Cayo Santa Maria

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Best hotels in Cayo Santa Maria, based on:
#1 Iberostar Coral Ensenachos
#1 Iberostar Coral Ensenachos
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
62 reviews
One Cayo, 3 Beaches, Many Hearts
We are back from another vacation at this luscious tropical haven on Cayo Ensenachos, Cuba, which is surrounded by white, powdery sandy beaches and crystal blue waters. We arrived on Wednesday evening, April 10, and just so you know, even if you are a guest of the Coral Level you do have to check in at the front lobby desk at the main building. The staff that were on duty Brian and Zulma, gave a warm welcome to all of us as we Checked In. The check in was fast and we were then taken to the Coral level where we were met with refreshing cocktails served by Augustine, my favorite person and bartender, and Alberto, another bartender at the Coral lobby and pool. A light snack was in our Villa, arranged by the Jacobo, who I met in November on our girls trip and is one of the new Spanish management team. His focus is bringing the best that is available at the hotel to the Coral Level. He is an eloquent young man. You will notice there is now premium alcohol available at the Coral level, and we can thank him for these excellent liquors that are now available at the Coral. I think that he is doing a fantastic job with what is available for food and beverages at the resort and keeping the Guest happy. Everything went off beautifully as we immersed ourselves in the beauty and life of laid back vacation mode. Breakfast was great, a few of our usual servers were still there, yay! Livan, and Yasmany, who are wonderful servers and their were also some new faces. Everything was available on the breakfast menu with the exception of salmon but there were many other choices. Fresh pastries and cookies were always available on the table in the middle of the dining area. Lunch is always my favorite at the resort and I usually just have the homemade soup that Jaime the Chef and Loady, his right hand Chef, prepare daily. If you have not had the daily soup you have no idea what you are missing, sometimes I have two bowls. At dinner we were so happy to see our favorite young ladies, Betty, Giselle and Yaquenia, who rush around to make everyone happy and keep the beverages and food flowing. The food was deliciously seasoned and cooked to perfection. Those of us on the Beach on Friday experienced a moment of serendipity. Two little dolphins swam down the beach between guests and just a foot to three feet away from some of us. They swam slowly and were not afraid of people around them. Everyone was just fascinated by these two baby dolphins. In all the years we have vacationed here this was a first. Saturday is White Night where dinner is set up out by the pool. When darkness sets in, the lights around the pool make the whole area look magical. Do not forget to bring your white outfits. There was a sumptuous selection of fresh baked goods, salads, meats, smoked BBQ and various choices of delicious desserts and cocktails of your choosing. Sunday I became ill and was not able to attend dinner for the next few nights but between my Spouse, Jacobo and the amazing staff of Butlers who I treasure dearly, Yandry, Diana, Dismar and Roberto, I wanted for nothing. And thank you Michel. I was amazed that Jacobo actually took time out of the dinner service and went to the main buffet to get me something bland and soft to eat. The Selecion side of the Resort caters to families with children of all ages. So there is a variety of choices available at the Buffet there. On Tuesday morning I went to the doctor who is available 24/7 on the Resort, for those of us who do not or did not know. A cart came right to the room and by 7:30 am I was being checked over by the nurse Lucia, such a very caring lady who speaks English fluently, so it was less stressful,and Dr. Maria Victoria who was so thorough in her assessment and extremely knowledgeable. There is International Medical Centre, located nearby, where they can access medication that is not available readily at the Hotel, so they went there to get the antibiotics that I needed. We were shocked that our charge for everything was $83.00 CAD, $50.00 of which was the consultation fee. The only problem we did have was the lack of toilet paper, and having to ask for more several times as we opted not to have the room refreshed while I was ill. The last few days when I was on the mend I made sure and made up for the lack of tan by relaxing on the beautiful beach. The weather in Cuba always cooperates. If you have to be sick what a beautiful place to be sick surrounded by stunning scenery, in a well equipped Villa and with caring individuals. My heart goes out to Diana and Milexis, the two main Coral building and Beach Restaurant cleaners. I commend you for what you do, I could not do what you do and still always have a smile on my face. They kept the common areas immaculate. Yuniely, a very busy and talented bartender made delicious, yummy, chocolate martinis and Appletini's on our last night. I also have to say the new staff at the Coral Restaurants…Amanda, Gasket, Yahimi and Dario were all great and I wish them the best in their new jobs. And in the background there is Esther, who keeps the kitchen clean all day. They are all a great team. On the last morning before we left, I called at the last minute and asked Yandry, one of the Butlers, if it was possible for us to have a private breakfast down at Casa de Botas. A quiet more private beach. He called back to say it was a go and that Luis stepped up to do it. By the time we got there, the table was set and there was a basket filled with sweet pastries to eat while Luis went and got our order. He was the best. We were so happy to be able to share a meal alone at my most favorite hang out at the Coral. And last but not least the Hotel Managers Luis Angel and Javier, I think that it is great that they make themselves available and accessible to the HoteI Guests. I think your hands on approach brings positive vibes to the experience at the Resort Till the next time. Hasta Pronto!
