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Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

My husband and I have been all over the Caribbean and never once to Cuba as we heard the food is terrible and the hotels are very run down.. but this was not the case!
We had the most incredible time staying in Cuba & this resort! Stayed March 17th to the 24th, just me and my husband. A much needed relaxing holiday.

FOOD:
The food is not the best I've had, but I was incredibly surprised of how much we enjoyed it. We never went hungry!
We had coffee & fresh orange juice every morning and it was the best we have ever had.. so tasty!
For Al A Carte we did the Mediterranean (twice) & it was sooo good!
The Tex Mex was also very good as well as the Japanese. The Al A Cartes were a lot better then the buffet, but the buffet you could always find something to eat.
For lunch we had it at the beach bar, there is a bbq there every day and you can pick which foods you would like! Loved this.

STAFF:
the other reviews are not kidding when they say the staff here are the best.. they truly are! They make you feel special & really take care of you. Even small things make such a difference, like the beach guy always making sure you have a lounger by the ocean and he even takes the sand off the chair for you.. was a nice touch!

THE BEACH:
I have seen a ton of beaches and this by far is the best beach I have ever seen. I got goosebumps when I first saw it. My husband and I were completely blown away. The first 4 days we stayed at the beach as it was calm and great swimming. Then the last three days it was very windy so we could not sit by the beach nor go in which was disappointing but obviously no fault of the hotel. But the 4 days we could go in the water we made it count!

EXCURSIONS:
We did the catamaran, snorkeling, dolphin interaction & lobster lunch. We had the best day! So much fun! You gotta do this excursion, it was only $99 USD and was so worth it.
We also did the carnival which they have on Thursday nights about a 5 min drive from the resort, we loved it! So much fun!

NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT:
My husband and I aren't partiers so the lack of nightly entertainment did not bother us. I mean they do some entertainment but it goes until about 11 and then everyone is in bed. They had Cuban singers in the lobby as well as nightly shows. We enjoyed this.

THE ROOM:
The rooms were not updated nor at all modern but this did not bother us. The bed was good, we had fresh towels every day, the shower was nice and hot, the room very clean & the AC worked awesome! So that was all that mattered to us! We thought the room was cozy!

POOLS:
The pool was cold but was refreshing on the really hot days, it was always clean as well. Tons of chairs. And if you couldn't find an available chair the staff make sure you have somewhere to sit!

GROUNDS:
The grounds were beautiful, truly. Easy to navigate. Everything in close proximity.

We brought lots of tipping money and we are glad we did! These people deserve it. If I had tons of money I would bring all I could, but a little does go a long way. These people work so hard and work such long hours. Anything you can give to them is very much appreciated =)

My husband and I will be returning to this wonderful resort, we feel we found a hidden gem and we cant wait to get back! Cuba is such a beautiful Country, I don't want to travel anywhere else. I want to explore more! Love Cuba & love Melia Cayo Santa Maria! Thanks for having us!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Sarina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, Director Comercial at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2018

Dear Sarina
It is been a big pleasure that you have chosen Melia Cayo Santa Maria for your vacation; where it is for sure you will have a nice stay and will keep unforgettable memories. You will be very welcome to Cuba as to our resort.
We would like to thank you for take the time to post such a nice review trip advisor; we are very happy to know that you had a wonderful experience in our hotel Melia Cayo Santa Maria; and for sure we will keep us working hard into the improvement of all our services and facilities.
We really appreciate you contacted us to spend your vacation and there is no doubt that once you go back home you will take with you one of the most amazing memories of joy it is possible to have.

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Reviewed April 3, 2018

I was there in February 2018 It was wonderful. The most great things was staff, especialy animators. They was for us every time and with everything. Lessons of salsa, cha cha and aqua gim was awsome.
The people there are great really really.
Marta from Poland :-)

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Marta R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, Director Comercial at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2018

Dear Marta
Thank you very much for considering Melia as your vacation company, that make me real proud of the service and most specially of the staff that provide it here in Melia Cayo Santa Maria!!
Thank you very much for your great review and comments!!!

