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Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 December 2012

Hi, friends, we just had a week vacation in Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba (Dec 6-13, 2012). As a newly-opened hotel, mostly things went well. The room is very new, clean and quiet. The food is not the best but nicely prepared. There are 2 restaurants and a snack bar. The Menu is basically with 2 pages. Not many vegetable dishes. No desert Menu. Just pudding, flan and ice-cream. No internet here. The front desk has only one lady to reply phones. The hotel managers and the local service people are working hard to improve the service little by little everyday and day by day.

The beach is great with beautiful fine white sands. The sea water is so clean that things can be seen through clearly. The sea water is not cold at all. And it feels wonderful walking along the beach.

There is a small shopping town close to the hotel (2 minutes walk). Many kinds of local art products can be purchased from there. The Spa at the town offers very good service. The Royalton clients enjoy 20% discount. For a facial treatment, the listed price is 68 and I paid just a bit more than 40. I enjoyed it very much. The massage was done by Mr. Petro L. He did a great job. He is at the age of 59, absolute an expert in massage. The whole procedure did not include any equipment. All is done by his hands. Many more service was done such as massage on hands and feet while doing the mask. Highly recommend to try the Spa.

The weather in Cuba is cooler than Mexico. We felt very cold in room for the first day when it was raining. The air-conditioner cools down the room efficiently to 19 degrees. We felt it freezing and tried to set the temperature to 22 degrees. The controller would not listen to us. We finally got to know no heater is existing in Cuba. So we turn off the air conditioner and opened the door to let the outside warm air in. It took about 2 days to bring our room temperature to 22 degrees. We then turn on the air-condition when we go out and turn it off when we get in. We feel great for the rest of our days.

There are some details that we wish to share with friends who plan to come here soon:

1. The flight from Vancouver to Santa Maria is about 6 hours. Only breakfast is provided on board. The arriving time in Santa Maria is about 5:20PM. The immigration and customs goes fast. The waiting time in bus is about 1 hour and the bus to hotel takes about 1.5 hours. Arriving time to hotel is almost 8PM. It is a long day without lunch. It would be good to bring a snack bar and have it in bus before to have the first dinner at hotel.
2. The hotel had power outs very often. We had the power off for 3 times per day during the first 4 days. A small flush light will be very necessary and a must to bring.
3. The power in Cuba is 220V. The outlet socket on wall is the 3-leg one with Cuba standards. To insert Canadian adaptors, it needs to push it in while shifting the adaptor left and right.
4. The Royalton does not have the currency-exchange service. The money can be changed at the little town (very close to the hotel) and the nearby Memory hotel. The banking fee is 12% on the amount changed. The passport is requested for currency exchange. It will save to pay the bank fees if to bring many one dollar bills. FYI, the local people do not like coins as they can not exchange the coins into local money. The tips are welcome in paper bills.
5. There are many steps in the hotel. Some are in the dark area. Walking from lobby to rooms at night needs to be very very careful.
6. Room service to order a dish can take as long as an hour. Pls call an hour before it is needed.
7. The bed mattress is covered with a mattress protector sheet which is not breathable. At beginning, we often woke up by feeling a kind of wetness from the mattress, very unconformable during night. We then used the blanket to spread over the mattress protector which helped a lot.

Hope the above is informative. Wish you enjoy your vacation in Royalton.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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43  Thank linda20121212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar D, General Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2012

Dear guests:

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on our hotel. Your comments are always important to us in order to improve our services and products everyday! Rest assured that all your comments were read and analyzed deeply and we are grateful that you helped us resolve some hotel opening issues, although as you have mentionned, we are working harder and harder everyday to make little leftover details dissapear as you witnessed during your vacation.

Many of the items mentionned during your stay as the variety of food, deserts, receptionists or power shortages are normal for a hotel opening. These are not continying issues for a long time as we have to acclimate to the usage of all the complex and finish recieving all the necessary items to give the best service we can. You might say this should have been done before opening and we totally agree with you! For your information, it was planned long before, but unfortunately as it happens frequetly, not everything arrived quite on time on openings, even though we asked for it long in advance. As you could see though, changes were made quickly and we have had no more issues since your departure.

Thank you for mentionning that Cuba has 220V electricity. This is true throughout the whole island and we strongly suggest bringing your adaptors, as they are not always available unfortunately. The reason why it was difficult for you to plug in your adapters was because since they are new, there was a protection installed against shocks.. We have by now tested most of our sockets so they are easier to use upon your arrival.

As for money changing, it has been available for a while. This theme being different from others, as it cannot be prepared before the opening of the hotel, but on actual opening day, is always a bit longer because of government and bank approbations but it has been resolved since and there is also a bank that can help you right next to the hotel in the pueblo.

Once again, as it is normal in hotel openings, we have quickly adjusted and now all the paths and steps are well lit up. Room service is also monitored and delivered with 30 minutes time. Details that were quickly adjusted as operations that were planned were put into place.

Thank you very much once again for your comments. They have helped us greatly on focusing on what needs to be done and on all that has been accomplished in as little time as 3 weeks!

We hope to have the chance to welcome you to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria once again, so we get the chance to pamper you once again!

