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“Good for the soul”

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Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed 9 December 2008

I stayed at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria from Nov 20-27th. It was my first time to Cuba and I can say I was not disappointed. I was looking for some rest and relaxation after a very stressful year - and I got exactly what I was looking for.
The room was bright and clean, the pool clean and the beach was a little piece of heaven and not to crowded. The food was so so but always found something to eat!
The staff was always helpful and gracious. Would definitely visit this resort again.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank littleone49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
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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Reviewed 5 December 2008

We're a little late in writing this review but better late than never.

Stayed at MCSM Aug 22-29/08

Flight: Booked package with Air Transat but flew with Canjet from Montreal to Santa Clara. Uneventful flight but flying with Canjet leaves a little bit to be desired. Not really equipped for charter service. ie: no movies available to pass the time, in flight service was spotty. On our return flight we had to change course to avoid a hurricane approaching (you could see it approaching out of the starboard side of the aircraft)

Airport: You can exchange money at a kiosk just to the right of the exit to the buses. Drinks are also available at a little stand in the bus loading area (they only accept CUCS as payment) As this was our first trip to Santa Clara airport we were not sure of what facilities were available so we packed a couple of frozen bottles of water in our stowed luggage so we would have refreshments on the 90 min. bus ride from the airport to MCSM. The bus trip goes very quickly as there is lots to see (if your travelling in the daylite)

Check in: From the time we arrived at the resort until we were in our room took less than 15 min.

Room: We stayed on the second floor of Pacifico (Bldg #6). Our view was of the Sol Cayo Santa Maria next door. Actually there was a path between our Bldg and Bldg # 5 that took you to the Sol. The room was the most spacious room we have had in the islands. The maids did a wonderful job of keeping our room clean and stocked with all of the necessities (even toilet paper) which is a premium in Cuba. Had no problem with lack of hot water but not the pressure we would have at home. Every day the
maids would leave us towel sculptures on the bed, becoming more elaborate as the week progressed. (may of had something to due with the amount of gifts we left them) Our fridge was restocked every evening about 7pm without fail , with beer, water and soda.

Pool: We are beach people so we never stayed around the pool during the day. We did notice that part of the pool was designed so that anyone with physical disabilites or elderly people would be able to enter the pool with ease.

Beach: What can I say. Breathtaking! Beautiful sand with very little seaweed. The clearest calmest water we have experienced in the islands. West of the Sol next door you can walk for several miles with no other resorts anywhere to be seen. Lots of palapas on the beach so we didn't have to get up at 5am to secure one for the day. (It was low season though) Just in case there was a problem securing a palapa we took our own umbrellas. (we both have fair skin and burn easily.) There is little or no natural shade on Santa Clara due to it being huricane prone.

Food: Much better than our previous Cuba experience. Buffet breakfast comprised of eggs cooked to your liking, bacon as good as any you would have in Canada. A french toast and pancake station. Many kinds of breads and rolls. A little hint to speed things up, while one of you is waiting for the eggs the other can make the toast (this can be a slow process) We ate lunch at the beach restaurant every day and everything we had was great. Dinner buffet was very good with at least 3 meat selections every night as well as several varieties of fish, all cooked in front of you. Every nite was a theme nite of sorts. Pasta bar was excellent. 3 kinds of pasta and 3 different sauces with all the toppings you could wish for. We were so pleased with the buffet we cancelled our reservations at the ala cartes. For those of you who drink wine, they had the best table wines we have ever had in the islands.

Bars: All bars had an excellent variety of drinks. We both agreed that the drinks were stronger here than any other resort we have visited. The liquor selection in the lobby bar was amazing. For an extra cost you could have a bottle of Dom, Johnny Walker Blue Label and several Cognacs.

Staff: We found all the staff excellent, especially at the buffet restaurant. They went out of their way to make your dining experience enjoyable. Needless to say we tipped accordingly. We even had a waitress on our last evening try to refuse our tip.

We had such a great time at MCSM we are planning to return during March of 2009.

If anyone has any specific questions we would be more than happy to oblige.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5  Thank smoothidw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2008

We stayed at the Melia from nov 21st to nov 28th.

We were a group of 16 peoples from quebec. We really had the time of our Life.