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Reviewed April 2, 2018

My husband and I spent 9 days at this resort from March 21st. to March 30th. We had a junior suite that was was quite large, clean and bright. ( Rm. 1411, ground floor, pool view. ) Always stocked daily with water, pop, and beer. ( Except the day before we returned home, we were forgotten. ) The bed in our room was very hard, so my husband took the bed, and I the daybed.
The grounds and gardens of the hotel are very well kept. There are many garbage cans and ashtrays so there is no excuse for garbage or butts to be found anywhere, and there was always someone walking around picking up litter .
The food (as always in Cuba) is very repetitive, beans, rice, chicken, fish, pork,beef. A salad station, cheese station, Pasta station , but who can't find something to eat ? We only tried the Japanese Restaurant, it was fine, but I would tell anyone to give it a try.
Outside the buffet in the evening you will find a dog and sometimes a cat. Please be kind and give them a couple of morsels
It was windy everyday we were there but 1. Absolutely impossible to go into the ocean. I tried and found it too difficult to get out by myself because of the steep bank into the water. I would definitely not recommend this resort for children.
We found the area around the pool very loud. The entertainment staff try to keep everyone amused, but the music is very annoying after hours of pounding.
The pool was quite cold, but kept very clean. We saved our chairs in the morning before going to breakfast , there were plenty there, but after the morning rush, there were few to choose from. There were always men hauling chairs from the beach to the pool, and vice versa.
In our opinion, the staff as a whole make this resort special. They are very guest oriented. Always smiling, making you feel welcome, and ready to serve your needs. We gave many tips at this resort. We feel the same here as anywhere else. If the tip is deserved ..it is given. We give gardening gloves , fishing lures, to the gardeners.
( those who are in the back ground. )
We only attended a couple of the shows at night. They do the best with what they have to work with, but we were not impressed at all by what we saw.
The drive from the airport to the resort is torturous , after being on a plane for 4 1/2 hrs. , waiting at the airport 3 hrs. prior to takeoff and a 2 hr. drive to the resort, we could not get to our rooms fast enough ! Our bus drove by our resort to let guests off at other resorts . When we questioned this, we were told that they have a direct connection to their resort...well that's what it said on our tickets as well.
We only took one excursion. The speed boats and the snorkeling tour. The water was very rough, and to do either was difficult, but an adventure.
Our poor excuse for a dollar doesn't have much weight there, so do not expect a big exchange.
In closing, we will probably not return to this resort because of the long commute. Although they are talking about adding an airport on Santa Maria, then we will reconsider.
Please go and enjoy yourselves, we did even with the speed bumps.

Room Tip: don't waste your money on ocean view, our room 1411, pool view, 1st. floor, close to everything.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank novascotiarebel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, Director Comercial at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2018

Dear:
Many thanks for give us the possibility to know about your experience.
It has felt very good to read your review. We understand you have had a really good time, even when your experience has not been exactly as expected.
We will take into account every detail you are referring us and work very hard in the improvement of all our services.
Thank you so much for your comments. We will be looking forward to your next visit.

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Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile


One of the really hidden gems of Cuba. Such a gorgeously long stretch of fine white sands at the end of a long causeway off the coast of Villa Clara from Santa Clara. A real must for beach lovers that is virtually unknown to the outside world.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
3  Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, Director Comercial at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Dear
We have been honored with your presence at Melia Cayo Santa Maria and we heartily hope this recent visit will not be the last one. I´m completely sure that the next ones will be even greater and you will enjoy more our services and offer.
See you soon!

