Sol Cayo Santa Maria
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Sol Cayo Santa Maria is a quaint older resort, not a bad choice as far as budget options in Cayo Santa Maria. Although the bungalow style resort is the oldest in the area, the rooms are being renovated. They have a restaurant on the beach and lobster dinner is included. Great mojitos here. A kid's club is available for ages 0-12.
My family and I were able to stay only for three nights but it was an unforgettable experience. If you prefer original and uncommon resorts, Sol Cayo Santa Maria is the one. Far from modern concepts and structures, the bungalows, the open areas, the surroundings full of green and wild, free life, the turquoise colour of the beach and the peaceful ambience guarantee a pleasant staying. The musts: 1) to always have lunch at Ranchón Playa ¨La Picua¨, the best lunch ever incredibly close to the beach and enjoying the heavenly breeze, the good service of Adameisy and Gladys -the waitresses- are among the best in the hotel, 2) Have all drinks at the bar located in the lobby and 3) to take a massage at the Gym with Mr. Roberto Negrin, after who will feel a brand new-born person. One remark: in order to have bottled water all day, you have to insist and to call several times to the reception desk. Otherwise, they will bring water late afternoon when you are dried-out.
My wife and I have been considering a trip to Cuba for several years but always opted for Mexico, Dominican or Antigua and have always been pleased with our well researched choices. We put the same compulsive due diligence into our Cuba vacation this year and set off in anticipation of adding a new destination to our future options. We took into consideration all the positive and negative reviews we've heard or read of Cuba and specifically the Sol Cayo Santa Maria then set our expectations accordingly. Sol Cayo Santa Maria:Beach - 4/5. Lots of sun coverage and never a crowd. Warm water, soft sand, no rocks, perfect depth and waves for swimming. A little rough for toddlers. Would be a 5/5 if there had been more care taken to keep the beach area clean. I spent the first 10 minutes at the beach each morning cleaning up plastic cups and cigarette butts around our palapa and never witnessed any staff member pick up garbage on the beach. Beach Bar - stock: 3/5; service: 5/5. Great job Jorge! Not just a good drink mixer (working with limited supplies) but always went above and beyond to make his patrons happy. Tip him well!Beach Grill - 3.5/5. We had grilled chicken and calamari with fresh French fries. Much better food than the buffet and had insect/bird protective covers on all of their salads and fresh food items. Rating would have been higher if I hadn't had the misfortune of seeing the grimy condition of the grill one evening after closing time when I was walking back from the beach. Ewwww!Pizza Restaurant - 4/5. Friendly service and fresh-on-the-spot pizzas. Sadly, only open for lunch. If they were opened until 6pm I would never have touched the main buffet or a la cartes. The wandering cats only gave the al-fresco dining experience some added ambience.Other Dining - 1/5. I've never before been to a resort where every meal felt like a game of Russian-roulette. We loved the open air concept of the Creole a la carte (we ate there twice) but the food was just palatable. The hygiene of the buffet was atrocious. We had lunch there on our first day while awaiting check-in and were instantly overwhelmed with flies - on the uncovered food in the service area and dive-bombing us as well as our plates. We ate a few fresh grilled selections and some French fries that seemed to be safe options with minimal flies. From that point forward, the only food we felt we could safely eat was the omelet station in the morning and ice cream later in the day as these items weren't plagued with flies. Must areas to improve: pest control (the open air restaurants had minimal flies); better temperature control of food trays and covers to protect the food from insects; staff training - I witnessed several instances of cooks handling food with bare hands, ice retrieved from the floor and returned to the bucket, a waiter who consistently used a bar rag to wipe sweat from his brow and then stow the rag back to the top of the coffee machine in contact with the espresso cups. There were other issues as well but I think these points help paint a good picture. If that doesn't deter you then consider that we spent our last 2 days in our room with me holding the hair out of my wife's face while she repeatedly threw up so violently she ended up with a