My wife and I just returned from a fantastic vacation at this remarkable resort.
All the praise that the Melia Buenavista has received is well deserved.
After flying all night on the red eye check-in was quick painless and the supplied wet face cloth was a nice touch. Unfortunately arriving at 8 ;30 am means not having a room ready to check in to for a few hrs. (we were by this time oh so ready for a shower). So we had to put our luggage in the lobby storage area and change in the bathrooms. That's the way it is when arrive before check-in time
When we got to our room we were very impressed, large and spacious with a beautiful ocean view over looking the sunset beach.
The maids kept the room spotless everyday and there is a turn down service nightly( oddly our balcony never got swept during our stay,we pushed the sand from our snorkelling gear off the deck with our towels)
Our outdoor shower was very private unlike some of the previous reviews, it looks like they have placed more slats in the open slots. An outdoor shower, was something that have never had before, I think would a real treat to experience, if you had hot water. Unfortunately we never did. Tepid, but never hot. We let out butlers know, and they had somebody look at it everyday, and one day we did have hot water for five minutes and it was wonderful, but it didn't last. They did their best to fix-it but, in Cuba things sometimes take awhile to fix. We know that.
The food was excellent, the best we have had in Cuba ( this is our 4th trip, third to Cayo Santa Marie) The service was excellent ( except one al-carte meal, it took 2.5 hrs. to eat, a bit too long, lots of waiting between courses) and the musicians in the restaurants and lobby are just amazingly gifted. They were so good that one night at the lobby bar they were called back to for encore at the end of the night. I have never seen that before. Often when musicians are done or take a break, it is a bit relief, not having to talk over them so to speak. Not these guys, they are so good, I don't think anyone wanted them to quit. Really you have to hear them.
Speaking of superstars, the guys at the pool bar are just that. Norge,Oreste and Noe are far away the best bar guys we have ever had pleasure the meeting on our eight Caribbean all- inclusive vacations. It seems to me that in most resorts, bar position is a bit of a senior position and the guys who get it are often older and maybe a bit jaded. Think about it, theses guys deal with all kinds of vacationers in various state of inebriation, that think this is once in a lifetime experience, I imagine yourself in their position, dealing with that many people can get old very fast. But these guys make everyone feel so special and I think they really do like meeting and serving people. rare and special folk indeed. A bouquet to them for sure.
Our butlers Edel and Ernesto were excellent. The concept of having a butler to take care of the little things that enviably pop up from time to time is excellent. Things that normally would have to go to reception for is more personally handled, we liked it.
In fact all the staff is outstanding, never had one person give us substandard service the whole week.
One thing thing that we found interesting was all the staff spoke English, some better than other of course, but everyone spoke some. It has been our experience that often the maids and gardeners speak only Spanish, it was really being able to talk to everyone, and the gardeners are super friendly always giving flowers to the women in the mornings, nice touch.
The three beaches are all great and have there own charm.
The main beach has incredible snorkelling, we have gone on many snorkelling excursions that have taken us to places that have far less fish than this spot that you just walk in to water to in front the beach bar. Amazing. Our last day the water was red flagged but most days the sea was fairly gentle with two flat calm days. Prefect bliss.
This a very small resort that excels because of an outstanding staff, they are the ones that make the difference. We will have a hard time going anywhere else now, I fear that we have been too spoiled.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 March 2012
Dear Valued Guest,
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On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we wish to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us, and especially about our staff and musicians.
Oreste, Norge and all our team will be very glad to know that their effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.
Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC