This vacation was beyond all expectations. Not that I doubted that the resort could pull it off but having read all the reviews in the month prior to our departure, I was expecting the best and was afraid to be let down but NO Way :) We arrived on January 3rd. The bus ride to the resort was a bit long but just fine. The Sunwing champagne flight is by far the best there is. You will not be disappointed if you fly Sunwing. We were the first vacationers dropped off. We were greeted with a hot towel, a sangria and canapes. Our luggage was taken care of immediately and we were escorted to our room by our butler. We had an ocean-view room in bungalow 3...what a view. Our room had a king size bed, balcony, living area, digital controls for the AC, a luxurious bathroom ( i could have spent hours in that shower ), refrigerator filled daily with rum, soda pop, and plenty of bottled water. We even had face cloths!!! Now that was a first for us in Cuba. We even had luxurious bathrobes and products in our room. if you want to go all out, rent a cabana or Royalton Suite as they call it. We visited one and would love to stay in one of those. They are breathtaking! We visited number 3 and it has a great oceanview also. The lobby and grounds and pools and rooms and bars and everything is immaculate. The view is breath-taking! The food is very good. I especially liked the food at the snack bar. The restaurants a-la-carte are both great. Breakfast A la Carte every morning. Inside the restaurant are beautifully arranged fruits and cheeses. They even have peanut butter! Café Latte, freshly squeezed orange juice, cappuccino.....they have it all. The drinks are very good also. Stop in to see Yorkie at the snack bar. He is a great bartender, always joking and laughing while all the while mixing drinks of the finest quality. Another bartender at the pool called Yurien Pérez was really nice. At that pool bar, you could always grill your own panini. The waitresses there are also friendly and efficient...Hello Yosmaily, thank you for everything. Julie, the Canadian manager and the Cuban manager ( sorry, don`t remember your name ) are constantly tending to details. Julie is amazing...she knows her job and making your trip a fabulous one is her main goal. It was our first experience with a butler. Hope you get Noelvis. He surpasses all expectations. I have never met anyone that does his work so well. Our butler set up meal reservations, accompanied us to restaurants and came back to get us. He poured us a few baths in the evening. I was pleasantly surprised to find rose petals floating in a steaming hot bath when I got to my room before our supper reservations. Since some of our clothing badly needed ironing, our butler offered to have it ironed. It was done on the same day. There are two large pool areas with chairs in the water and beautiful beds around the pool. you can change your towels as often as you want. Everything is immaculate. This resort is new and nothing has been left unattended to. Jacques and I have been going back to Cayo Santa Maria for its beaches and believe me....you will not be disappointed. It feels like you are walking on flour. The ocean is clean with very little, if any, seaweed. You can walk for miles. There are more than enough chairs and palapas on the beach and by the pools. Next door to the Royalton is a small village square called La Estrella. This is where you find the bank, restaurants,the spa, shops, souvenirs, crafts and the disco. The Japanese restaurant there is fabulous. Ask your butler to make arrangements for you. These restaurants are at an extra cost but for an outing, it is not expensive and quite enjoyable. It cost us 10 pesos each for the Tappenyaki experience. The lobster, shrimp, and chicken were great. The soups and salads were fabulous. Another sidewalk restaurant ( genre Bistro ) called The Casa de Miel is a fine place where you can enjoy drinks or light food. Try the Canchanchara; a drink made from lime juice, moonshine and fresh cuban honey. At the village square the vendors change every two days. Not once did any of them harass me or ask me to buy something. They are very respectful. The quality of their work is superb. Although I had no intention in bringing back any gifts this time, I could not resist the sculptures, the canvases and the hand-made linen tablecloths. Back at our resort now, The Royalton is laid back and the music is usually soulful or jazzy. If you want to live it up, you have access to all the entertainment next door at Memories. Although we did not go ( couldn`t get enough of our resort ) some others did and had a fabulous time. We did try the Italian restaurant at Memories once and the food was very good. Thank you Jenny at the towel centre for your warmth and kindness. Thank you Julien Perez for your special drinks and smile. We would love to see all of you again. The only way I can express my gratitude is by telling readers that I thought that a resort of this quality and beauty could only be enjoyed by the rich and famous. I never thought I could experience such luxury and at a price that we can afford. Till we meet again. Pienso que fue es fantastica....Gracias
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