My husband and I decided to Honeymoon in Cuba when we came across a last minute discounted deal. We came for 2 weeks and stayed almost one month (22 September to 17 October 2013).....so that should say it all!
It was my second trip to Cuba and his first. We had few expectations; our priorities were to relax & enjoy our honeymoon, as well as do lots of sports.
1) The Beach & overall Location: breathtaking aqua blue sea and soft white sand. The water is as clear as in a pool (unless a storm passes). There are the occasional jelly-fish but that goes with the territory. Lifeguards and a jelly-fish "extractor" guy are on hand to make you reassured.
2) The Staff: It is no exaggeration when I say that Cubans in general (at least outside of Varadero from what other tourists have told us) and especially the staff at Melia are incredibly warm and welcoming. Melia MCSM's Management and staff are particularly professional, helpful and friendly. We especially thank Head Manager Francisco/Paco, Food & Beverage Manager Luca Pezzolla and Head Chef Manuel for always asking how we were doing and attending to any request we had; they were always working and running around making sure everything ran smoothly (we wonder when do they actually sleep!!!). There are too many waiters, waitresses, barmen, cookers, BBQ-chefs, Pizza-chefs, Smoothy-makers, gardeners, chambermaids, entertainers, reception staff....... to name individually, but we have only wonderful things to say about them.
3) Sports: Lots of sports offered free at the hotel. We had a daily regimen of volleyball, water polo, tennis, windsurfing, snorkelling, archery, darts, pool, dancing. The sport entertainment staff quickly became our best mates, their enthusiasm & professionalism surpassing our expectations: Arel, Lazaro, Ernesto 1 & 2, Yasel, Orlando, Jorsly in particular.
4) The Resort: it's small enough to feel cozy, romantic & homely (not a giant, anonymous hotel complex) and is in good shape for a 10 year old hotel in Cuba. Renovations are regularly made to update it. The grounds & facilities are clean and well-groomed. Our room was impeccable. We brought our laptop and watched movies on the big flatscreen tv on the evenings that we felt like staying in (even though there were a million satellite channels from around the world to choose from). We even adored the resort cats/kittens.
5) Food & Drinks: from the buffet to the Ranchon beach-grill, to the beach-BBQ, the a la carte restaurants (Italian, Japanese, French) or the 24-hours pool-side pizza resto-bar.....you will always find something delicious to eat (unless you are really picky!). The seafood was always exceptionally good. Just stay away from beef as in all of Cuba it is hard and chewy. With all-inclusive drinks, you can order anything under the sun, all day long including sparkling wine (our fav). Just keep in mind that this is Cuba so there occasionally might be shortage of something or other (like ketchup for a few days) due to procurement/delivery problems...but again you will always find something you like....the variety is large.
6) Entertainment: Davey and his team work hard to put on to wide variety of entertainment shows from dancing to aqua-ballet to Disney-themed, Broadway-themed, to magic shows.
7) Excursions: we really enjoyed our day-trip by plane to Havana; it was worth the price. And our day-trip to Santa Clara really allowed us to see the "real" Cuba. We visited family homes and had a lovely traditional dinner. Our tour-guide Arel (of the sports/entertainment staff) did a phenominal job.
We honestly have no criticisms....but only one regret. We did not realise how difficult it is to buy certain items in Cuba. We ran out of sunscreen, dental floss, mosquito spray and pain killers but departing tourists that we befriended were kind enough to offer us theirs. Next time we will bring a carry-on of items to leave behind. Regular tourists informed us that everything from toiletries (deodorant, toothpaste, sanitary products, hair clips, shampoo, mosquito spray) to pens, batteries, to childrens' clothes, to fishing equipment are most appreciated as a tip/gift...in addition to monetary tips.
We are not ones to return to the same vacation destination/hotel twice, but would in a heartbeat come back to MCSM....it felt like home mainly because of the awesome staff!
Thanks for a fabulous, unforgettable Honeymoon!
Ivonka Phillips & Arthur Pawlonka
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In an island paradise off the northern coast of Cuba stands the 5- star All-Inclusive Meliá Cayo Santa María hotel, especially designed for families, surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush tropical vegetation. This property (358 rooms) offers facilities for incentives groups and a special wedding and honeymoon program. A perfect complement for an unforgettable holiday. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Melia, Priceline, Booking.com, Holiday Gems, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L., Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your Melia Cayo Santa Maria 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 Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
- Cayo Santa Maria Melia
- Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
- Santa Maria Cuba
- Melia Cayo Santa Maria Cuba