Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
4.454.454.454.454.45
4.45 based on 438 reviews
#2 of 26 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Cayo Santa Maria
Rated 5 stars
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Not a 5* hotel.

, Mississauga, ON
2024-02-27
We stayed at Royalton for 10 days in February 2024. Whoever gave this hotel 5* did it through aerial view sitting in their office. In real life it's a roller coaster between 1* and 5*.
Hotel: premisses well kept, rooms show signs of aging, but are generous size, maids are nice and do their job properly. Do not expect although any beer in your fridge.
Beach: one of the best beaches in Cuba, but it is being managed awfully. There is not enough palapas to go around. So, hotel guests are leaving their towels overnight on the beach chairs to “mark” the spot under the palapa sometimes not showing at the beach for a day or two. So, you may still find a chair, but not shade throughout your entire stay. The same thing with the main pool. Solution: just bring your own beach umbrella.
Food: they do not have even basics like eggs, butter (non-edible quality margarine instead), cold cuts, olives, and olive oil. Options are limited and repetitive. Most guest are having lunch at conveniently located Sunset, but it seems like everything is a problem here. Honestly, dinners are the only highlight of this hotel. They are simple and elegant, there is enough wine to go around, personnel are charming, music and décor soft and appropriate.
Entertainment: another sticky point at Royalton. There is no theater at the hotel. All shows intrusively take place in the main lobby right at your coffee table.
Beverages: watered down, limited variety.
The 24-hr bar in the main lobby is the only exception in all respects.
Customer service: butlers are nice and eager to help but hey are useless as they can't solve any of the mentioned problems.

Your stay at Royalton may be disappointing if you expect 5* service. [Details]
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The strong points
Majestic beach view, powedery sand and clear water.
The weak points
Food, beach/pool service.
Sanitary measures
n/a

Stay at Royalton

, Windsor, ON
2024-02-10
Entertainment by the rock guitarist, Michael Jackson, Acrobats ,ballet group outstanding. Hotel premises and beach very clean. Menus need to be printed since we found it difficult to understand the servers. Sunwing transport from airport to hotel was made even longer with a smoke break stop and we reached the hotel around midnight. We departed the hotel at 7am .Despite paying for a week, we only got 5 days. This is unacceptable. We love Cuba being 7 times before sadly unless things are fixed this maybe our last trip. As always Jesus, Mikeliya and Alajandro were helpful. [Details]
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The strong points
Efficient reception staff. The whole property was very clean and nicely landscaped. Housekeeper Anna was very good. Butler Noelvis very helpful. Bar staff and servers excellent. Beach fabulous and clean. Best bar is the Lounge bar. Entertainment was good
The weak points
Breakfast and lunch average. Dinner poor with limited choices. Should have printed menus since difficulty understanding the servers' accents. Most of us could not eat the fish because it was too salty. Dessert and fruit selections very poor.
Sanitary measures
Please instruct servers not to keep cutlery directly on the table tops but on the napkins.
Certified

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

, Toronto, ON
2024-01-27
This is our second time at the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, it is a wonderful, small, relaxing resort. It is not for people who want to party. The resort is so easy to get around, the beach is out of this world beautiful, the restaurants are amazing and the staff are absolutely incredible. Especially the Butlers. It is very safe for everyone and caters to anyone's needs. Even people with disabilities. We will be going back again next year. [Details]
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The strong points
The staff are extremely accommodating. The general manager is very visable and approachable the rooms are spotless and it is easy Too get around the resort as nothing is too far.
The weak points
The entertainment could be a bit more varied, but what we saw was very good.
Sanitary measures
Always very clean
Certified

Relaxing Vacation

, Lower Sackville, NS
2024-01-20
We had an awesome vacation at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria. Beautiful beach for long walks.Clean rooms and restaurants. Friendly staff. Our butlers were very helpful. Food was good .Entertainment was good . Loved the piano playing in the Lobby Bar. Our second time there . Would definitely go back. [Details]
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The strong points
Very clean resort. Food was good, especially knowing all the shortages in Cuba. Lots of loungers. Beautiful beach. Pretty pool. Friendly staff.
Certified

