Melia Cayo Santa Maria
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Recently returned from our first visit to Cuba and a 14 night stay at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and from our first day found the following:- There is a UK way and UK time and then there is the Cuban way and Cuban time and never the two shall meet and the quicker you embrace the latter the more relaxed you will be and enjoy what the resort and cuba has to offer.The resort is relatively small from what I gathered talking to other guests and in parts its needs a little bit of TLC but the public area's are kept spotlessly clean. The garden & shrub areas from the main lobby area through to the pool and the extended areas surrounding the apartment blocks and the boardwalk down to the beach well maintained.The food in the main buffet restaurant was ok if a little repetitive and lacked a great deal of variety. But it was always well cooked and you could always find something to eat. The 4 A La Carte restaurants are a welcome alternative, we found the Japanese to be the best. There are also 2 snack bars - a 24 hrs burger and pizza snack bar near the pool, food here is great and a BBQ snack bar near the beach, food here is also great.This brings me to beach - it is one of the best you will sunbathe on, white sand and crystal clear ocean, it is spectacular.Now for the most outstanding feature of the whole resort - The Staff, they are fantastic, cannot and would not attempt to pick out any one individual they are all brilliant.Cant comment on all rooms but our room 1121 was a great size with AC, safe, mini-bar all included. The balcony was a good size. The room was kept spotlessly clean.Only went on two trips - catamaran and speed boats both were great fun and excellent value.There are two large pools with plenty of sun loungers and parasol's. The pool bar can get a bit lively but what do you expect.There are daytime activities at both the beach and pool, this covers thi chi, volleyball, water polo, dance lessons, aqua aerobics, live music and the odd show. The evening entertainment starts at approx. 6pm with either a singer or an instrumentalist. Later in the evening there are live shows in the theatre and before and after that show live Cuban music in the lobby bar.If travelling from the UK please ensure the sterling note you take with you are in pristine condition. They will not be accepted if there is the smallest tear in the paper or any writing on any part of the note.
We have just returned from a 2 week all-inclusive holiday at the Melia and had the most fantastic time. Before arriving, I had read some bad reviews and was a little sceptical but I need not have worried. Guests clearly complain just to try and get free things & I can now see the silly complaints on here are just total nit picking and exaggeration. I read one review that said "the people who opened the Italian restaurant in the Melia have clearly never been to Italy before." Please do your research before visiting Cuba. Cubans aren't allowed to leave Cuba so of course they've never been to Italy! Even if they could leave I doubt they'd get very far on 20 pesos a month. (By the way the Italian was beautiful.)The best thing about this hotel is the staff. They cannot do enough for you. Please, please make sure you tip them – even if it’s a small amount to you, it’s a lot to them and they appreciate it. If you’re nice to the staff they’re 100 times nicer to you. I was worried about the food before I arrived as I know the hygiene rating isn’t the best in Cuba. I didn’t get sick once and enjoyed every meal I had. I had lobster 3 times which was beautiful. I don’t eat meat but there was plenty of choice for me. The chef at the buffet in the evening would spot us and bring us over plated food – a la carte style – each evening. The 4 a la carte restaurants were stunning – they made such a huge effort with each one and Betsy makes the loveliest pancakes at breakfast. The all-inclusive is brilliant. I read one review which said the alcohol was watered down – believe me, it definitely wasn’t! You could have anything you wanted. Food was constantly available in the 24 hour snack bar and cocktails and champagne was all included in all-inclusive. The maid was fantastic, fresh clean towels are