petechial hemorrhage in her eye.Customer Service - 3/5. There's great staff, mediocre staff and poor staff. It's a resort with lots of employees and they're all human. You get one bottle of water in your room per day to share regardless of leaving big tips in the fridge along with a written request. They tell you that you can ask for a bottle of water from any of the bars or the Customer Service office at any time but they always seem to be out of stock and send you to the other bar. I spent an approximate average of 45 minutes everyday just touring the resort trying to stockpile enough water to avoid dehydration. Instead of telling you that facilities like the gym or piano bar are closed for the low season they tell you "tomorrow". No - never. We were given a written authorization at our resort to show to the gym attendant at the Melia sister resort next door who said we could use the facilities once but not again as the Sol is not supposed to be sending their guests to the Melia. I'd rather I was told straight up that things were closed (business is business) than given a song and dance. Management and Facilities - 2.5/5. As we expected since it's an older resort, small and spread out with a little weathering. First in the area = first pick of beach location. Rooms and facilities are dated as expected so if you're used to 5* Four Seasons style resorts, this ain't your place. The problem is not the older infrastructure but the unwillingness of management to keep up with basic hygienic standards and comfort amenities like: clean or replace seat cushions covered in months old dried ketchup and mystery stains; properly clean buffet tables after patrons leave; train staff on food handling; ensure bathrooms at dining facilities have soap dispensers (I don't mean empty, whoops it needs a refill problems. I mean bathrooms that don't have soap dispensers at all - what are the staff using?). These are management and training issues that can be easily corrected with simple attention to detail and actual pride of service. Cuba: Not impressed. There's world class hotels and restaurants in Havana yet the resorts always get excused for their short-comings. "Oh but it's Cuba. You have to understand....." B.S.! You can't blame lousy supply chain for poor training and unsafe food handling. On the trip home we spoke to guests from 2 different resorts that also had major illness in their travel groups. One young lady showed up at the airport in a wheelchair because she was too ill after being bed-ridden for 4 days. Another traveller had to be placed on I.V. at her resort to battle dehydration from being sick. Canadian travel companies need to send Health Inspectors to these resorts and there needs to be minimum standards followed or the resort gets dropped from the catalog.
Sol is like a second home. I was there from June 6th to June 21st. This is my 3rd trip there in 6 months. As always I had a great time. The beach is amazing, so clean and beautiful. The hotel is small and quite, a bit on the older side but its absolutely beautiful. Way to go with the renovations, Sol looks better each time I come. What keeps me coming back is the people. They are so kind and caring, I have made amazing friends there. Shout out to the staff and my friends; A special thank you:Entertainment staff: Irismey, Endy, Andois, Mykle and Yadnier. Each and everyone of them are amazing in their own individual ways. Kids club: Duneisy, Adore her she so friendly and always smiling!Customer Service: Dayro, any time I had a problem he had it resolved in record time, Thank Dayro your awesome!Professional Dancers: Adrian, Amanda, I didn't catch the other one name. Amazing group of people. Bar staff:Heyco, Ingacio, Alain, Martha, Morrfi, Yoendi and his wife, Luis, Lizdany, forgive me I forget his name but the cook that works with Alain. Cooks: Yosel and Osmani, Servers: Ada and Zurtha, each one alqays had a table ready for me as soon as I walked in and their smiling faces. David in maintenance: my air conditioning broke he spent at least 2 hours trying to fix it. He was unable to but it was very much appreciated. Thanks David your awesome! Every single one of these people are amazing and make always make my trip. They are the reason I return to Sol. Sol is a home away from home for me.Down sides: I had to change rooms twice both because of a broken air conditioner.Seen a couple cockroaches in my first room the first day, but what do you expect in the Carribean. Buffet was a hit or miss but I never went hungry.I can not wait for my next visit to Sol in a few months i look forward to seeing everyone's smiling, happy faces.