Best hotel in Cuba

, North York, ON
2023-12-03
You always hear that you don't go to Cuba for the cuisine. You can now! Food was delicious. Resort staff have such a pride of ownership and it shows. The resort is stunningly beautiful. The Royalton is adult only. Demographic is older. Entertainment team is incredible. Entertainment manager Andy I believe is the heart and soul of the resort. I can't praise this resort enough. 4-6 months I'm going back. [Details]
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The strong points
Food, staff, age demographic of guests, beach
Certified

Une semaine de vacances parfaites.

, Vancouver, BC
2023-07-19
Merci encore une fois au Royalton cayo santa Maria pour une semaine de vacances parfaites.Un énorme merci à Ariel et Omar notre dévouée major d'hommes ils sont vraiment très bons et ils parlent très bien français et ils sont vraiment dévoués à faire tout pour que vos vacances soit parfaite. Nous étions dans la chambre 1009, notre femme de ménage kenia fait un excellent travaille avec le sourire. Aussi au resto sunset le midi aller dans la section de Any pour un service hors pair. Merci à toutes l'équipe du Royalton. [Details]
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The strong points
La plage, le service
The weak points
Maintenance

Beautiful resort

, Vancouver, BC
2023-07-19
Beautiful resort with wonderful people who want to make your stay the best possible. The beach is spectacular; white sand and turquoise water. Chef Jesus prepared delicious food with excellent presentation. Staff make a great stay even better. Special thanks to Michel and Noelvis for all their hard work, and to all the lovely ladies who are so welcoming. The entertainment at night is wonderful as well. Would highly recommend every part of this resort!
We booked throught Sunwing and it was excellent. We will return 100 %. [Details]
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The strong points
Food, service, cleaning, restaurants, beach, butler service

Amazing Holiday

, Providence Bay, ON
2023-05-09
What makes people come back to this hotel is their staff This was our 6 or 7 time at this resort not even sure anymore but staff are now family. You never have to wait for beach or pool chairs. Their beach is beyond amazing. White sand that feels like baby powder. Restaurant are all a la carte but this does not mean you can't go for seconds. Rooms are a bit outdated but super clean. Resort is small and cozy [Details]
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The strong points
Staff become family, restaurant are all a la carte beach is super amazing. Resort is small, cozy and welcoming. Rooms very clean
The weak points
Rooms will eventually need to be updated
Certified

Wonderful Royalton

, Toronto, ON
2023-03-15
There is a reason that the Royalton is top rated in Santa Maria. The beach is fabulous, can always get a sun lounge no matter what time of the day. And the staff are genuinely friendly and cheerful. Special mention to Javier and Maria who always wanted to do more for us than we asked, and to all the restaurant servers Maylin, Beatriz, Sylvia and many more who were great. Norge at the beach bar always made sure we had our usual drinks on the beach. Alexis seemed to be everywhere, always helpful and very informed about Cuban conditions.The special night for returning guests is an appreciated event. And lots of improvements to the buildings and grounds since our last visit before the pandenic. And even the internet works better. Alejandro the general manager was always available and running an efficient operation. And we were quite amazed by the chef who seemed to be able to make tasty and well presented meals even though many items are scarce in Cuba.
We will certainly be back again. [Details]
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The strong points
The terrific people
The weak points
Half of the beach chairs are older and should be replaced with the newer chairs.This would reduce the guests 'reserving' the new ones in the morning.

Wonderful Resort

, Mississauga, ON
2023-01-01
This was our first time in Cayo Santa Maria and at a Royalton resort. The resort is not huge but offers so much. Also it has a limited number of rooms so it doesn't feel congested. There's always room at the pools and the beach. The beach is where we spent most of our time and it was just perfect. One of the most beautiful beaches and waters we've seen. There were three restaurants to choose from, which varied their menus every night for dinner, which was nice to see. If that wasn't enough though, as Royalton guests, we also had access to the adjacent Memories Resort, which is enormous.

