Melia Las Dunas
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
My husband and I were talking at length about the fact that most reviews are based on great experiences or bad experiences and little in between. My experience at the hotel was somewhere in the middle. The beach was great and the climate a nice break from Canada's winter. Overall, good value for money at this hotel. The staff were excellent, the a la carte restaurants were terrific. The room was small, the balcony door was broken. The one thing that moved this review from a four star to a three was the fact that there was no water one night, which is a basic necessity. There was no hot water in our room for the first three days which meant less than ideal bathing. I read about the water shortage after I booked the trip and had hoped that it might have been a rare occurrence but unfortunately not. If continuos running water is vital to your stay, go elsewhere. If you can live with the interruptions and want good vacation value stay here. The Cubans at the hotel were great and Sandy, a waiter in the main buffet, gave exceptional service. Water iffy, great staff and good value overall.
Wonderful week at Las Dunas !!! Travelled with husband and 3 children (8, 12 and 14). NO complaints - Beautiful beach, pool was clean and lots of fun, food was good and varied, employees happy. We would return !!!
Spent a week here at Melia Las Dunas in January. We were a family of 6 (ages 13 - 58), my husband and I have traveled to Cuba 13 times, my brother and his family for the first time - everyone LOVED it here!!RESORT - Large, well maintained and very clean. - They spray daily for mosquitos. - Lots of activities/entertainment to keep you busy, but also areas where you could sit and enjoy some quiet time. -Two sides to the resort: adult side and family side. - A short walk to Pueblo Las Dunas (shops, market, bowling, great little restauraunt/bar) BEACH - Beautiful and clean. Lots of chairs, but could use some more palapas. - 2 Beach bars - one at each boardwalk. - Kayaks, peddle boats, hobicatsFOOD - Very good. A good variety at the buffet: soup, pasta, pizza, assorted cold cuts, (including prosciutto), cheeses, veggies, meats and seafood daily, - 4 grill stations - for eggs (quail eggs too!) & omelettes - Oriental ala carte was great. - Seafood ala carte was somewhat disappointing. ROOMS - We had a Premium room - very spacious with a balcony. - TV with lots of channels, Mini bar stocked daily, AC worked. - Kept very clean, great staff.** Only one complaint ** - NO HOT WATER - in our room all week, even after complaining!!!We would happily return to Melia Las Dunas Resort, and recommend it to our family and friends!!
This is my first time reviewing a hotel, and would like to start off by saying that this review is based on my journey, my perspective of this property. In no way are any of these words intended to contradict anyone else and their experience of the Dunas. I have been travelling and enjoying Cuba for years. I have crossed through immigration between 25 and 30 times, most of those trips have been to Varadero. I have been to Santiago and Cayo Coco, this was my first time to Cayo Santa Maria. I want to begin with the airport; because truly any airport in Cuba has the potential of being a jungle. I have been stopped more than once bringing electronics, music equipment, many gifts, and have had to pay full duty before, while trying to get a keyboard into the country, its just the way it was, 150 convertible peso's that time. This time I was bringing a wheelchair to donate, customs at the Santa Clara airport was a breeze, the bags were out fast, and we were having a cigarette beside our bus in no time. The bus ride itself went by very quickly, and was in its own way a micro tour. Saw small farming plantations, raised burial cemeteries, the new apartments for Cubans that work on Cayo Santa Maria, our host was informative and friendly.( 5$ Canadian for 2 Cristals.) Crossing the ca sway itself that the Cubans built was really neat, I couldn't imagine the man hours that went into connecting the Island to the mainland; anyways a cool way to conclude our long journey from Ontario cold to the Melia Las Dunas. Upon arrival to The Dunas, we were greeted by a very friendly man, can't remember his name; but he took our bags, pointed us to the bar and told us to relax. I have long hair, he showed me a picture of himself when he was a teenager, great mullet; bottom line this gentleman made us feel very welcome, and made sure our 3 bags and wheelchair were driven to our room in a timely fashion. Check-in was very quick, the line moved fast, and very friendly. Our room was nice, their was a few quirks, we were on the first floor, and our patio door didn't lock, and you had to play with the shower to get it to work. We used the ironing board to sort out the door issue, fit perfect and served as a security bar, the shower was easy once I figured it out, the water was hot every time I used it. I'm sure that customer service, the front desk, or the wonderful general manger would have sorted out these little issues, maybe even gave us a new room; but I give up enough of my time getting to paradise, I myself do not want to give up anymore time trying to better a situation that is already breath taking. I've stayed at many hotels, this was the first for me that stocked a fridge with beer, water, and soft drinks, used to getting a bottle of water at