#5 Paradisus Los Cayos
#5 Paradisus Los Cayos
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
84 reviews
A Perfectly Relaxing Experience
Having just returned from a week at this beautiful resort, we want to return immediately! 6 trips to Cuba thus far, and this property exceeded our expectations with its modern esthetics, clean beyond clean environment, professional staff, welcoming bars and restaurants, and the beach! Our suite was so well appointed, loved the high quality bathroom amenities, comfy bed and such a zen feeling within. Our ocean view was so peaceful, with the warm ocean air coming through. We were in the royal section and it was just first class everywhere. The lounges were stunning with comfortable seating, the restaurant's vibe was upscale - with choice inside or outside for any of your meals. The violinist - such a beautiful talent! We really enjoyed the Japanese a la carte restaurant. The chicken and pork dishes throughout the week were excellent. Our favourite drinks were mimosas and mojitos, always cold and fresh. At the royal area pool, we so appreciated the orange and lemon slush mix for our rum! Having a delicious pizza on the royal side private beach was above and beyond! The beach brought us so much enjoyment to say the least. The coral reefs were close for snorkeling, the sand white and soft for walking. We suggest turning right once you get to the beach, walk about 30 mins (past 2 more resorts) to find the most gorgeous native beach in the caribbean...we were overwhelmed by the beauty. Go early in the morning to experience the sunrise and the sun's rays through the clouds. The sandbanks caused by the tide being out were amazing! Back to the resort! Anna Rosa was so pro as our maid, Junior and Gabriel at the royal reception were always helpful, Adonis, Otto and the entire wait/bartending team kept us so happy with their prompt and pro service levels. Ariseidy went above and beyond as our concierge. Ricky at the Reserve reception was so informative and knowledgeable about the resort and the area. Lizy from the marketing team was an absolute delight, we so enjoyed chatting and sharing photos from our week with her. We were greeted by the Director Philipp while we were walking around, he asked how our stay was and really listened to our comments...very personable and approachable. If traveling as a couple and you want some down time, book on the royal side! You can then go see the entertainment and different bars in reserve and the family side, returning to the quieter area as you lounge around the pool, beachcomb for shells on the beach or have a cold beverage in a calm environment. Gems: Be sure to have some cash with you for the 1.5hr bus ride to the resort - Crystal beer available on the bus only! Tips are the lifeline for the staff, choose USD or CND. School supplies are appreciated. Use 700 on the phone to reach customer service at the resort. The hour before the entertainment starts is for the kids to run and dance freely. Royal area will have purple towels, go early to the pool or beach to reserve your chairs! Sunscreen 3 times as much as you think you need - the sun will blast through it FAST! Water shoes are recommended around the reefs. Be sure to get to the beach at night to see the stars above.
#9 Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
456 reviews
Clean, good service, unimaginative
Dhawa hotel was very nice, very clean, and very well staffed. However, with a low occupancy rate we missed out on amenities - the restaurants were closed, the buffet was not well stocked, hardly any entertainment. There was no white wine or sparkling wine to be found, but the drinks they did have were very good. There is a specialty bar which has a great selection and a good barman. The food was lacking - even with the food they had it was unimaginative. Example- they have fruit, yogurt, milk, but don't have a smoothie station for the morning like many hotels. They have meat and vegetables but often the selection being offered for the pizza station didn't contain many ingredients - even if those ingredients were available elsewhere. The pastry selection in the morning was amazing, but almost no selection of fruit except papaya. The snack bar that was open 24 hours had actually almost no food. I know cuba has a food shortage but we thought they could do a lot more with the food they do have. The beach could have been beautiful - however there was a lot of seaweed washing up. Instead of putting people to the task of cleaning it they put 1 old man with a rake who barely managed to make any progress while 6 guys watched him from the bar instead of helping. As a consequence, the beach was not really accessible for many days which was disappointing. There were boats available for no extra charge which was nice. Our room was spacious, always very clean, and well stocked (towels, toilet paper, water, etc). The cleaning staff was great. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful in most ways. Overall I do recommend the hotel and I hate to complain but am only trying to give an honest review.
