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“Sol Cayo- Very Bad”

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Sol Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed 23 December 2013

I stayed there for one night and couldn't wait to get out. The rooms and buildings are very old and the doors didnt lock. The musty air conditioner leaked through the ceiling onto the floor. My daughters foot broke through the grating around the pool and the grounds are very run down, broken boards and unsafe. The buffet was closed for reno's and the outdoor restaurants were very dirty. Lots of flies and dirty cats. We couldn't eat the breakfast and lunch was hotdogs, hamburgs and pizza which we couldn't eat. We changed hotels and we were very happy at Playa Cayo. I would not recommend this hotel. The beach is beautiful.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank 56Debbie91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Bret P,

We are sorry to read your comments in regards of your stay with us, normally everyone always enjoys our resort very much.
Please be sure that we work as hard as possible and we aim at delivering always the best possible experience to all of our dear guests.
Nevertheless i would like to inform you we have a new management team with great ideas to apply at work.
Once again please accept our apologies for this inconvenience and we look forward welcoming you in the near future and enjoy our new changes.

Best regards

Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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495 - 501 of 2,686 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2013

Absolute beautiful beach. Walked all the way to Melia Buena Vista, about 1 km, au natural.
Very nice beach, stop anywhere and go for a swim. Soft white sand and crystal clear warm water with a gentle surf. Park yourself anywhere and soak up the sun. Lots of lounges and palapas for everyone on the beach right in front of the hotel.
The hotel itself, wellll....
By Canadian standards I'd call it a 2 star.
The buildings and facilities are aged. The rooms are ok, but need work and are not as clean as they could be.
I had 3 different rooms during this stay.
I arrived late the first night. Check-in was good, they even had a reservation made for me in one of the restaurants. Too bad about the food. I turned in around midnight.... by about 3am I was awake. I was being bitten by some small insects crawling in my bed. The front desk said I had to wait until morning to change rooms. I checked with them at 9, 10, 11, noon, 2 and 4, when I finally got another room.
Room 2 was very similar. The same bugs were in the tub, but not in the bed. I turned in about 11. It was getting warm and stuffy so I turned on the air- conditioning about 11:30. Arcing and sparks came from the ceiling vent; then thick dark smoke came out. I had to leave the room. They changed rooms for me. It was 1:30 am befor I was settled in room 3. Room 3 was litterally the farthest room from the beach. But at least there were no bugs biting me, and the AC worked. Although I did have to kill a huge (1 1/2 inch) bug one night.
You pay 12 CUC ($13 cdn) for a 60 minute internet card. I used it the first and second nights. The internet did not work for the entire remainder of my stay.
There is a double decker bus that will take you to the Pueblas for 1 CUC. They tell you it runs every 45 minutes. I waited more than an hour and a half, on two occasions. The only food I found palateable was the pizza and Italian.
The average age of guests, i'm guessing, was close to 70.
I saw maybe a handful of couples in their 20-30s. Some in their 40-50s, and the majority 60 or over.
Definitely not a party crowd. Many gay male couples and singles. I even had a nice man with a pierced penis offer to oil my back for me. A simple no thanks seemed to work.
Would I go back? Not anytime soon.

Room Tip: Try Mexico or Jamaica.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank Bret P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Bret P,
Thank you so much for your comments in regards of your stay with us, normally everyone always enjoys our resort very much.
Please be sure that we work as hard as possible and we aim at delivering always the best possible experience to all of our dear guests.
It is a pleasure for me to inform you we have a new management team with great ideas to apply at work.
Once again please accept our apologies for this inconvenience and we look forward welcoming you in the near future and enjoy our new changes.

Best regards
Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2013

My family and I came to Sol Cayo Santa Maria and the first two days were glorious. Then I got word that my son had died tragically. The people were so amazing and helped us to return home immediately. I've never met more caring, loving people and will never forget them.