available every day and you can get your bed changed daily too – just place the small welcome card on the bed and they’ll put fresh laundry on for you. Many thanks to Yanelis who made us feel at home each day. Please tip your maids – they do an amazing job. There was a free mini bar which was replenished daily. We were celebrating our engagement and on our first and last night we had a bottle of champagne and fresh flowers in the room which was a lovely touch. The beach is gorgeous and the poolside is lovely. Fresh white sand on the beach with a BBQ and a bar, and 2 pools with an outside hot tub and a swim up bar. We were the first British people in a good few years to visit the hotel so we had a welcome and leaving party – another lovely, thoughtful touch. We travelled with Thompson who made sure everything was perfect from booking to landing in Manchester. Thank you to Jayde and Ray – our fantastic reps at Thompson.One useful tip which we weren't aware of before we travelled - make sure your bank notes aren't ripped. The Cuban banks won't accept any notes with a rip in them - even if they're tiny. £100 worth of our notes were ripped so we couldn't exchange them, but luckily we didn't need them. Please ignore the bad reviews – they’re rubbish! I got really emotional when we had to come home – I never wanted to leave. Everyone made us feel so welcome. It’s a shame Cuba isn’t closer to home. I will absolutely be visiting again for our next big holiday and will be recommending to all my friends and family. Thank you to all at the Melia for the holiday of a lifetime! Caitlin & Lee x
If you've been to Cuba before you know not to compare to any other Caribbean destination, with no American influence the country is like no other. With being part of the first British group to return to the hotel in the last 6 years a few extras were put on for us such as a last night meal and welcoming ceremony.The hotel is clean with very friendly staff. The room we had was a junior suite overlooking the mangroves towards the sea rather than a 'sea view' as such. It had everything needed, safe, tv, minibar. The pool area is cleaned and tidied everyday, the pools themselves are big enough to accommodate the hotels guest although many preferred the beach. Pool bar and snack bar had friendly staff and good food and drinks with burgers and pizzas if you didn't fancy the buffet.The buffet for each meal had largely the same meal options with not much variety aside from changing the meats and fish choices everyday. Food is cooked well and the chefs can't do enough for you.There are also 4 a la carte restaurants to book into. French, Italian, Mediterranean and Japanese. The food in all were brilliant but service in the French was pretty slow but may have been due to a smaller staff. Now to the best part, the beach. Everything about this hotel should be about the white sand and gorgeous water, although snorkelling along the beach isn't great as very little fish are along here but the many trips all contain snorkelling. The beach is cleaned of seaweed every morning at sunrise so guests don't know about it. The one down side is the beach area is large with a beach bar in the middle which can be a pain if you want drinks often in the heat! We decided on taking the drinks from our room down as it was much easier.At night the entertainment staff put on a show of some sort with live music most night around the bar area. We took the catamaran and speed boat excursions. Both were very good fun and were worth the money. The catamaran trip comprises of 2 snorkelling sessions and a trip to the dolphinarium to watch the show and get into the water and interact with the dolphins, this is also where you can have your lobster dinner. The snorkelling places provided a good insight into the fish found on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. The speed boats take you to and old abandoned American tanker ship and through the mangroves with a snorkelling trip. The speed boats were good fun but there was no place to switch drivers so my girlfriend couldn't have had a go at driving if she wanted to.The boardwalk which we used down to the beach needed repairing and was the only downside to our stay as a whole. Would recommend to anyone who wanted to go to the region or Cuba.
