I stayed with a party of 11 for a wedding Sept 20-27 and I had a great time! There were only about 100 people at the resort, and it was in fine shape, even after the three hurricanes! Here's a little summary of the resort:
The resort was clean and well groomed. There were a ton of mosquitoes, but that's what happens after hurricanes! The pool was very clean. I think the staff walked around the pool and beach at about 6 am to clean up poor expired crabs, frogs and jellies. Beware of glass after drunks drop their drinks!
Well, the food sort of sucked. For breakfast, there was bacon on occasion, runny eggs, cafe con leche with goat's milk, curious yogurt and fruit, and no working toaster. Get the cappuccinos at the lobby bar, they were great! The omlelets are good at the buffet, and the snack bar also has omelets, but I did not try them. Sometimes they deep fried the random cold cuts with olives for breakfast, and if you're not looking, you could have mistaken it for bacon! Overall this was the worst meal of the day :(
Lunch was good at snack bar or beach cafe. I had pizza, calzone, calamari, a great burger (at beach bar only, snack's burgers were nasty), papa fritas (fries) and ice cream to finish.
Dinners at the buffet usually involved turkey, of all things, plus random meats, mostly pork, in varying stages of digestability. Pasta as well. The Mediterranean resto was okay, with shrimp, seafood, steak that was good one night and bizzare the next, dense fish, chicken and okay dessert. The Italian had pasta, gnocci, pork, chicken and other goodies. I was warned to stay away from the lasagna, so I never tried it. Good food, and I travelled with Italians!
Good enough for me. They ran out of beer TWICE!, but I just switched to rum. If you want, you can even get Dom Perignon for 95 CUC, which is about $110 Canadian, while in Canada it is around $240! There was a good amount of variety and premium drinks if you asked.
I enjoyed my room, up until the second last night when I found a cockroach the size of my index finger behind my bed! However, we were visiting a tropical country with roaches, so there were bound to be some! The hot water for showers appeared twice, but I was darn hot anyway, so I didn't mind. Good room services, like wake up calls, and a great maid Lily who speaks rather good English!
The Entertainment was excellent compared to the other four AI's I've been to. Berta in the lobby bar is attentive and sweet, as is Elvis and Jelier at the Pool bar. BTW, Elvis has a 6 week old boy now! I found it slightly weird that the staff was very interested in talking to eachother, rather than serving the tipping guests. Our tour guide mentioned he had two weeks off, since the hurricane prevented a number of flights coming in, so maybe they were catching up. The beach is in reasonable shape, and it's 12 km long, so enjoy your walk!
I was the Maid Of Honour for my best friend's wedding on Sept 26. "Ana the Wedding Planna" was professional, thoughful, funny, reasonably fluent, and very excited for us. She did say, though, that the bride was easy to work with! My suggestion is beware of "Bridezilla"! Don't treat her like crap, she's doing her best with the limited resources of Cuba, never mind being 50 km from the mainland!! The wedding was great, and she did the translating of the Family Code herself!
Don't Miss: Trinidad, the town, the Michael Jackson Thriller tribute by the Entertainment crew, the Jellyfish lake at Sol, and the exceptional service at the pool bar. Don't forget your tips for the boys there!
I had fun, and so did most of the people I travelled with. I travelled with older Italian Canadians, parents, 30-something ladies and a 24 year old dude, and we all had a wonderful time! Watch for beggars in towns, unusual laws, like where and when you can buy cigars, as well as inattentive staff and broken chairs, and just enjoy yourself!
- 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
- 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