The resort is really awesome. It really is like in the movie when you think of a tropical resort. The rooms are big and very clean. The pools were a bit cold but very nice and big. The beach is beautiful and every morning they take out the seaweeds. The ocean is blue and turquoise and was about 26 degrees.

The first day we got there there was the rest of a cold front so it was cold and very windy and the waves were really big. The beach was closed for swimming. After that we had sun for the next 6 days and the wind really came down. The temperature was about 25 on an average. Really comfortable and a bit more chilly at night and early in the morning. I saw almost very sunrise during our stay.

Actually I spent most of my days at the beach and did a lot of swimming and snorkling in the ocean; I also did a bit of Kitesurfing in the waves which was very cool.

The cuban hospitality is amazing. They were always smiling and very nice to us. We really had great service either at the bar; the buffet; the pool; the room service etc...

The only point was the food which was not on par with the rest; well actually most of it is very good but some other stuff more ordinary (like cold cooked vegetable for example). Go with the fish which was always excellent. Grilled chicken was also good. Pasta bar was also very good. Stay away from everything that has beef; also try to avoid theburgers which where very very very hard ;-)

Breakfast was alaways excellent; fresh fruit; fresh juice; cereals; yogurt; omelette; pancakes etc...

There is a show every night; some like it a lot some less; Me I really loved the music and the cuban dancers were amazing and really beautifull.

I really enjoyed my stay at the melia and would recommend it to anyone.

Jules

Stayed: November 2008
5  Thank jumarcil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2008

We stayed at the melia Cayo Santa maria from November 21-28. It was our 20 th wedding anniversary, and we had wanted to go to the Melia cayo Coco, where we had stayed before, but it was not available. The staff from the cayo coco resort had contacted the Melia Cayo Santa Maria, to let them know we would be coming. Well, what can i say but, WOW.
When we went to the front desk to check in, the receptionist called a man over, and he whisked us away to his office ( cute little area with a thatched roof, and linen curtains tied back ) His name was Rolando, and he was the public relations/quality mangager for the resort. He explained that they had been told we were here for our anniversary, and they wanted to make it a very special week for us. He took us to our room, ( second floor, overlooking the pool ) to see if we liked it, if not, he said he would move us. We like it very much. He then said that he had booked both the Italian resteraunt, and the meditteranian resteraunt for us, but if we did not like the times, or days that he had booked, he would change them for us. ( you need to book these in advance, to go to them ) We could also have a romantic breakfast in our room, any day we wanted.
He was really cute, he had a great big smile on his face, and said that we had lots of suprises coming to us, during our stay. At that, he left. Soon after, there was a knock on the door, and champaign arrived, shortly afterwards, flowers arrived. Amazing.
To make a long story short, everything was so beautifully done, we were treated like royalty, chocolates, flowers, romantic cd, private reception at the spa, romantic dinners. Just to make our anniversary week very special.. And we did not pay a penny more for all this . Some people complained that for the same price, (so not true ) they could have stayed at the Royal Hideway resort down the road, which was so much nicer, well, if you have an extra $1000. per person, you could stay there. yes..
For anyone going away for your anniversary, contact the resort via email. and ask your travel agent to contact them, and they will make it a very special week for you. !!!
For those of you thinking about going to this resort, for a vacation, or special occasion, of course we highly reccoment it, wheather we had been here for our anniversary or not, we loved it.
THE RESORT
( 1 ) Has lovely grounds, beautiful gardens, well kept.
( 2 ) Great swimming pools, always clean.
( 3 ) Plenty of lounge chairs
( 4 ) Plenty of shade.
( 5 ) Rooms are large, including the standard rooms. Clean. plenty of supplies. Shampoo, soap. Hair dryer. Bring a converter for your shaver , even though there is one built in to the hair dryer, my husband found it would not work all the time for his shaver.
If you do not like your room, ask to be moved, and they will move you.
( 6 ) Large towels provided for the pool area and beach, you just turn them in everday for a new one.
( 7 ) Lots of bars to choose from
RESTAURANTS.. Everyone has different opinions of them.