This was our(family of 5) first trip to Cuba and our expectations were that we would find mediocre service, good enough food and that we would be bored out of our minds for a full week.However, we were wrong. We had a great vacation, met some great people and would definitely go here again. Here are our thoughts:I will start with a few nitpicks since it was hard to find cons not to recommend this place:- lobby/pool washrooms were smelly- beach towel exchange isn't available all day or for a long enough period of the day- some pool loungers are dirtyRooms:- the rooms are perhaps the least good thing about this resort- they look old but are very spacious- clean enough (subjective, but we are clean freaks)- free minibar is niceBeach:- quite windy for the first three days we were there and lots of waves- plenty of beach activities and music (even live music)- close enough beach barPool:- amazing- lots of entertainment and activities- good musicEvenings:- live music every night- great atmosphere- snackbar open 24/7 is greatFood:- lots and lots of variety- fresh (vegetables and fruits)- Japanese restaurant was worth it for the show- Mediterranean restaurant is only worth it if you are looking for a more quiet atmosphereStaff:- hands down the best thing about this resort- we were shocked at how hard these people work- we made lots of friendsWe would like to thank the following for making our vacation amazing:- Alberto (Entertainment Team)- Rey (Entertainment Team)- Yohany (Entertainment Team)- Chichi Yuniesi (Buffet)- Julio Albernas (Buffet & Bar)- Jose (Buffet)- Daniel (Buffet Chef)- Juan Carlos (Bar)- Jovanny (Bar)- Lia (Grill Bar)- Ernesto (Thai Chi Instructor)- Juan Carlos (Pool)Also, every people we talked to have been coming to this resort ever since they found it. Overall, we would gladly recommend this resort as we think you get more than your money's worth and the only thing we would change is to go for 10 days instead of 7 since the airport and the plane ride is tiring.This review is from: Vlad, Jessie, Ciprian, Monica and John (shout out to the staff)
FOOD: in the main buffet loads of choice but it was the same food every single day,so repetitive. They serve pan cakes which where amazing every single day for breakfast there's always somthing to eat but after two weeks the same food gets a bit too much.theres a pasta bar which was great to which helped me and my boyfriend out so much as we had a poorly stomach for 10days of holiday. The restaurants in the hotel where hit and miss. The 24 hour food bar was ok for a quick snack and the food bar on the beach was awful it was so unhygienic. BEACH/POOL: AMAZING AMAZING FANTASTIC the pool is lovely because it's not deep the water isn't freezing also the bar men at the swim up pool come round asking see if we need a drink which was lovely. The beach was perfect the best beech iv ever seen, the beach bar wasn't great.be warn the sun cream is 30 paso we took three bottles of sun cream it's so HOOOT!ROOMS: right so the maid always keep the room clean fresh towels amazing although she left me a letter saying 'thank you for the present' so I showed my boyfriend and we looked around and nothing was missing until 2 days later when I noticed a pair of my new shoes had gone. I made no complaint about the shoes but just didn't leave a tip. I'm only putting the shoe incident on here just to warn people.The key to room never worked NEVER it was so annoying and we complained but they didn't sort it out until 4th time.there where English and American tv channels which was great and a man would come and fill the mini bar which was free of charge. I love baths and this bath was amazing it got both me and boyfriend in although the plug slowly let water out when we didn't want it to,the room was really nice and spacious.the air con was amazing.WIFI I'm really close to my mum and like to speak to her through Facebook every other night when on holiday but it was 1.50 paso for an hour on the internet which I think is wrong,it didn't even work most of the timeNIGHT BAR: amazing bar staff could not do enough for you honestly they where amazing,there was only one bar on a night which was a drag towards end cos you sat in one place all night, but the cocktails where great.DAY TRIPS I went to Santa Clara which was amazing if you want to see the proper Cuba not the complex fake Cuba,we did a boat day trip as well with the dolphins which was great.All in all the holiday was good I wouldn't go back but spending two weeks with my boyfriend made it,not the hotel. Went with Thomson.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
- 2 a la carte dinners/week
- 24-hour snacks
- House wine with meals
- Unlimited local and selected international drinks
- Mini-bar (water, soft drinks and beer)
- Daily activities program
- Nightly entertainment
- Introduction to scuba diving in pool
- Dance lessons
- 358 rooms in several 2 storey buildings
- Restaurants including 2 a la carte (Italian and Mediterranean)
- Piano/Jazz bar
- Swimming pools
- Car and motorbike rental
- Babysitting service
- Beauty salon
- Gift shops
Junior Suite includes:
- Spacious accommodations
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- satellite tv
- iron and ironing board
- safety deposit box
- bathroom with hair dryer
- balcony or terrace
Junior Suite Oceanview:
- same as above but with ocean view
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Melia Cayo Santa MariaCayo Santa Maria,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Jardines del Rey Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
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