some hotels, some of the days, I loved this inclusion.All the outlets worked fine in the room, and my wonderful lady had no problems drying and straightening her hair, she was very happy about this, as we have had problems in the past. This was the first time in three trips that I was travelling without my children, it was time to blow off some steam. My last time to Cuba had been in September, I don't drink at home very often, three times in between this and the last trip, I'm not going to candy coat this, I was at the Dunas to blow off some steam, get my drink on, and have some adult time, this property was just what I needed. The entertainment was excellent, rock show to the beach party. The service at every bar was excellent, from the Lobby to the beach and of course the beer garden. Oh that lovely beer garden, where they served you canned and bottled cristal, not draft beer but ice cold self contained beers. I had a couple of margarita days, and when they were shaken, and made right, they were awesome. The food at the beer garden was excellent, some of the best and consistent that I have had in Cuba. The shrimp and Cesar salad was spot on, very good. The Quebec fries, poutine was great, and also enjoyed the burgers, and wraps. I left early in the morning 6 am, they served me a nice breakfast twenty minutes before I left. I am going to send a shout out to Guillermo, Liliana, and Ricardo, and the rest of the servers here, they were great. I am 41 now and before becoming a PSW 5 years ago, I had 28 years experience in our family owned pub. My point is that I received a lot of tips over the years, a lot. I never worked on the basis of being tipped, and treated every decent human that came through our doors equally. My point is that as a server, I understand tipping, that extra way of showing appreciation. All hotels I've stayed at in in Cuba are inclusive, everything included right. It is a persons right to tip or not, as long as you are courteous and show manners when receiving good service that should be enough, hey maybe just getting to paradise was a little more than you could afford; but you needed that break. I try and budget 200 to 400 to tip with a week, because I can, and it makes me happy to do so, I also bring a suitcase of children's close to give away, on many trips I have run out of money to tip with, I tell them that, and I thank them genuinely. This system has always served me well. This being said, I didn't feel pressured by any employee at the Dunas for gratuities or gifts. However I ran into a few disgruntled customers at the lobby bar, that were complaining quite loudly about the lack of service, and that they were not being taken care of, and they felt it was because they were not tipping. I can't speak of this, I received excellent service in every bar I was in at the Dunas. I will say that these individuals were not hiding their feelings and were openly running down the servers, that I know had a good grip of English, just not a good way of getting what you want on the Island. In all of my trips to Cuba, I have never used up all of my entitled a la carte meals, I did at the Dunas. First off booking special dinners couldn't be easier The open office is near the lobby bar, and what was great was that you can book up to four o clock each day. Most hotels that I have actually booked special dinners at, I had to do by 12, 1pm, it couldn't have been easier, and had it done the first day. We ate at the Italian, Romantico, and Asian, all were very good, and the service was fantastic, their was no communication issues at all. The beef at the romantico was tasty, a tenderloin over mashed potatoe, very nice and tender. My favorite was the Asian, I love Sushi. I asked them to bring me whatever, and it was their in minutes, and was very good, and not just for as they say "Cuba," it was good by any standards, anywhere. Food at this hotel was the best I've had in Cuba, the main buffet had an amazing array of tastes, Fish station, Pasta station, Pizza station, Mexican station, Sushi station, Fresh beef, chicken, and pork station, as well as cheese station. The main buffet was packed, it was a jungle during this time of the year anyways, I was dodging kids and protective mothers (respect) all week, I got their early to swallow some protein, and got out quick to continue on with filling my cup. The service was good, and I noticed that the waiters were watching peoples tables as impatient customers were trying to set their families up with other's tables. None of this is the hotels fault, it was just really busy, and the workers did a good job of containing the rush. It was a little chilly, didn't bother swimming, but the adults pool looked great, and I enjoyed the bar their a few times. If it would have been peak hot weather I would enjoyed both the sea and the pool, as both were very easily accessible and inviting. I talked to a few families and they loved the kids area, the pizzeria, I would bring my kids to the Dunas for sure, a different trip; but I'm sure the entire trip would be very satisfying for myself and my family. I can be a load when I drink to much, definitely annoying to others, and a danger to myself. I didn't do to badly on this trip, as I ate regularly. I wasn't their, but another fellow got very belligerent with my wife and her adopted Irish grandfather, Brian, after beginning to yell and spit on himself he was removed from the scene quickly and without drama. I