#10 Melia Cayo Santa Maria
#10 Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
824 reviews
We chose the wrong resort. Never again.
We have been to Cuba 16 times most often stayed at Melia Hotels but never had such a chaos. We arrived at 1 p.m. as returning guests and we were told that our room was ready. However, there was no towel, or soap. Customer service 700 phone almost never answered, so I had to go back to the reception. Bathtubs were too high to get in and my wife developed a knee problem. I asked for a footstool. After two days and several inquiries we were told that the security rules of hotel do not allow such a thing. We changed the room to one that had a standing shower. It was filthy, with cockroaches, sand flies with no insect spray or an umbrella and no hot water for two days. When it started to rain were told to stay inside until the rain stops. The electronic keys got inactivated nine times, four times in a row.On Dec. 30th the hotel got overbooked by a very rude mob devoid of the basic etiquette. During the four days that hey stayed we were pushed from side and behind to enter the buffet, nudged away from cabinet of buffet, their children were running between tables, hustling and jostling guests and tables. Buffet items got almost empty five minutes after the mob entered as they loaded their plates as much as possible and devoured voraciously. Some guests could not find a seat and ate standing. They entered the pool with clothes on without taking shower, got drunk at the pool bar and shouted insanely. After the mob left the hotel, some items disappeared with them during the remaining days of our “Vacation” : eggs, butter, jam, potatoes, tomato just to mention a few. I discussed all this with the management and filled a form for partial compensation. No news so far.
#20 Melia Buenavista
#20 Melia Buenavista
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
185 reviews
Melia Buenavista in July
The Buenavista is a small adults-only all-inclusive resort with beach front on 3 sides. And in July, this small resort was maybe 25% full at that. There is one breakfast and lunch-only restaurant, and 2 x a-la-carte restaurants for supper. If you stay on the resort grounds for supper, you must make a reservation through your concierge for supper at one of them. However, a major advantage offered by this hotel is full access to the 2 other Melia properties in Cayo Santa Maria, the eponymously-named resort and Las Dunas. You can go to the beach or the swimming pools there, dine at any of their buffet or a-la-carte restaurants, generally use and take advantage of any facility there, just as if you were a guest at these properties. The room was great - ocean view, spacious, very comfortable (bed, AC, wash facilities), and impeccably kept by the cleaning staff. The beach - the reason we go to Cuba - was great, with small colorful tropical fish swimming with you and around you. A word of caution, there's lots of coral there, so beach shoes should be packed although they're not essential. The Buenavista has 2 small relatively unshaded pools, more for soaking and cooling after a day at the beach than for swimming. There's a bar and a 24 hour grill poolside by one of them. The grounds are extremely-well kept. The staff was amazing, always very friendly and very accomodating to anything we needed. If I could give them 6 stars out of 5, I would. I guess it helps though that there weren't that many other guests to attend to while we were there. I thought the food was good and well-prepared - disclosure, I'm not a picky eater - and again staff there was extremely accomodating to any food or dietary requests that we made. But, by the end of our week, the meals started to have a sameness to them that took away from the experience. And caution, anything with "tomato" sauce actually contains BBQ sauce. However, again, the staff came through for us in this regard by offering us a couple of excellent going-away meals that saved the experience. Bravo. Internet connection was (still) choppy at best, but when I go to Cuba this is more a plus than a negative. There's a gym and a spa on the property, but we didn't use either. The beach was our focus. Overall, we very much enjoyed our experience here. If you want an intimate, quiet, beach-oriented vacation, with the option of more activity and "noise" offered with the aceess to the other 2 Melia properties, this is a great place to go.

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