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1,780 - 1,786 of 3,088 reviews

Reviewed 15 December 2012

I've been to Cuba several times but this Resort tops it all. We arrived around midnight on December 2nd. Upon arrival, my husband and I were greated with a glass of champagne and we were asked to sit on the comfortable lobby sofas while front desk came to us with our room keys, etc. We were taken in the 400 bungalow building by shuttle and our suitcases were brought up for us to our 2nd floor room. The room was big with a king size bed, balcony and we could hear the ocean (it's midnight). The bathroom is large with an amazing shower big enough for two people with rain falling faucet. There is a bath to soak in and bath salts are provided. Everything in the room was sparkling clean. There is a mini fridge stocked, iron, ironing board, umbrellas (in case) and lots of closet space. There is a hair dryer and a safe. When we woke up in the morning, I could see the ocean while lying in my bed. Amazing view!

The grounds are pretty with flowers everywhere. This is a new hotel so bushes and flowers still need time to grow. When we came out of our room in the morning, our buttler was waiting for us and introduced himself as Carlos and told us he was there to take care of us. Asked us what time we wanted to eat and where. He made our reservations for us. This is a plus for us because other places took forever standing in line to make reservations. Your buttler does this type of thing for you. We were also told that anything special needed, he would tend too. One night we asked for a bottle of red wine in our room and he came knocking with the bottle in hand, fully corked. It makes you feel very special and it's nice to be spoiled. Stress is immediately lifted because you can tend to enjoying your vacation fully.

There are two pools. One by the lobby with a bar. The other closer to the beach and right by the snack bar restaurant. Both pools were relaxing and very clean. The snack bar service is amazing. The food is very good and varied. How many snack bars have grilled shrimp with garlic on their menu? Not many. There are two à la carte restaurants, no buffets. My husband and I experienced wonderful evenings chatting with live music, great service and very good food. We had everything from veal, lobster, shrimp, tuna, salmon, Surf and Turf, all cooked to perfection. The wine served is never cheap, very good.

Having the privilege of two other resorts, we booked one night at the Memories Italian restaurant. It was nice to be treated with priority and the food was absolutely excellent. I had raw marinated beef in a lemon sauce and speghetti cooked in a tomato basil sauce. Very good! The deserts are amazing too. We decided to walk back which is about a 7-8 minutes walk. Between both resorts is a little market and there are always security guards. The market area is fun, it's where you find the bank, the spa and the gym along with vendors selling souvenirs. From the Royalton, it's location is right beside the lobby, a 2 minute walk.

The spa is well worth it. For 48 CPC (50$ Can); (you get 20% off when you are a Royalton guest) I got a 50 minute reguvenating facial which was honest to God amazing. While the products soak in your face, she massaged my feet and legs. My husband got his first pedicure which he enjoyed very much. We also enjoyed the hot tub which is surrounded by waterfall, lush greenary, it's very very nice. We also enjoyed the sauna.

The beach is wonderful. The chairs at the beach are cushioned and service at the beach is available. Got to keep those drinks coming! You can walk for 7 km on white sand. The water is crystal clear.

We had a wonderful stay, very relaxing and we would return in a heart-beat. The 18 + is also very nice. When we walked over to the Memories and heard all the children crying, it was nice to come back to peace and quiet and we did not feel the urge to leave our resort. It is small but you are treated with such care and respect that you just want to stay. Thank you to `le Capitaine`, Janet, Mario, Felix and Daniel for nice conversations. Julie is also incredible.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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38  Thank Peace_Freedom_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar D, General Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2012

Dear guests:

Wow, what an exhaustive review! You have us right down to a T! Thank you so much for the generous comments and the amazing description!

We are so grateful that you took a chance on our beautiful hotel even if during the first opening weeks and we are very proud that we made such a good impression on you.

We are the luckiest hotel in the world to have had such amazing guests for our new operation as you will forever stay in our hearts. We certainly hope to get the chance to welcome you once again so that you can see how quickly we are tying up loose ends and spend all our time just taking care of our clients' needs!

Once again, we loved you review, it is accurate and honest, which is the most important for us. Please come by paradise again very soon! We miss spoiling you already at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria!

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Reviewed 13 December 2012

My Girlfriend and I just got back from our trip to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria a couple of weeks ago and i gotta tell you people, IT WAS AMAZING. The Hotel is beautiful, staff very corteous and always looking forward to serve, an awesome beach and a real five star services. truly recomended. congratulations, totally exceeded our expectations, thank you all for this unforgetable time.

RG =)

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank RJGM84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar D, General Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2012

Dear guests:

Thank you so much! We are so happy that you are happy! We dedicate ourselves to ensure the vacation of your dreams! Your comments are so important to us and we read each and every one of them, and we make sure to share them with the rest of our beautiful team! It gives us such strength and positive energy every time we succeeded in making our beeautiful clients happy!

Thank you for taking the time to give us your opinion. We are always open to suggestions and new ideas to satisfy our clients!

We hope to welcome you two lovebirds many times again at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your little piece of paradise on earth!