( 1 ) BUFFET. people complained about it, not enought choice, etc.etc. Its a personal thing. There is no pleasing everyone. !!!! A good example was the breafast. Each day they had a choice of the following ::
Omlettes- made your way by the cook
French toast
scrambled eggs
Crepes
hash browns, potatoes
bacon, sausage, other meats, ( looked like cold cuts )
toast, pastries, rolls, breads, chocolate covered little rolls. croissants.
Fresh fruits
Fresh juices
Yogurts.
Coffee ( regular, cappuccino, expresso )
Tea.
Im sure i have missed some stuff off the list. But, still people
complained , not enought choice. !!!!! Same complaints for lunch and dinner
Make sure you have the fresh cooked flambe crepes at night, they are wonderful. !!!

BEACH RESTAURANT
We went once, were not impressed, did not go back. But, others liked it for the fish, calamari. Hamburgers.

POOL SNACK BAR ( 24 HRS )
Nice thin crust pizzas. Other foods available as well. Wraps,
french fries, hot dogs. etc.etc.

ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Small, romantic, candlelight. Great service. Two young men playing music
( guitar and violin ) Lovely, and not too loud.
We had a really nice meal there. Our friends, Fred and Irene found their meals to be cold. Others did as well.

MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT
romantic, candlelight, beautiful service, good food. mixed reviews from others. You decide for yourself..

Many people complain about the cuban food being rather bland and boring. Just do your homework before you go to Cuba, and you will know what to expect. You can always bring along your favourite spice in a shaker bottle to heat it up a bit, if you want. They do have little saucers with spices on the side, to add to your food if you wish, or they will add it to your fresh cooked meal, if you ask.

The Lobby bar is a nice place to sit and have a drink before dinner, and listen to the piano and the singers. Too bad they have to ruin it by having a speaker . It was so loud, its hard to chat.
The day time entertainment staff are great, always lots of activities if you wish to participate.
The nightly entertainment was very good, we felt it was far more professional than any other Cuban resort we had been to before.
As other reviewers have said, make sure you see the Tuesday show, with Michael Jackson in it. Very good.
As with any entertainment at the resort, for some reason they seem to have the need to have it very loud. I think if you sat at the beach, you would be able to hear it. !! People did complain about that.
THE SPA
Beautiful. Go get your hair done, or have a manicure. While you wait, they have a lovely pool, drinks, food. Champagne. All yours to enjoy.
THE BEACH
Well lets see, miles of sand and surf, wonderful, georgeous. It was very windy when we were there, and for three days we could not swim, the red flag was up. But of course some people swam anyway, and the lifeguard had to call them in. ( they do need bigger flags, as they are rather small, and you could miss them )
In one of the recent reviews, the person was saying that the beach was not very nice, don't believe what you read. He must have left his glasses at home. !!! It is a lovely beach.
As for all the silly people who complain about sea weed,
HELLO, this is the ocean, sea weed comes with it. !!!!! Stay home and go swim at your local pool. The staff clean it up every
morning at sunrise.
Staff,... where do we begin and end. Super, kind, polite, and courteous. Treat them as you would like to be treated, with respect, and it will be returned a million times over. We have never found any problem with staff in Cuba I watched some people who choose to ignor them, ( even when they open a door for you, or serve you coffee ) Thats just plain rude. I suppose it gives some people a power trip to behave that way.

There were a few groups of young people 18 - 25 yrs. who looked a bit bored at times, in the evening especially, as the before dinner entertainment was certainly not their thing. I think that some of them wished they were staying next door at the Sol Cayo hotel, or the Las Dunas, which tends to attract a younger crowd. But, i think that the entertainment group ( dancers ) tried to liven it up for them at the night.club. Would we reccomend this hotel to the younger crowd, 18 - 20 yrs. no, probably not.

Our only negative at all, about the resort was all the smoking. We are just not used to it anymore. But, you will find this at any resort in Cuba. Thankfully, no smoking in the restaurants. Its too bad that they do not have smoking and non smoking areas in the lounges and bars.

