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“BRILLIANT HONEYMOON! Wonderful Staff!”

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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #10 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“BRILLIANT HONEYMOON! Wonderful Staff!”
Reviewed 20 November 2013

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.

The Positives:
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.

The Negatives:
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

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank IvonkaPhillips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director of Sales at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 27 December 2013
Dear Ivonka :
We have been delighted with your review. It feels really good to acknowledge what your feeling has been in relation to all our facilities, our natural scenery, and our staff performance. We very much appreciate your having taken the time to share your experience to such extent. The rest of the traveler community must have certainly benefited from the first-hand information you have provided them.
We heartily hope you visit us pretty soon. We have introduced some positive changes we would like you to try. It will be a pleasure to serve you again.
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Laval, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

This was our 3rd trip to the Melia Cayo Santa Maria, why go back? Because each time we wonder, are we going to be disappointed with our vacation and each time the experience turns out better then the last. From the time of our arrival at the hotel to our departure the service was exceptional. The staff is friendly and very helpful: Yuri, Heriberto and Orlando at the front desk. Noemi at the Rachon, Juan Carlos, Walter and the rest at the bar, the entertainment staff Ernesto Morejon, Lazaro, Arel and so many others made this vacation a success. We are looking forward to going back in February and being spoiled again. Thanks again and see you soon Todd and Micheline

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Micheline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director of Sales at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 27 December 2013
Dear Micheline,
Receive most respectful greetings to you from Cayo Santa María.
I would like to thank you for this nice review expressing how it felt to stay at our resort and experience our natural environment, service and human warmth with special mention to our staff, we are very proud of them.
Hoping to see you soon,
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Stoney Creek, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

My wife and I booked a last minute trip to Cuba. This was our first time and were a little concerned to be honest. We had been a Mexico several times and have enjoyed that as well.

Cuba was half the price of some of our other vacations and is a great value.
The 90 minute drive from the airport goes very quickly and is spent on a new, air conditioned bus, with a guide who is giving you the history of the villages as you go through them. This is the first 45 minutes and the next 45 minutes if going across the causeway which is beautiful...and then you are at the hotel.

The staff was great and if you have a problem or need something fixed them are there in 5 minutes. The managers will say hello to you everyday and ask you how your stay is going...not to many resorts can say that.

Some quick suggestions:

1) Bring snacks...if you like some peanuts, chips, etc with your beverages they are not around.
2) Flash light was a must..but it sounds like this is better now.
3) Visit the little vendor village there...great art and gift ideas and no pressure.
4) Bring some tipping money as this goes a long way.
5) Fresh coconut every morning that the gardeners will prepare for you (with straw)..$1 tip.

* Great staff and excellent bang for the buck.
* Well manged resort.
* Ozzie the pool bar tender is great.
* We will be back with our teenage kids next year.
* Came back relaxed, and now have a new love for our friends in Cuba.

Room Tip: The blocks 16-20 are close to the beach access...I would ask for block 19 again.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank jayman100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director of Sales at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
Dear Jayman100:
We are so proud to have inspired this touching review you have recently posted! It is very gratifying to be recognized by the warmth and professionalism of our staff and those are precisely the aspects of our staff performance we work the hardest at.
Thank you so much for having shared your experience with the rest of the traveler community and be sure we will always be really happy to welcome you back.
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Hamilton, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2013

This was my first time in Cuba.. I will start by saying that I would definitely return to this resort.

Melia Cayo Santa Maria was a beautiful place for our vacation. Myself and a group of 40+ traveled between Nov, 1-8/13. I was privileged to have shared my cousin's magical wedding day here as well.

The overall best feature of the resort is the beach - paradise, gorgeous blue waters with glowing white sand.

A very close second, the staff.. I cannot say enough about the staff. They were friendly and would go over and beyond to satisfy their guests. Always smiling and joking making your vacation full of laughs.

The food was descent, though I was unable to partake in any of the a la cartes other than the Japanese as I was not well for the first few days. I ate mostly at the buffet and snack bar (amazing pizza!).

My room was clean, colourful and spacious. I did hear of some rooms that had some ants.. not the case for us.

Entertainment was lively and fun, many different shows from dancing to bmx stunts and magic.

Poolside (where I spent most of my trip) was fantastic! Osbeil the bartender took very good care of me and everyone around the pool as well as everyone at the swim up bar. He was incredible! Very fast, efficient and most importantly - friendly! By far he and Eduardo made the staff stand out as one of the best parts of our holiday.

I found this resort to be a romantic getaway, more suited for couples and not families with children,

My only recommendation: bring a flashlight, walking around at night is VERY dark!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank SamanthaQB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear Samantha

Thank you very much for your comments because I assume that are more or less the same for the whole group and 40 people are a lot...
We are in the way to install 120 new lights around the hotel, we know that it is one of the most repeating problems we face so we hope mid December to be finished.

Thank you again and hope to see you again very soon
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Toronro
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2013

I go to Cuba every year twice. In October 2013 first time was in this resort. Complitely satisfied. Rooms big and clean, stuffs very friendly, helpful and shy. But what surprised me, that food is so good! Usually I am not go to a la carte restaurants, because everywhere (Cuba, Dominicana) they bad. In Cuba Japanise restaraunts usually not good, their sushi funny. But in Melia Cayo Santa Maria they good! It was really Japanise food, even my small dauther eat it! Resort have few restaurants and they all offer good food: Italian, French, Japanise, 24-hours working restaraunt, buffet... It's really the best cooking team working here.
Beach was very good, but warn you: Santa Clara in end of October can be not so pleasant. Storms, waves, water kind of cold. Nobody was swimming, just me. For 4 days. Last 3 days were hot and water good. Other people were swimming in the pools during storm on ocean. Pools are good. So, I will go again to this resort, but not from October to April. But anyway I cant say that I regret that I came here. It's very good resort, they have a lot: even playground for kids, 2 pools for kids, child care. And they have good service: taking your bags from bus and bring to the room, and when u leaving they take bags to the bus from your room. Exellent management!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Evelina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear Evelina

I am really happy that you enjoyed your stay among us and something even more important, your kid did too...we know how exigent kids are and for us they are a very important point.