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Reviewed April 1, 2018

I have been going to Melia Cayo Santa Maria since 2014 and I have now been to this resort 12 times. I had a trip booked last October but I was forced to cancel it because of the devastating hurricane. I was extremely sad and extremely worried about all my friends and family and about my beloved home. The thought of never being able to go back made me so sad so when I heard that Melia was back up and running the first thing I did is book another trip. I went on March 4th, 2018 for 1 week. I got off the bus and saw my beloved lobby. It looked amazing. It was completely re modeled since the last time I went in June 2017. The lobby is transformed into a beautiful modern setting with while walls, comfortable lounge chairs and lots more room for tables and seats to fill up the lobby bar.
My favorite memory about getting off that bus is seeing the familiar faces. I was worried that some of my favorites may have found jobs elsewhere due to the hurricane but I was pleasantly surprised that all my friends at the lobby were still there.
Daynamara at the check in desk made our check in flawless and quick. In just a few minutes were were having a drink and taken to our room. We requested our favorite bungalow which we got. Bungalow 19 is the perfect place to get a room. It is close to the beach and rancho as well as the snack bar and lobby bar. Our room had a bottle of wine waiting for us. We were home.
Next stop was the lobby bar where the faces of our favorite bar tenders welcomed us with big smiles and lots of hugs. Juan Carlos, Dany, Mykel, Ernesto, Yancarlos, Norge just to name a few are the hardest working bar tenders. They are always quick to serve everyone even on the busiest nights. They are working tirelessly to make sure everyone has a drink on their table and clean up after quests have gone.
The entertainment has always been amazing at Melia but this time there was even more activities and more fun to be had thanks to the great entertainers such as Carlos, Rey, Edel, Alan, Ernesto, Arel, Alex, Felipe & Ismael. These guys are up at 8am in the morning doing activities such as aqua gym, volley ball, thai chi & dance lessons until late at night creating the most amazing shows with lots of dancing and fun for all the guests. The dancers at this hotel are like none others. They are hard working and put on some magical shows for everyone each night. This time around we had a great retro night, white party and beach party. The staff make sure that the guests participate and have a ton of fun. The lobby bar was always filled with people dancing and enjoying themselves.
Melia also has some amazing bands entertaining the guest each night before show time. They are groups of very talented musicians who's voices and performances make you forget all your worries back home.
The buffet is the next place we noticed had a very nice upgrade at. There are new white walls, new tables and the same attentive staff. Daniel who makes eggs and pancakes at breakfast time is one of the most beautiful souls I ever met. He is the kindest man. Frank makes my omelettes every morning and I swear you must try them because they are delicious. The food options were always different each day and there was a lot of variety to choose from.
The rancho at the beach was probably hit the most from the hurricane as it is so close to the beach but it has been remodeled with a new roof and new furniture and is still the best place at Melia to get fresh fish and calmari. You would never be able to tell that this place was hit by a hurricane just a few months ago.
The snack bar is still the best place to get pizza and is still open 24 hours so you can never go hungry even in the middle of the night.
Our room were just as we remembered. Our favorite blue and yellow pillows and comfortable beds were always taken care of by our maid. Our rooms were always clean and tidy even if we didn't leave them that way.
One of the best days of this trip was the Cuban Day. This was the first time ever the hotel served lunch outside. They did an amazing job decorating the pool area. There was lobster, fresh fish, fruits and amazing pastries for dessert to eat. They had a boat filled with beer floating in the pool for the guests to enjoy. There was fresh juice made and a band was playing music while the guests enjoyed their meal. I have been there 12 times and this was by far the best Cuban day I experienced. The staff did an incredible job transforming the pool area into a Cuban paradise. I loved it.
What can I say I may be a bit biased as this is my second home but I would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a week in paradise. I call Melia Cayo Santa Maria my happy place. For the one week that I am there I have no stress, no worries and no thinking of the outside world. I get asked a lot about why I always go back to the same resort and why don't I want to try anything new. I say because there is no place like Melia and I will never find a place that will make me happier. Most of all it is the people that work at Melia, The people make this place home. They are family. I am already planning my next trip in July. I work hard at home and I know that when I go to my second home all my worries and stress disappears. So I will keep going back. Irma may have cause a lot of damage but it has also made Cuba even better than ever because the Cuban people worked tirelessly to return the hotels to an even better place than it was. See you soon family.

Room Tip: Bungalow 17, 18 and 19 are close to the beach if that is what you are looking for
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank mcichocka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melia S M, Director Comercial at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Dear
Receive our most respectful greetings from sunny Cayo Santa María.
We would like to thank you for this nice review expressing in details how it felt to stay at our resort and experience our natural environment, personalized service and human warmth.
We are certain that other vacationers will find your comments very useful while choosing their next holiday destination.
Wow thank you very much for your 12th visit to Melia Cayo Santa Maria, I hope that real soon you will be here for the 13th one!!
Thanks also for mentioning so many staff members; I will let them that you remember them all.

Thanks Again.

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