Im sure some people will have fallen asleep reading this long review. but i hope it helps. Email us if you wish, we happy to answer any questions.
[-]

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
15  Thank chelseaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2008

We stayed at MCSM Nov 21-28, just a couple of weeks after Hurricane Paloma. You couldn't tell they just cleaned up from a storm. It was absolutely beautiful! Our tour was booked through Air Transat. I will say that everything was on time and efficient despite the check-in agent being rude and less than communicative. Information on what to do once we landed in Cuba was given on the plane as we were landing. Great, smooth sailing all the way to the resort. Word of caution, there is no bathroom on the bus and the drive to the resort is 90min. I've read some other reviews that said there were no snacks or drinks on the bus. There is a refreshment stand in the parking area where the buses were waiting. Many passengers hopped on board with beer in hand, no issues.

We were greeted at the resort by dancers and a round of cold drinks, perfect! Check-in was very quick and they have a bell boy bring your luggage along to your room about 15 min later. First thing we did was grab a bit to eat, then hit the pool. The pools were spotless every day without question. There were plenty of lounge chairs, and I didn't really notice anyone hogging the prime real estate by reserving with their towel.

Food was adequate as stated by many other reviewers. I stuck mostly to the grill at the buffet. They have a selection of raw fish, beef, pork, or chicken which they cook and season to your liking. The pasta bar was good too. I've seen this setup at restaurants in Canada. They have parboiled pasta which they finish cooking when you order it. Then the chef starts with a base sauce and customizes to your liking. Nice and piping hot. I found the food in the steam trays was always cold.

All I can say about the beach is: Gorgeous, wonderful, amazing. Turquoise water, powder sand. I spent more time at the beach rather than the pool. The bar is close, and if there's more than one bartender, one of them will make rounds on the beach.

Our favorite part of the trip was the excursions. We did 3; Catamaran, Jeep Safari, and Scuba. I can only comment on the first 2 as I do not scuba, my hubby did that. The Catamaran hosted by Captain Freddy and crew was by far the nicest boat trip I've taken in a long time. The bar was open right away (9am) and we partied all day. There were 2 stops for snorkeling plus an area where they practically beached the Cat on a sandbar so we could get off and explore. It was a little too windy for optimal enjoyment of the snorkeling, but nobody seemed to care. We all had a great time. Once back on board from our exploration time, the music was cranked back up and we were dancing on the deck. The crew even joined in for a bit. It was a hilarious good time. :)
The second excursion, Jeep Safari, you get to drive your own Suzuki Vitara (stick shift) through some small towns and country roads. There are 4 ppl to a jeep so you can switch off the driving during the pit stops. This trip is where it's a good idea to bring your own toilet paper, some hand sanitizer, and the water bottle from your room. There are no seats on the toilets and they are not clean. (keep in mind this is nothing to do with the resort, it just happens to be the conditions we met while off the resort) I didn't really care as I was there to experience a little bit of uncensored Cuba... and that's exactly what we got. We did about 4hours of driving broken up by several stops. Lunch was home cooked Cuban food: a roasted pig, rice with black beans, cassava root, some farm grown veg, and Cuban coffee at the end. It was hands down the best meal we had in Cuba. Very humbling as well... this kind of meal is served as a special occasion. Think N.American turkey dinner with all the fixin's.

Anyhoo, I realize I've just babbled on about a lot of stuff that's got nothing to do with Melia Cayo Santa Maria, however the reality is that you may be taking these things into consideration as part of your trip. Do them!! :)
The average age at the resort is 40+ so if your 20 and looking to party go to Veradero. MCSM is relaxing, and easy going. We did a little archery, some dance lessons, watched the shows, went to the disco....but it was all free form. We just did what we felt like doing, it was great. The room was spacious and clean. There were no bugs, no smells, and the air conditioner worked great. It is a little humid in the room, so dry your bathing suit out on the veranda. We were well taken care of, well fed, very well watered so-to-speak.
Don't sweat the small stuff, try to remember you're on vacation. I highly recommend Melia Cayo Santa Maria. Don't forget to tip. A few pesos here and there will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, and bon voyage!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank domino_dots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, General Manager at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2016

Dear customer,
Thank you for your review, by the sound of it you had a great time!
We are happy to read that you enjoyed the resort and our service.
We hope to see you back soon, here at your second home, Melia Cayo Santa María!

Kind regards,
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 Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Address: Jardines del Rey, Cuba
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
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $245 - $324 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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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