loved this about the Dunas, I didn't see security everywhere, yet as an older gentleman, and a many time repeat customer of the Dunas told me, they're watching, and will step in quickly. I am confident that If I'd gotten carried away and over served, that I would have been cut off and put to bed. Before I end this long winded sequence of words, I want to send a big shout out to the general manger of the Melia Las Dunas, "Laurent Labal," not always, but at times a great and professional staff is an extension of management. One night I'd had my fill, my lady had said enough is enough, she left, I tried to follow, I got lost. After coming to the conclusion that I was lost, I needed a break, I knew my room #, 0816, but I was lost. I took a break, and ended up falling a sleep, my legs resting on one of the main paths, of which many vehicles, from e carts to small vehicles travel up and down. Luckily a couple of gentleman from Poland, almost tripped on me, they told me they though my long hair was blood. One stayed with me, while I enjoyed my much needed slumber, as the other headed for the front desk. Apparently Laurent, the general manger of this property immediately came to my aid with help. I was woken up gently, I stood right up, happy that I wasn't in trouble, I can remember seeing the relief on all of their faces. Laurent suggested that it would be good for me to go to bed, he didn't demand it or get pushy, he suggested that I go, I explained that I was lost, gave him the room number, and he made sure I was promptly driven to my room. This was very late, between 2 and 3, their wasn't many people up at this time, adults in the beer garden. Although it hasn't happened like that before, I have been over served before in the Caribbean and had things taken. I had a three thousand dollar chain around my neck, that I only where on vacation, and yes I understand how stupid this is, bottom line, Laurent and those helping him did very right by me, I have been over served many times, and have lost before, and yes it is my own fault. It is up to every human in those moments when situations reveal themselves, that chain could have been nabbed from me, and it would have been my own fault, but it was still those fellows choice, they didn't know me, I'm a tourist, what could I do, lay down a bad review. The Melia Las Dunas was exactly what I needed, I enjoyed myself in a safe well oiled machine of paradise, and since coming home have been working very hard. If I get the right price I will be going back to enjoy the family side of the hotel in the next 5 months.
Airport/Bus Ride:Airport was small but had sufficient staff to manage crowd, bathrooms had paper and soap. Bus ride was 90 minutes but went by fast, even arriving after dark, due to entertaining bus host. Bathroom bus functioned but did not lock. Cold beer was available for purchase on board the bus but no water - pick some up at the airport before boarding. Upon returning to Santa Clara to head home our bus host was amazing, we left at 5:15PM and saw the sunset while crossing the 48KM causeway - which was a marvel to learn about. We drove through many small towns and our host was most informative and we had a lot of questions! Imagine - water is pumped across the causeway to supply CSM and electricity is produced locally!Check-in/Reception:We arrived to the resort about 10:30 PM. There was only 2 staff at the check in desk to service about 40 people. Luckily we were 2nd in line so didn't wait long but those families at the end of the line waiting a good 30-40 minutes before getting checked in. Being so late already, this was challenging especially with young children - of which there were many.Rooms:Beds were typical of Cuban resorts and were quite hard but bearable. Two beds were pushed together to make a larger king size bed (each bed about 1.5 twin size each). We fit 2 adults and 2 ten year olds on these. We had a cot in our room which my 12 year old slept on without problems, but it was very hard. There were extra pillows and blankets found in the closet - nice not to have to ask. A/C was not cold at all. I called twice to report it but never had anyone come to look at it. Luckily it was not too humid and evenings cooled off. We were on the 2nd floor of building 35, room 3525. Our patio door did not have a screen, which would have been nice to allow us to leave the door open and catch the cooler nighttime air. We had a couple lizards on our balcony so leaving the glass open was not an option. There were no other insects in the room and it was very clean and well kept all week long. The bathroom did have some small 'flea' type bugs near the sink that did not fly or bother us. They were tiny specks and we just rinsed them down the drain if we saw them. The toilet always flushed and worked well. The hand-held shower was convenient, worked well and always had hot water. The water did stop working one evening for a couple hours after 10PM. I called the front desk and they said it was resort-wide and they were 'on it'. They put my mind at ease, we used bottled water to wash with for bed and when we awoke, all was well. Service:Our maids were tentative, friendly and creative. Most bar staff were friendly but sometimes seemed 'stressed' meeting the demands of service, especially at the lobby bar. Sometimes the wait was longer than necessary. All wait staff were friendly and attentive and timely whether it be at the pizzeria, snack bar, a la cartes or