Room Tip: My room was on the second floor ocean view...it was so clean and spacious. I truly loved my time eve...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Nancy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2014

Dear Nancy S
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
For us was a pleasure to served you any time you asked for.
We hope you can come back very soon to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

We visited Sol Cayo Santa Maria from Dec 3 -10 and returned disappointed and with stomach illness due to poor hygenic conditions, flies on food left exposed to the elements for hours and the choices were so
minimal due to the fact that the buffet was closed for renovation. We were informed of further delays to completion only the night before departure and that we would have to eat at other restaurants on the premises, where the food was so limited and unappealing with bird droppings, cats and flies. There were only limited facilities at each restaurant and no refrigeration, since food was normally prepared at the buffet.You had to make reservation between 11am to 2pm wasting time in line in order to have dinner or you would have nowhere else to eat the disagreeable food. The 24 hour pool snacks prepared only a cheese sandwich or hotdogs. We are not fussy eaters and have been to many parts of Cuba a dozen times, but this hotel will not get our endorsement, especially since many clients visited the clinic the week before our arrival requiring shots and medical attention locally.
On the positive side, the beach and pool are beautiful with lots of chairs.The staff was friendly and always apologetic when they could not satisfy. The property is huge with lots of activities available. The extra cost for an ocean view room is not worth it.The water is visible at the horizon a km away.You get your exercise by doing a lot of walking on beautifully cared for grounds by industrious, friendly gardeners. The maids do a great job of cleaning and room facilities are comfortable. Amazing, everything worked!!!. Be sure to bring a flashlight,to avoid dangerous pavement in unlit areas where ground lamps are broken, especially in rooms at the edge of the hotel property.
The only indoor restaurant is the Italian restaurant and if you are lucky to get a reservation here the dinner is good and the service excellent.To classify this hotel as 4 star however is an exaggeration.

Room Tip: Select a second floor for better view. We asked for a quiet area and were very happy with the locati...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Doris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Doris B,
We are sorry to read your comments in regards of your stay with us, normally everyone always enjoys our resort very much.
Please be sure that we work as hard as possible and we aim at delivering always the best possible experience to all of our dear guests.
Our hotel is involved in a renovation process that will give us our structural conditions back. Nevertheless i would like to inform you we have a new management team with great ideas to apply at work.
Once again please accept our apologies for this inconvenience and we look forward welcoming you in the near future and enjoy our new changes.

Best regards
Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Travelled Sept for 2nd visit, all I can say is tour operator with Thomas cook was a waste of space other than that we had a Fab time the beach to die for loved it.yetsi on bar is Fab meals at beach Fab,Italian Fab,Cuban Al a carte the main buffet a little shocking but hay ho your in Cuba.adolfo the manager still there doing a great job to keep on top of this lovely old hotel.yes it is run down but working hard on it every day to maintain.it was our wedding anniversary whilst there we were treated like royalty flowers,champagne romantic meal thanks Adolfo and staff for kindness you showed us on our special day.MArbay,hullos,Mafia made are trip memorable with the fishing antics.we made some great friends from Cuba and England especially les and Jan,nick I,martin and famous we think of you often ,the only downside for us was that England holiday companies are no longer landing at Santa Clara so we can't return as of yet.a summary briefly,Cuba is a developing country you need to respect this and take Cuba for what it is a beautiful country with beautiful people who I admit and respect,ignore bad reviews just book and go!,,,,

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank shazbarnes21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2014

Dear Shazbarnes
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working in renovations to give you all the best. Nevertheless i would like to inform you we have a new management team with great ideas to apply at work.
We hope you can come back very soon to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Sol Cayo Santa Maria 2013 Nov – Dec 2013

This is my second visit to the hotel. These are my views, yours may differ. It is a 90 minute bus ride after you get out of the Santa Clara airport but if you land during daylight it's an interesting drive through small towns. I did change money at the airport for a bit better rate, BUT it's very very slow. If you choose to do that it's out the main door to the right. There is also a money exchange at the resort.

Room: Everything worked, AC was very good, ironing board, iron, small fridge, hair dryer and umbrella should it rain. The bathroom has a 110 volt outlet for charging electronic items. The only thing was the balcony door did not lock properly so I wired the latch closed. They may have had it fixed if I'd reported it.

Grounds: They have improved all the trip/falls spots where marble met concrete by painting the different levels yellow but a friend still fell 3 times, and I fell once, plus I saw other people trip. I would not recommend this resort to seniors for that reason. Melia next door has all level walkways and grounds. Bring a small LED flashlight as some walkways are not well lit, especially with broken parts of the concrete.