After reading the negative reviews, I was hesitant about my experience here at Sol. Let me start by saying, every experience is what you make of it, and yes there are a few downsides to the hotel such as mosquitos (pack bug spray and you should be okay), issues with the buffet (birds & lies), little red bugs on our sink, and what appeared to be a cockroach in our room, and areas of the hotel (which is older) which felt less sturdy. But there are some absolutely fantastic things about the hotel which Sol could use the credit for. Rooms:Although our room was a little musty smelling and a few things didn't work, the air conditioner worked great, the room was kept fairly clean, and the balcony (garden view) was fantastic. We never had any issues with water pressure while staying in the hotel, but we did have a few issues flushing (but for the most part it was fine). A cat which we named kitty kitty likes to hang out around room 6105, so please feed her if you see her. The people:All of the people that work here are absolutely amazing. Yes, it is true there will be a language barrier, but they try their best to understand. We never once had any issues with any of the staff.Beach: My boyfriend and I walked along the beach, and I can definitely say without hesitation, that Sol has the best beach. You never have to fight for a spot! Please be advised, if you do want to snorkel, go west of the nude beach.Entertainment: The entertainment was okay, with shows here and there. We spent most of our days at the beach, but when we visited the pool, there was an activities person trying to get people involvement. The hotel next door (Melia) is about a 10 minute walk, and we went there for the carnival night and the market. Their night entertainment does seem more lively than Sol, but you can go between the hotels for the entertainment. Food: My boyfriend and I had taken ducorol before leaving (we packed immodium and gravol), but we did not have any issues with our stomach, or the food. I would advise against going to the creol restaurant as the food wasn't the best, but the buffet has some good variety (omelete bar, pasta bar, paella bar), the italian restaurant was our favourite, and the pizza restaurant was good for lunch. The snack bar had some good burgers and when we got to the hotel around 10pm they were great at feeding the hungry travellers. Transportation: The 1hr40 bus ride is quite long, but the guided tour is great and makes the time fly by. There weren't washrooms on our bus on the ride back, so definitely make sure to use the washroom before leaving!Currency: We brought Canadian money and had no issues converting it. Internet: For 1.50 peso you get 60 minutes of internet time. We called home using whatsapp and the internet connection was great.So after a long winded review, I will say that our experience at Sol was great. Yes there are areas of improvement, but I suggest that if you've booked the vacation, go in with an open mind, and you should have a great time!
Good beach, the rest is very poor.Ants and cockroaches in room and toilet.Flies all over the place in main restaurant. Gastric upsets resulted!Very delapidated overall.Room safe did not work.No hot water for the whole of the stay despite daily complaints.No complaints procedure for the melia chain so no redress whatsoever.Price as advertised on the melia website was much lower than that paid through credit card after currency conversion and card charges were added.Avoid this place, its not worth the hassle.Didn't come with children but its very run down and old and the pools are simply not safe for children, hidden underwater hazards and steps, broken paving and pool surrounds.
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
- Daytime tennis
- Daily activities & nightly entertainment
- 300 rooms
- 1 Buffet restaurant (International)
- 2 a la carte restaurants (Italian, Cuban)
- Snack bar
- 3 bars, including: Pool bar
- 2 pools
- Fitness Centre
- Tennis court
- Beauty salon
- Games room
- Gift shop
- Meeting facilities
- Water sports centre
- Outdoor whirlpool
Standard Room with balcony or terrace:
- 1 king or 2 double beds
- 1 full bathroom
- Air conditioning
- Satellite television
- Max occupancy 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children
Kids Deal - Special all-inclusive rate for kids 3-12, when sharing with 2 full paying adults. Max 2 kids. Maximum room occupancy restrictions apply.
For the Kids - Supervised kid's club for 4-12 years, Children's playground, and Babysitting available for a fee.
Honeymoon Bonus - Receive a welcome cocktail, an upgrade to an Oceanview Room (based on availability at check-in), a bottle of champagne & welcome letter in your room on arrival, special reservation for dinner at specialty restaurant, and superior bathroom amenities. Please request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required.
Weddings - Free wedding package available, inquire for details.
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
Sol Cayo Santa MariaCayo Santa Maria,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Cayo Santa Maria 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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