lobby bar. Interaction with staff in the store or front desk was always friendly. We contacted the resort before our arrival to book our a la cartes and request a cot and 2nd floor rooms and all of these were taken care of by Sandra who put our mind at ease answering our questions even before we booked. Grounds/Pool/Beach:The gardens were amazingly kept, the grounds were extremely clean, all lights were in good working order and overall it was beautiful and added to the comfort of our vacation. The pool area was clean; I rarely saw cups or cigarettes laying around. There were always chairs available including shady spots. The beach attendants were tentative and friendly always available to help you find a spot and pull out a chair for you. There was always a chair available but not always a shady spot. The beach was kept clean of seaweed and I never saw trash lying around. Beach wait staff was a great perk who were friendly and helpful and efficient. If you come to snorkel, there isn't much to see except clean white sand a long way out.Restaurants/Buffet:The buffet was unexpectedly amazing. There were so many options - and all of it was great! Yes, most days you saw the same things, but buffet was so huge that with a little creativity you could make different salads every day, make sandwiches, have something grilled for you, or try another creation at the pasta station. The food was always hot except one time, the premade pasta section was icy cold - not sure why that was. The fresh fruit selection was optimal and boasted mostly what was in season. This is winter in Cuba as well so some fruits are not in season. The passion fruit was tart with a sweet finish - delicious! There was a lot of citrus fruits. Many different beans/peas were available to add to salads and greens were always available. We had a smoothie/juice made every morning with fruits and greens. Bananas were abundant at the beginning of the week and slightly sparse towards the end but I could always get one if I asked. We loved the bananas. The cereal variety was impressive and my kids actually liked the milk. The problem was it was often hard to find a bowl - we improvised and they ate cereal out of mugs! Our daily breakfast and lunch server, Neisy, was so friendly and attentive and we looked forward to seeing her each day. We loved the pizzeria which we ate at twice. We were a group of 8 and could always get seats together. It did get busy though if you didn't go earlier instead of later. Food at the snack bar (Beer Garden) was delicious and service was always quick. My hubby was even able to see his soccer team claim victory there! We visited the Oriental al la carte which was delicious and the Italian restaurant, which wasn't too bad - problem with both a la cartes were portion sizes were too small and you couldn't order extra. Server at the Italian restaurant, I think her name was Nally?, was super friendly and fantastic. Shows/Entertainment:We only made it to the beginning of two 9:30 shows both of which did not hold our attention. The entertainment in the main circle/lobby early evening was always excellent and fun. The lobby was the place to be in the evenings but it was very crowded and sometimes hard to find a seat near the action. The poolside and beach side entertainment was fun and simple. It might be helpful if staff walked around and engaged with people before expecting them to jump up and participate for pool side events - this way more people might have participated. Shopping:We walked to the Pueblo where there was a little lighthouse and a ship-shaped bar, a bowling alley and bouncy castle for entertainment and lot's of vendors to shop at. It was a 5 minute walk from the main family pool. The resort store had a few artifacts, liquor and a few t-shirts - pricing comparable to pueblo.Overall:Best resort for food and cleanliness we've ever been to, service could be a little improved.
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 & dinner plus snacks
- A la carte dinner with reservations
- Unlimited domestic drinks 24 hours a day
- Tennis day & night
- Use of fitness centre
- Use of bicycles
- Ecological excursions
- Daily activities & nightly entertainment
- 925 rooms
- 4 a la carte (Seafood, International, Italian and Steakhouse)
- Snack bar
- Bars including, Pool bar
- Room service
- Fitness centre
- Spa (fee)
- Internet facilities (fee)
Standard Room includes:
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- Satellite TV
- In-room safe
- Coffee maker
- Iron & ironing board
- Bathroom with tub, shower & hairdryer
- Balcony or terrace
- Maximum occupancy is 3 adults or 2 adults & 2 children
Standard Oceanview Room & Superior Room also available.
Kids Deal - One child under 13 stays and eats free. Date restrictions apply.
For the Kids - Baby Club (ages 0 to 3), Kids' Club (ages 4 to 8), Preteen Club (ages 9 to 13), Teen Club (ages 14 to 17), Wading pool, and Babysitting for a fee (subject to availability).
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.
Special Occasions - Wedding and free Honeymoon packages are available. For more details, please inquire.
Resort Location Map
Melia Las DunasCayo Santa Maria,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Cayo Santa Maria, Caibarien, Villa Clara Jardines del Rey, Villa Clara 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.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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