Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
The Royalton Cayo Santa Maria is a gem of a resort, located outside of Cuba's capital. The resort has a great array of pools and the grounds are well-maintained. Resort staff is incredibly hospitable, pleasant, and attentive. This is a great budget resort for couples and adults who want to experience the luxury of what Cuba has to offer without having to splurge.
Well, you know how the saying goes.For a little perspective let me start by saying that ALL my winter months out-of-country vacations over the last 10 years have been EXCLUSIVELY to Cuba. That's like 16 trips so far. So I have a pretty good idea of what I like and what I don't like. Mostly, I like a small-size adult-only resort with well-maintained clean comfortable quiet rooms, a dedicated buffet restaurant, a fantastic beach with lots of shade options, clean well kept grounds and pool(s), welcoming/friendly easy-to-communicate-with staff, some early evening entertainment, few-to-no insect related issues, and a good variety of food options. Since Royalton managed to check off most of the aforementioned boxes (plus the fact that we got a really good price) I reluctantly decided to assign them 4 stars.Having said that, it was kind of a strange week at this so called #1-in-Cuba "luxury" resort. There was good and there was bad. The good parts include the butler's tour of the resort when we arrived, getting our "special room request" honoured, the service (for the most part), most of the meals, the spacious/well appointed room (love the ceiling fan over the bed, poor room lighting for night time though), the comfy king size bed, and the quesadillas at the beach restaurant.The disappointing parts include the absence of a dedicated buffet restaurant option, the unfriendly & unwelcoming treatment we received at their Aurora a-la-carte restaurant, grossly inadequate shade options on the beach (my wife ended up sick for 2 days with heat prostration), and the wicked number of bug bites we got day and night (despite the resort spraying early morning & early evening). This was a new experience for me. In 16 visits to Cuba I've never had a problem with those little black flies. Royalton's spraying seemed to work well against mosquitos but did nothing for the noseeums. Guests looked like they had measles. I couldn't even watch the excellent nightly after-dinner entertainment in the lobby because the bugs would chase me away. Bizarre.In summary, if you plan to go to the Royalton in the near future I suggest you bring your own shade, bring a flashlight in case you need to find anything in your room safe at night, LOTS of bug spray, and a soap dish for the washroom. As I sit here, still scratching my itchy 6 day old bug bites, I can't help but wonder how much longer this resort can hold on to it's 1st place standing. I place them 3rd in my Cuba resort list, and I haven't even been to the Paradisus Rio de Oro or Melia Buenavista yet. Strange week. Hope y'all have a better one.
Just returned from a two week break here and wanted to give an honest review and also state we are fairly easy going and accept a lot normally so here goes..Positives .. nice hotel not five star by European standards .. rooms fairly ordinary and in need of a bit of an upgrade .. gardens and grounds are beautiful and very well kept, beach is gorgeous but no shade, pools are clean and again well kept but the cabanas around the pool get taken very early ...Bottom (lively) Pool bar .. staff are superb and are constantly coming to your beds to ask of you want more drinks ... (Indiana & Mesbells)Entertainment is pretty much not existent during the day .. the staff are there and do try .. with water aerobics etc but there was not much take up .. they do however do 'wellness' sessions at 1pm which consist of foot and head massages .. Javier is all ways there with little quizzes he also gives the best foot massage !! Tip him well he deserves it.Entertainment on a night is hit and miss .. some really good singers and bands on early and then the 'main entertainment' came on at nine .. to be honest one group .. a bit like il divo could have stayed on all night they were far better than main entertainment.. hotel take note .. these singers and groups on at 8.30 need to be given longerPiano bar is very good .. pianists and staff service is second to none .. but again no tonic water one night so had gin and sprite .. next night no sprite but tonic water was back (5 star!) No tomato juice for bloody Mary's one night!Butler service is good .. our butlers Liam and Leandy were always available and resolved almost all issues quickly .. Liam on several occasions also had a bath ready for me on a couple of nights when we got back to room with a bottle of wine waiting .. nice little touches ..And a word of warning do not be fooled into thinking you can walk out of hotel and into town .. the 'town' is a street in the middle of the Royalton and memories hotels .. it's a nice little wander with street stalls and a few restaurants etc but it is not a town .. the only people there will be residents of the hotels not locals (no Cubans live on the island )you cannot go out of the hotel other than by taxi (and even then there is nothing on the island other than hotels) but you can walk along the beach front Now the negatives ... food ! Well breakfast first three days was a buffet of sorts that was shared with the birds (literally the birds were flying in taking cheese meats bread etc )there were no covers on the food and the fruit was literally covered in black flies .. obviously complaints had been made as this service was stopped after about three days......Lunch .. tacos on the beach are fabulous! BBQ/pizza area by bottom pool was ok and BBQ by snack bar was again ok .. but .. I do not pay to stay In a five star hotel to get toastie and chips or pizza for lunch .. the restaurants are not open at lunchtime so the beach bar or open air snack bar is your only option..Dinner .. well .. we had the choice of two restaurants the whole duration ... aurora in the market place and senses in the hotel .. at both the food was actually good but was limited to either lobster, steak, chicken or pasta (twice) .. deserts were the same every night .. and as a Thomson customer