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Reviewed 12 December 2012

I arrived via Sunwing on December 1st for 4 days. We were shuttled from the Santa Clara airport in a private shuttle and arrived at the Royalton. The shuttle is about 90 mins from the airport to the hotel. Don’t stock up too much on the beers from the airport since there was no bathroom on the bus and no where to stop!

Upon arrival we were greeted by dancers and people singing. They had appetizers and cocktails ready to go. The front desk staff approached us and provided us with key cards and room information. They give of a Royalton card that way if you are at the Memories hotel you just flash that to let them know you are allowed to be there. Once we finished the amazing snacks we were taken to our rooms by the butler. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service (golf carts) throughout the resort and to the Memories resorts. The butler carried our luggage to the second floor, set it up and offered to hang things and iron for us. We declined, but a great service to be offered. He advised if there was anything else we needed to call and he would be right over.

Our rooms were located in the 200 block (beside the main pool) on the second floor. Amazing oceanview with 2 double beds a stand up shower and a soaker tub. They also had a separate area with a toilet in the bathroom. The room came completely stocked with a bottle of vodka, Irish whiskey and Cuban rum. The mini fridge had beer, Coke, Fanta and 2 big bottles of water. They came by daily to stock this with whatever you wanted. (Bottles were 1 a week though) They also offer 24/7 room service delivered right to your door. We met the maid and she asked if there was anything else we could need to make our stay better.

After check in and we were settled we made our way over to the spa for the massages we had set up. They were fantastic! The people were great, massages were lovely and the area including pools and hot tub was modern and very clean.

The 1st night there we all ate at one of the A la Cartes, the menu was set since it was opening night but it was amazing. We were offered gazpacho soup, beef, lobster and a chocolate dessert. No complaints with the food at all! The service was a bit slow, but since it was a brand new resort we figured it would be like this. We also ate here on the 3rd night and it was great again. The menu was a choice this time; lobster, risotto, scallops etc.

Snack bar offers the typical snack type of food; nachos, burgers, sandwiches, fries etc. The Snack Bar was “Ok” nothing to special, but the A La Cartes and the Memories hotels were offered for lunch as well. There is no buffet for breakfast. If you are looking for that head over to the Memories for the big breakfast. The Royalton only offeres A La Carte breakfast or room service.

The bars; the offered a great selection of cocktail’s beer and wine. They actually had premium booze (Jameson’s, Glenfiddich, Johnny Walker…etc) The bartenders were able to make any kind of cocktail you wanted and even created some of their own.

The Shows were also good, night one the Royalton put on a pool show. Crazy to see how these people move in the water. The second night we were shuttled to the Memories to watch the Michael Jackson show. Now I’m not a big resort show watcher, but this show was really really good!

Staff; what can I say…AMAZING! We had the pleasure in the 4 days we were there to meet Janet (entertainment) Julie (front desk manager), Mario (entertainment) Damey (Bartender) and 2 other bartenders that I can’t remember their names (pictures though). Everyone made our trip that much more special. They remembered us, what we were drinking and were able to speak great English to have a fun conversation with. None of them gave us stories about how poor they are (unless we asked). We found out the one bartender makes 16 peso’s per month and travels 3 hours by bus to get to the resort for work. Doesn’t make our jobs sound that bad after all. We offered these people tips and they looked at us crazy like “What did I do to deserve this?” We got chatting with Janet and found out she had a 5 year old son. We gave her 20 peso’s and she asked why? We told her to buy something for her son with the money. She was so confused that we wanted to give her money, but was very very appreciative. I never once felt pressured to tip, or that the service was lacking if we didn’t tip. The people at this resort were 100% fantastic.

Would I go back? Yes for sure. The beach is lovely, pools are clean, resort is brand new and modern and the food for Cuba was actually good! I would no hesitate to recommend this hotel to another traveller. I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as we did 

Room Tip: Pick an ocean view room on the second floor!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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60  Thank Amellia_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar D, General Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2012

Dear guests:

We couldn't be any prouder!! A 5-star review from a Senior contributor in our opening week! Wha else could we ask for?? We are so happy that you trusted us with an event so important as your vacation and that you let us help create unforgettable memories for you!

What a wonderful review, you are so generous!! You'll be happy to know that we have already changed our snack menu and now offers generous plates from beef to shrimp to fish and cordon bleu!! Thank you for mentionning the offers at Memories Azul & Paraiso where our clients have exclusive free access and also that Royalton offers a la carte menus as it is important to know since preferences differ with every client.

We are dedicated to satisfy these preferences with every clients who come and spend their well-deserved vacation in our beautiful hote. Rest assured that your comments were shared by all of our staff who remember you well by the way and send their best!! It was wonderful to have your great energy in our hotel!

Oh, and we love the pics!! We are also putting some of our own up so our future clients can get a glimpse of what to expect!

Thank you once again for your generous comments, when is your next visit to paradise? We look forward to welcoming you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria!

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Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Rafael E
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Reviewed 1 week ago
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank PiotrTrbn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, Director General at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank 47magaliel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, Director General at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago
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Additional Information about Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

Address: 05200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $330 - $658 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royalton Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 122
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