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“Good Hotel in a Amazing Beach”
Review of Melia Las Dunas

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Melia Las Dunas
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Strong points:
- The beach - it is gorgeous. One of the prettiest I have ever seen.
- Room service - better than expected; Always replacing the drinks; Room always clean;
- Several restaurants - what gives you different options to eat (I'm not saying here that the food was good though).
- Costs - We had a great deal, so I can't complain about it.

Week points:
- Reception - it is a huge Resort, and we got there at night. We had trouble finding our room without help.
- Food - in my personal opinion the food was very average, even though the lobster we had one night was GOOD. And mostly important, I had diarrhea for a week after returning from Cuba.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PDRocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,066 - 3,072 of 8,357 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2012

I will start by saying I never write a review, simply because time doesn't allow me to. But, I feel strongly about this recent trip I have made to Melia Las Dunas. Just returned on April 6th. We arrived on March 30th, about 10pm, check in was very simple and courteous, as there were only 2 rooms checking in. We had requested, which I understand, is only a request, a second storey room with 2 cots, as we were two women travelling with 2, 12 year old girls. We were put into a ground level room which was so damp and so moldy, we found it hard to breath! When we called the front desk they claimed they had nothing else to offer. Funny, when we then went to the front desk in person, they had other rooms available. Of course the next standard room they took us to see, reeked of chlorine and had leaks in the bathroom. Well, I guess the mighty dollar speaks, because when we were willing to pay for an upgrade, Voila!! a decent room! So after several minutes waiting for the guy working the front desk (as he joked in Spanish with several other employees, all looking strangely at us) we were settled into our room, 2 hours later.

The food, I realize this is Cuba, but we have also visited Holguin, where the food was great!, was, I will put it simply, bad. The buffet was always the same, a la cartes were basically buffet food a little dressed up, and when the beach grill was working, the burgers were pretty good. The last day, myself and 2 others had lunch at the Beer Garden, where we all had different dishes, but 2 of us had a glass of water, the other a virgin pina colada. The two of us that had water, were extremely ill for the next 24 hours, not good when you have to fly home. I have been home almost a week and am just starting to feel myself again.

Overall, once our room was straightened away, it was nice and housekeeping was great (guest services definitely needs to be revamped)!!!! The beach was gorgeous and pools were nice. Food was below average and water to be AVOIDED unless you see them pour it from a bottle. I will mention the weather was beautiful as well, but that doesn't have anything to do with the resort.

I have travelled a fair amount, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and I realize Cuban standards are much different than Canadian, so from a Canadian point of view, this is definitely not a 5*, it is more of a 2-3*.

Aside from the resort, you should be aware that it is almost a 2 hour bus ride to and from the airport, though there is lots to see.

Room Tip: upgrade to a superior once you arrive, it is much cheaper if you do it upon arrival.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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12  Thank suzannet70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear SUZAMET70,
Thanks a lot for your valuable comments and feedback, we really appreciate it and on behalf of all of us I would like to thank you for your visit and we are really sorry we haven't fully meet your expectations.
In any case and once again I thank you for your visit and comments and we hope to have the opportinuty to welcome you back some time in the near future and being able to offer our best hospitality.
Warm regards,
Management.