we had a 'special meal' one night along with the other Thomson guests in the other restaurant eggsellence ..my advice don't bother with this ..We did have a meal booked at the other one (day time snack bar) but on arrival were told it wasn't open.. much running around by staff and eventually ordered burger and fries (it's 5 star al a carte!!) got bitten to death by mosquitoes as we were outdoor and resorted to safety of our room to eat take away burger and fries!On the Sunday in the middle of our holiday a busy Canadian flight came in around midday .. we then found that Sunday is a rest day for a number of staff members including the beach chef and the pool chef .. this left us with the snack bar and BBQ to cater for around 200+ people and a hungry lot from the flight .. BBQ soon went and at 2 pm the choice was peppers, pineapple or very over poked sausages .. we plumped for a toaster and fries (it's 5 star!!) this took over an hour and arrived stone cold .. complained again to Thomson rep .. nothing doneThe hotel also regularly runs out of things .. like tomatos , onions, tonic water, pizza bases)We also had an issue with the air conditioning in the room which was reported daily for six days .. each time was met with the response .. it's fine .. day eight having been told this we made the butler come into our room .. his words .. it's very hot .. no s$$$ Sherlock and finally it got repaired .. our response from Thomson rep .. hotel would like to offer you free massage .. very nice but would have preferred a cool room..which then again went off on our last day! Quick call to reception and a man came down and fixed it again within 30 mins!We also had the pleasure of journalists staying at hotel which also meant that the sunset cocktail night which we were encouraged to attend was out of bounds for guests as the journalists were having a meal on the beach (only told this when we arrived at beach!)Final straw came on last night .. another special meal was organised for new Thomson clients .. would we like to go .. no thanks .. butler then says let me get you a special couple meal just for you two.. against better judgement we agreed but asked for no lobster .. it was again in eggsellence .. table wasn't cleared when we arrived ...starter took 35 mins to arrive .. ok .. then seafood soup which was immediately sent back and then the medium rare steak arrived extremely well done... together with lobster (!) and stone cold vegetables .. final straw ... the food was awful the 'special meal' was special for the wrong reason and the manager unfortunately (for him) happened to walk past at that point so was invited to come and try ... later that evening butler saw us all smiles to ask if we had enjoyed special meal and the flowers and flames in our dessert ..I won't bore you with our response to him..And excursions .. jeep safari, boat trip or trip to Havana .. not a great choice In summary (I have gone on a bit) .. a £4K plus platinum holiday for two to a five star hotel .. Thompson have got a lot to answer for with this one!Staff are excellent and give five star service but the hotel cannot match this service level sadly.. won't be going back..
Royalton has got all the facilities of a five stars resort. Spacious rooms, welcoming crew, amazing white sand beach and great swimming pools. All set for a full relax stay. As minus, the food does not meet, even in the long distance, decent standards. In addition, there is very little entertainment which makes the stay all focused on relax. Good for few days but not for more than 4/5 as it turns into boring. In general, despite the food, would recommend Royalton, definitely better than other close by resorts.
We got back last night and the resort is just lovely! Its small, but laid out very well so that you don't feel crowded. Always lots of chairs available at the beach, pool and dinners. Rooms very nice, only one 110v plug (in the bathroom) so take an adapter. They were available at front desk, but sometimes ran out. Every room comes with a butler, they meet you at check in, give you a quick resort tour (could have skipped this, or atleast let us change first), then take you to your room. They will make all your dinner reservations, and do anything else to help with your room. I asked for milk (assumed powdered would come) for coffee (only an espresso machine in rooms) for the room, and before I knew it a glass of milk was in our fridge! Our housekeeper was also amazing, room was always perfect, and she was like Houdini, in and out before I knew it!Food is ok, nothing spectacular. Its Cuba, anyone going expects that. All the restaurants are by reservation, and your butler will make those. The first day we came back to our room with reservations done for the week. They were very easy to change though, and add people if you went togeather. Going to the Roylaton, you also have full access of Memories next door. Tried their buffet, just ok and not worth the trip. Their Italian restaurant was by far the best meal all week, simply amazing!!! We went over without a reservation seeing if we could get in, assuming we would have to do the buffet. They sat 8 of us though within a few minutes. Service, food, wine, all perfect! It was our last night, wish we had tried it earlier and gone more often! Pizza from the market next to the resort is a must try, quesadillas at the beach bar and sandwiches at the snack bar after midnight are all great! The snack bar is next to the pool and while a sit down restaurant, if you go in and order, they'll bring your food pool side which was wonderful!The beach is so clear, you can see fish go by. Also very shallow, so you can go out a fair ways and not worry about huge waves. All of the staff was amazing, especially Bernardo at the lobby bar! I don't know when he was off, he seemed to be always there, knew everyones drink and always super happy to see you!As far as tipping, a number of people told us they proffered gifts over cash. Cash gets split and they get a percentage of it, gifts they can take home that day. Things that went over best were gum, nail polish, fake nails, make up, panty hose. Seems a lot come with kids stuff, the personal care items seemed to be the big winners!All in all a wonderful place and would definitely go back!
