean, the staff were super friendly and weren't begging for tips (unlike the other hotel I stayed at in Cuba) and the beach was incomparable to anything I've ever seen - you could walk out 30 meters (at least) and you would still be able to see your toes in the water.
My boyfriend and I had an extremely relaxing time - the overall feel to the hotel was similar to that of a spa - it was incredible. However, that is one thing I should mention - if you want a party resort, this is not the hotel you should visit. Despite the fact that the entertainment staff was great, there wasn't much of a party atmosphere at all.
Also, the rooms were very modern and clean!

THE BAD:
The only complaint I have is that the food at the buffet was cold more often than not.
Also, the amount of mosquitoes is unbelievable (even after the hotel staff sprayed the resort). I know that the amount of mosquitoes isn't the hotel's fault, but anyone who's considering this hotel should definitely beware of that.

ALL IN ALL,
I would 100% recommend this hotel to anyone - it's clean, the staff are extremely friendly and the beach is to die for!
See you again soon PCSM!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kristen_henry7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Dear guest:
Greetings from Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
I would like to thank you for choosing our resort for your recent stay in Cayo Santa Maria.
We're always eager to hear what you liked and how we can improve.
Thanks again, and we hope you'll choose Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria the next time you're in Cayo Santa Maria.
Sincerely,

Ms. Mareyi Gomez Montano. Customer Service Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We got back from this resort few months ago and I must say that was really fun times. We traveled with two small kids (1 and 3) and resort was perfect for the kids. It is designed in a circle so doesn't really matter where you get your room since everything is 5 min walking time. Pools weren't crowded with people since there is enough pools for everyone. No waiting in line for the food. I think the biggest problem was money exchange since there is only one person working and they are not open for a long time, My advice would be to exchange your money at the airport if possible.
Beach was good. Beautiful sand like the rest of the Cuba but there is a drop from the umbrellas to the actual beach. This is not really nice if you have a small children since you have to keep your eye out for them the whole time. Water is shallow and little to shallow for my taste but some people like that. There was enough chairs and umbrellas for everyone so there is not really need to "rush" to the beach early in the morning.
Food was good like other resorts in Cuba. Really big selection of food, fruit and deserts.
Room was very nice since i wasn't expecting room like that in Cuba .
All in all I would recommend this resort and would go back if the price was right again :)
Enjoy your stay

Room Tip: Ask for the room facing the beach. It's a lot quieter at night.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tomozmaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mareyi G, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Dear guest:
Thank you for your review.
The management and the staff of Playa Cayo Santa Maria are at your total disposal at anytime you need us, our purpose was to make your holidays a unique experience.
See you next time.
Best Regards,



Ms. Mareyi Gomez Montano. Customer Service Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria

Property: Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Address: Las Dunas 5 | Cayo Santa Maria, 50100, Cuba (Formerly Hotel Gaviota Cayo Santa Maria)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 769
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