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

I stayed at the Melia Las Dunas in February and honestly don’t know where these most recent reviews are coming from. As at any resort, no matter where in the world, you will have guests arriving with their own opinions and preconceived notions of what will make their vacation stand out. For me, at Las Dunas, it was the friendly staff, the exceptional buffet selections and attention to detail and variety, the Cuban bands and live music, the gorgeous beach and without at doubt the warmth of the Cuban people I met.
I was travelling alone and arrived very late at night. Once I recognized how far away I was from the lobby and beach I requested and got moved the very next morning to a very convenient location. No hassle what so ever!
I am a beach lover and could always find shade usually arriving on the beach around 9am. The beach and the clear turquoise, shallow water was just what I went to Cuba for! ! ! I got great service from the beach bar and my gin and tonics were made to order each time I went. My stainless steel cooler was a great traveler keeping the ice and drink cold for as long as I needed ;o)
I ate lunch at the buffet closest to the beach or at the all-night restaurant near the beach. At the buffet my waitress soon recognized me and my love of bubbly wine. She was quick to bring it chilled and continued to top me up during my lunch. The grill and specials at this buffet were amazing and it was one of the very best buffets I’ve had in the Caribbean (won’t go into my travel experience but let me say that Its been extensive) There was always grilled shrimp and then another roasted meat – one day a suckling pig being carved! All very scrumptious! ! !
Since I was travelling alone (having left my husband and 4 kids at home since I needed the break) I didn’t take advantage of the ala carte restaurants. I was more than happy with the selection at the buffet. There was always a choice of at least 3 or 4 fish to be grilled on the spot, fresh sushi to order, whole turkey being sliced, roast of beef sliced to order, pasta to order – what are people complaining about! ????? I sometimes wonder if they were at the some resort as me!
My second favourite part of the day (after watching the sun go down while still on the beach) was to be in the square when the Cuban band was playing each night. I enjoyed watching the grandma’s dance with their grandkids, the young married dancing and the resort staff engaging the guests in some dance lessons. It was a great gathering and everyone having a good time!
I also enjoyed sitting at the bar after dinner. I must admit that I was expecting to be ignored as a single, older female. I was very pleasantly surprised to have good service and was given a generous serving of Bailey’s each time.
I can’t comment on the nightly entertainment since I didn’t stay at the bar long enough to catch it. I didn’t book my vacation based on the reviews of the entertainment staff.
What I do know is that all of the staff work very hard to provide an enjoyable time to the very privileged Canadian and European! I respect and appreciate that.
Adolpho – you have a great staff ! I wish that I could remember all of the names of the staff that stood out for me ( I think Lima was my creative and efficient room fixer and Lima was my attentive waitress). Your supervisor at the buffet by the beach – he was a big man with a big heart for his staff and guests. My waitress at his buffet was amazing and looked after the tables by the entrance to the buffet from the beach – loved her warmth and attention. I promised myself that I would remember their names but must apologize for my poor memory.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this resort. I will admit that it is big and there is lots of walking but as a generation we are becoming too sedentary at too young an age and our children are becoming obese at an alarming rate. Enjoy and embrace the largeness as an opportunity to stay in shape!

Room Tip: I was in block 39 - great for the beach and not far from the lobby and the entertainment. Was very...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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11  Thank Annie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear :Watnan

We deeply thank you for writing these nice comments on our facilities, services and, most of all, our staff. It feels indeed very rewarding for us to acknowledge how guests are able to appreciate our efforts to achieve their full satisfaction. Your report encourages us to continue and improve our daily work. I hope future travelers will highly consider your helpful review when choosing the right destination for their next vacation.
It will be a great pleasure to welcome you once again in Cayo Santa Maria so you can enjoy another wonderful stay among our big family.

Sincerely

Management

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Reviewed 9 April 2012

We have been to MLD three times. The first two times we really loved it. The third time, in December 2011, we found the hotel had changed quite a bit and unfortunately not for the better. We still liked the time we spent there however we think that many areas and amenities need improvement. The room was very nice and clean, no complaints there. The main lobby had excellent service as expected. The buffet restaurant unfortunately could not compare to our previous visits. The variety of food was very limited, repetitive and each day it was less desirable to dine there due to choices and quality diminishing each day. There is no real reason for that that we can think of. The a la carte restaurants were a much better option with the Italian restaurant being the best. Excellent service and very friendly staff. The Beer Garden was a bit of a disappointment due to the fact that it would run out of bottled beer by noon. How can that be?? Many items on the menu were not available and coffee was not available due to the machine being broken. What made us go back to the Beer Garden, regardless all those issues, were the people working there, their friendly, very attentive and welcoming attitude. We'd like to thank Osnedy (not sure if I spelt it correctly) for being so nice, friendly and always attentive during our three visits to MLD. We would rate the hotel at 3.5 stars for our third stay but gave it a 4 star rating because of the wonderful people who work there and do their best to do more with less. We sincerely hope that many of the issues have been looked into and addressed as it is a great hotel with a great potential to attract tourists over and over again. We are considering to go to MLD for the forth time and hopefully we will be confident to give it a 5 star rating after our return home.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank dandlidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear friend dandlidi:

We heartily thank you for writing this review on our resort. It feels indeed very rewarding for us to acknowledge how guests are able to appreciate our efforts to achieve their full satisfaction. I understand there are certain issues that require some improvement, so we are already working on them.
It will be a great pleasure to welcome you once again in Cayo Santa Maria so you can enjoy another wonderful stay among our big family.

Yours sincerely
management.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

Just returned home from the Melia Las Dunas for a week of R&R. We read a lot of reviews before actually booking this resort and we would have to say this resort exceeded all our expectations.

Having been on three previous all inclusive in the Dominican Republic our first Cuban trip was a treat.