We spent 8 wonderful nights in this resort. The staff were all exceptional, we cannot fault the service. There are 2 pools to accommodate guests, however we spend most of the time at the beach. Fantastic cocktails at the lounge bar and delicious food from all the main restaurants. The rooms are spacious with either a large terrace or balcony.We will definitely be back!
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 ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 Meals daily plus snacks
- All drinks (domestic beer and cocktails, select international brands, house wine with meals)
- 24hr Room service
- Non-motorized water sports
- Entertainment on the Beach
- Butler service by the pools and on the beach
Applicable for all guests staying in all room categories:
- Special welcome and welcome cocktail upon arrival
- Cold towel service upon arrival
- Room Service 24 hrs (included) with special menus for breakfast, lunch & dinner
- Bottle of rum in room upon arrival
- Beach towels in room upon arrival
- Bathroom with whirlpool tub in Suites only
- VIP amenities in bathroom (on arrival)
- Bathrobe and Slippers
- Personalized mini-bar (re-stocked daily)
- Free use of safety deposit box
- Pillow menu
- Nightly turndown service
- Personalized assistance 24 hrs - Buttler Service - including packing and unpacking of luggage, tour arrangements, and co-ordination of transfers.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner a la carte (buffet breakfast also available)
- 20% discount at the Spa (located in El Pueblo)
- Preferred reservations at the Spa (located in El Pueblo)
- Day pass (free) at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort & Memories Azul Beach Resort in Cayo Santa Maria (transfers not included)
- Dine around (free) Memories Paraiso Beach Resort & Memories Azul Beach Resort in Cayo Santa Maria (transfers not included)
- 122 Rooms
- 2 Pools
- 2 a la carte Restaurants
- 4 Bars
Services located nearby in Pueblo Estrella:
- Spa ($)
- Business Center ($)
- Internet access
- Medical Services ($)
- Disco ($)
- Laundry service ($)
- Beauty Salon ($)
- Shops ($)
- Fitness Center
- Water sports center ($) is located next door at the Memories Azul. Offers non-motorized water equipment (hobie cat, kayak, snorkeling equipment, windsurfing, pedal boat and catamaran) Catamaran usage of 30 minutes per day. Hobie Cats usage of 30 minutes per day.
- Garden View or Ocean View
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- In-room safe
- Living Room
- Butler Service
- 220V (adapters/transformer required)
- 24 hrs room service
- Mini Bar
- Turn Down Service
- Iron & Ironing board
- Coffee/ Tea Maker
- Air Conditioned
- Ceiling Fan
- Hair Dryer
- Satellite TV
- Balcony or terrace
- Maximum Occupancy 2
- Private Check- In guaranteed
- Late Check-Out guaranteed until 15:00 hrs.
- Room Up-grade upon availability for honeymooners
- Flowers and Cava in room upon arrival
- Nightly bed and turn-down service
- Welcome cocktail
- Romantic honeymoon dinner for the couple
- Honeymoon Breakfast in Room the day after arrival
- 10% discount in Spa
Valid under the following conditions: *Minimum Stay for the couple: 6 Nights at any of the Memories and Royalton hotels including any combination of them *Couple married within 6 months prior to arrival *Show Marriage certificate upon Check-in *Reservation request and voucher should be shown as "Honeymoon", specifying hotels and number of nights in each Memories hotels and Royalton. *Requests must be confirmed directly to the hotel prior of the date of arrival. *Special room category and extra services are not included in the Honeymoon program. To be requested directly to the hotel. Offer is subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Offer may be limited to select suppliers. Please speak to a vacation specialist before making your reservation.
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
Royalton Cayo Santa MariaCayo Santa Maria,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
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.
Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.