Food: The buffet area was closed for renovations so everyone needed to line up at 9am to book different restaurants around the resort for supper. The manager said the buffet will be open mid December, good luck with that. Well I was there it felt like I was living the tv show Survivor. Breakfast was held at different areas. The pool bar had mini buffet which turned out to be a complete joke,. Some buns, cereal with no bowels, and no spoons, sometimes musty looking bananas. Restaurant Los Cocoa for breakfast was just as bad and maybe worse, cereal with bugs in it, no bowels, no spoons and some buns you could break a tooth on. Supper was just ok at Los Cocos. Because the dinner restaurants are in different areas I'd see people with maps and flashlights looking to find them. I guess that's part of the “Survivor” challenges, LOL. Most restaurant staff members were very good, others at Los Cocos for breakfast leaned against the bar talking well never acknowledging me for a coffee or anything. See final thoughts below.

Staff: Reception staff were polite, quick and friendly. The lobby bar staff were always very friendly and served great coffee, gardeners always had a hola as I passed. Other than the one incident at Los Cocos the staff were wonderful.

Public Washrooms: Always spotlessly clean, with fresh plant displays.

Pools: Again this year there is green slime/mould in large amounts in some areas under water. They vacuum the pool daily but never touch the sides.

Bugs: If there is no wind, then the little biting creatures really came out so bring bug spray. Some tourist had many many bites on their legs, I got none.

Weather: On 10 out of 13 days the ocean had huge waves which made swimming impossible. Beautiful to look at but powerful and dangerous. If your looking for swimming in the ocean, choose another part of Cuba.

Pueblo Los Dunas: Shopping area is within walking distance. Lots of trinkets, t-shirts and the like but nothing that got my interest.

Final thoughts: Had I known before hand about the buffet being closed, I would have booked somewhere else. I talked with lots of unhappy tourists who felt the same. Time consuming lineups to book for that nights food plus when you do get there in the dark, the food is not that good. You are given a time to arrive and warned on the ticket if you are 15 minutes late, you may lose out. The restaurant La Fontanella is highly recommended for supper with waiter Ridel being fast and friendly. I consider him the best of the best. Best places for lunch were Picua for fish and chips and Los Flamencos restaurant for pizza.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank BeachGuy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2014

Dear guest
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working in renovations to give you all the best but i would like to inform you that our buffet is open now giving a good service for all our clients.
We hope you can come back to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Lati Naimi
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Let me begin by saying I was somewhat concerned when we found out the buffet was going to be closed for renos during our stay. To our surprise it was a blessing because we ate at the a la cartes all week and other than the Italian you eat outside. Yes it is being updated and lighting is poor in places but I have learned to take a small LED flashlight on any vacation from my first vacation even to Mexico. As in previous reviews we go to the Sol for a week of rest and relaxation and I will be back next Dec 2014. The staff are attentive and bar staff never let us be "dry", the bed was comfy, shower was hot and we never went hungry. Our 20 yr old daughter came with us and enjoyed the Cuban experience vs the Mexico vacation in Jan 2013. We also went on the catamaran excursion and highly recommend it, the snorkeling, lobster lunch and crew were amazing. We had amazing weather as well our tans are envious of all friends and did not break the bank. If you want a break, go to the Sol for a week.

Room Tip: we have had both ground and second floor rooms, we prefer the ground floor now only because of no st...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank pgeddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2014

Dear pgeddie
Thank you very much for your good comments. That is why our staff works for.
We keep working in renovations to give you all the best.
We hope you can come back very soon to Sol Santa Maria again.

Best regards,

Lati Naimi
General 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 Sol Cayo Santa Maria

Address: Cayo Santa Maria | Villa Clara, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: £97 - £269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Cayo Santa Maria 3.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In an island paradise off the northern coast of Cuba stands the All Inclusive 4-star Sol Cayo Santa Maria hotel (300 rooms). Ideal for simply relaxing or for exploring the clear ocean bottom and neighboring keys that surround this marvelous Cuban tourist destination. Enjoy an unforgettable holiday with your family, all included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Sol Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Maria Santa Sol
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Cayo Santa Maria Sol

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