The resort is relatively big, but after a day real easy to get around. We stayed in 67 block, just off the adult pool and we found it to be centrally located.

The room was spacious and clean, with a king size bed, balcony and the AC was refreshing.

The pools were nice with ample seating. We found we could always get seats at the pool as most people spent their days at the amazing beach.

The food an ala cartes and buffets were great, with lots of selection. The lobby bar was also a great place to meet people and have a hot or cold beverage.

The 24 hour Beer Gardens was great, with various selection of drinks and beers(Buckanero, Cristal, Heineken and Corona).

Close to this resort there are two small shopping areas or Pueblo’s. They had some local crafts, souvenirs, restaurants, disco and bowling allies. We did not stay long as it was extremely hot, just long enough to pick up a few gifts.

The staff were friendly and always looking to help you anyway they could.

The beach was absolutely amazing. Lots of seating, a great beach walk and the
water was clear blue. There is great snorkeling directly off the beach with lots of fish

As for the bad, we flew out of Halifax on a charter flight with Cubana Airlines, and we were unable to land in Santa Clara and had to be diverted to Havana. Originally we were supposed to arrive at the resort at 9:00 pm we ended up arriving the next morning around 6:30 am. Not a good start to our vacation but we did not let that set the tone for the next 6 days.

We have a young family at home and wanted to stay connected with them during our stay. There is little to no internet access at this resort. They did have 30 minute Internet cards for $6 which allowed us to send messages home, but was slow at best. However, in the hotels defence they are currently testing a wifi internet connection, so hopefully that will improve in the future.

Sure each resort we stayed at including the Melia Las Dunas, we always found a few things that could be improved on, but we always focus on the positive.

We would highly recommend this resort as a great value for the money and a great resort.

Room Tip: Contact the hotel in advance and let them know your requirements. We asked for a room on the second...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Bas2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear Mr (Mrs) eastcoastrocs,

Thank you very much for your review, and for letting us know about your experience in Meliá Las Dunas.

It is really a pleasure to receive such a positives comments about our work. We will let our staff know about your opinion, which is very important for our daily performance. Of course, this is a commitment of keep working hard in order to improve the number of clients satisfied like you. You must know it will be great to have you again in our Hotel, so please let us know about your next visit to Cayo Santa Maria.

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Reviewed 8 April 2012

This is a very nice property.... but the food is okay...you have to wait a lot to get the food you want...

come with kids..not for honeymoon

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank buiztraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear buiztravelle.

We deeply thank you for writing these precise and at the same time very rewarding comments on our resort.

Is great to know you have left our hotel happy and satisfied, that’s the main objective of our staff. For sure we will let them know about your review. Meliá Las Dunas family will love to have you back in your next visit to the Cayo Santa Maria.

Best regards.
Management.

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Reviewed 8 April 2012

The best thing was the beautiful beach. A friend and I luckily sat near the water at about 9AM. When we turned around later, the area behind us was COVERED with other lounges! No way to escape from the sun except lounges under palapas reserved VERY early.
The rest rooms in the main lounge need help. Only one out of four stalls had toilet paper and despite staff being told to wash floor constantly, the two maids posted there were just chatting so I left with the bottom of my pants leg wet with??? I can forgive the large cockroach I killed but the buffet scene was horrific. Many people bumping into each other for just passable food.
There is so much more to see in Cuba than the resorts! This one had a Spanish partner which perhaps made it passable. Cubans, I am sure, never go to resorts!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank marjoriejudith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear Marjoriejudith,


We deeply thank you for writing these precise and at the same time very rewarding comments on our resort.
On behalf of Melia Las Dunas Family, we deeply apologize if your stay with us was not a perfect experience. It is very disappointing to read we did not meet your expected service standards.

We sincerely hope to welcome you to Cayo Santa Maria on a future occasion so we can have the opportunity to redeem ourselves providing you with the service you deserve.
Sincerely
Management.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Melia Las Dunas

Address: Cayo Santa Maria, Caibarien, Villa Clara | Jardines del Rey, Villa Clara, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range: $171 - $442 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Melia Las Dunas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 925
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Magic and Legend unveils an ancient story that goes back in time to 1492, with the discovery of America. Melia Las Dunas, a 5 star resort, All Inclusive, ideal for your vacation with your Family, Reunion & Incentives, Weddings, Honeymoon Distinguished by the variety of services, the inviting atmosphere and the confort of its facilities, Melia Las Dunas offers the vacations of your dreams. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Las Dunas Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Hotel Las Dunas
Melia Las Dunas Cuba

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