I hope your next stay to be again with us, we are working hard to make better our resort.

Thank you again and hope to see you soon

Best Regards
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Montreal, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

What I have experienced is that there is only one thing more beautiful than Cuba itself and that is its' people that made this brief one week visit to Melia Cayo Santa Maria a memorable experience that will bring me and my friends back again and again.

From the time I entered our streamlined air conditioned bus at the airport to commence the 90 minute voyage to Melia Cayo Santa Maria I was amazed all along the way and gave new meaning to 'it is not the destination – but what you experience along the way'. We passed through many little villages to see where and how these amazing people survive in a country that has suffered an immoral embargo for too long. Seeing a horse and buggy bring people from the fields was an eye opener for me – us with our air conditioned SUV's; and we complain!

Then we arrive at Melia Cayo Santa Maria and we are welcomed by a smiling trio of Cubans who greet us in dance with a welcoming refreshment and I am in awe, I cannot think of anywhere I have been in my life that I was greeted in such a manner. The front desk staff are welcoming, friendly and helpful and it is indicative by their actions they are willing to go the extra mile to insure your stay is a memorable one. Impressive to say the least!

A brief summary here; the beach is paradise, absolutely beautiful, clean and groomed daily and with that comes the beach restaurant for a memorable luncheon with picture opportunities of the coastline and the rich vegetation and of course the friendly and welcoming service. The 24 hour service area is staffed by qualified persons who serve you at any hour of the day, with a smile! The Japanese, French and Italian Restaurants are a complementary alternative to the buffet that has a menu to satisfy anyone's taste. The gym is very clean and kept in such a manner by professional individuals who take pride in what they do. The chefs at all the restaurants are exceptional, most waitresses and waiters can speak two to four languages, take a moment and to talk to them and you will begin to appreciate their unique Cuban spirit. The excursions are fantastic especially Santa Clara where you will visit historic sites, church's, village squares, see and listen to local musicians, the Che Guevara Museum and Memorial Square is a must for anyone visiting Cuban and you cannot leave without visiting an authentic cigar factory – you will then appreciate the expertise that goes into a Cuban cigar! I heard from many guests that swimming with the Dolphins was a childhood dream finally realized.

You can go anywhere from Melia Cayo Santa Maria by taxi or bus, I would recommend a taxi (faster and immediate) to local markets and such for about three pecos or so, try Las Rias market where you will find souvenirs for everyone on your list, there are nice curb side restaurants where you can have a Mohito with the locals and enjoy an afternoon admiring local culture, art and great food. There is a nearby disco (Las Dunas – great dance floor, DJ and bar) evening entertainment at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria is with a talented dance group performing many musical scores and dance repertoires and a magician for the children and big kids.

Rooms are spacious with full bathrooms, soaps and creams supplied, clean towels and mats everyday, beach towels in your room, air conditioned, security staff on site so there is no worry for you ladies who visit this area. Life guard and a clean pool with many activities, water polo, exercise and dancing classes (salsa), archery and dart board, all in ambiance to be remembered.

You may be wondering why such an exceptional recommendation for this resort, well, I came here without expectations and with a respect for these exceptional people of Cuba, knowing of their background and a little history and with their limited resources they make us feel welcome and at home from the time we arrive and I was impressed; I am coming back at the first occasion that I can get away to this paradise of Cuba ! Enjoy!

Room Tip: "Rooms on the south side are quieter"
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Robert O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear Robert

it is always nice to read a nice review and I hope many more can understand what a great stay they can have at the hotel, anyway, we are working hard in the things we know are important and still with things to do.

I hope next time you come, you see the changes we are doing and you can enjoy even more.

Best Regards
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douglas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We just returned from a beautiful vacation at Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba. My husband and I can classified that as the best vacation of our lives. The hotel is very large with incredible and well decorated lobby. Our room was very nice and pretty, regularly clean and stocked with drinks.There are four restaurants and a huge buffet, The french and italian was amazing, the ranchon playa is beutiful with huge variety and fantastic service.The only negative thing we have encountered was in the buffet. Twice we requested information and assistance to a woman, we later discovered that she's the captain of this restaurant and if I remember correctly she's name is Illis. This Person seems totally indisposed and with no solution to any question, she was really arrogant with us.The hotel has two huge swimming pools with bar and snack bar where you can eat all day delicious burgers and pizza very good.The beach is like no other, certainly the most beautiful I've seen in my entire lifeEvery day the animation team offers different games and activities, the evening show is incredibleThanks Melia Cayo Santa Maria and we hope to meet you again soon

Helpful?
3 Thank julienne802
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Francisco B, Director General at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear Julienne

Thank you very much for your comments and we know not everything can be perfect so, as we use to do, we evaluated your comments about everything.

I hope too that you come back in the future, we work hard everyday and our clients are the most important thing to us.

Best Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Additional Information about Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Property: Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Address: Jardines del Rey, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Spa Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Cayo Santa Maria 5*
Number of rooms: 360
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

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