The staff are the people that make all the difference in the end though. They were amazing. At the Royalton, as it turns out, you get assigned butlers who look after you during your stay and address any and all of your needs 24/7. Javier and Maria Rosa were the ones assigned to us and they did an exceptional job along with the other staff from bar tenders, to waiters, cleaners, cooks and all other servers, Dyan, Ariel, Bernardo and Beatrice to name a few. They all did their part to make sure that our stay was nothing less than fantastic. [Details]
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Home Sweet Home

, Richmond, QC
2022-12-12
It was just like coming home...I am a returning guest and coming back for a 2nd year was truly like going home.
This has to be the best hotel for service and warm caring staff in all of Cuba.
It is very clean, food is wonderful, service is excellent.
Everyone is so helpful and friendly that you will never want to leave.
My butlers went out of their way to be sure you are happy...Javier and Alexis(?) Are the best.
Bernardo you are great...loved seeing you again
Neery never stop making every one feel happy and loved.
To all the others I love you all...you are the best team with the very best Manger.
Welcome to Marc you are a great addition to the team
I am already looking forward to next year at the Royalton. [Details]
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The strong points
The staff and the great service! They all make you feel so important.
The weak points
Bathrooms could use a bit of an update. And would like more music for dancing in the evening.

Amazing Trip!!

, Brantford, ON
2022-12-05
I travelled to this resort from October 30th to November 13th solo. The majority of the resort is filled with couples, but don't afraid to go to this resort solo - everyone welcomes you in with open arms! I met some really great people and never had to be alone if I didn't want to be.

The beach was incredible - the sand so soft, and always shade if you need it :). The ocean was absolutely beautiful and I wish I was still there now.

I know everyone is concerned about Cuba's food shortages right now - but I never felt that it was a concern at this resort. There was ALWAYS plentiful amounts of food offered to you every meal, and there are so many options available. I would have to say the quesadillas at the beach were my absolute favourite and I crave them now a month later LOL. The lady that cooks these makes her own special hot sauce for you to use - I wish I had it here with me back home it was so delicious - TRY IT!!

I really enjoyed being welcomed to the beach every day by Enrique the beach bartender - he always made me smile and made great surprise drinks!

Stefan, the food and beverage director, you are incredible! I think you had only been at this location for a couple of weeks prior to my arrival, and it looked like you fit right in and had been there for a long time. Your ability to get things done when ANYONE asked you was outstanding. I appreciated you looking out for me, and if I ever needed anything you were always there to ensure I had it!

Alejandro, the general manager - someone you will see quite often every single day interacting with everyone at the restaurants, the beach, the pool.. EVERYWHERE. He genuinely wants to meet, greet, and ensure every single person at the resort is happy with their stay. I have never seen this before ANYWHERE I have been, so this was quite great!

Alina, my maid for my two week stay, left me the cutest notes throughout my stay that always made me smile.

Liz was my absolute favourite server!

Karelys in entertainment always had the party entertained and keeping everyone dancing :)

Last but absolutely not least, my butlers - Diana and Lester. These TWO - are absolute gems. Being a solo traveller it is always a concern for safety, but every single day one or the other would check in on me.
Diana is an absolute sweetheart that works so hard to ensure you are happy and have everything you ever needed, it was a real pleasure to have you looking out for me for two weeks!
And my favourite of all - Lester! Thank you for making my trip so memorable, and checking in on me always. Anything I needed you made sure I had it, any time I didn't have a group to hang out with you were a great friend to ensure I had a great time anyways, and despite your love for the Houston Astros in the World Series (LOL) I appreciated you most of all and attribute my trip's greatness to you. I hope when I come back to the Royalton Lester is my butler again!

This is a great resort, filled with some of the most amazing people you will ever meet on a trip. I have never bonded with so many staff at a resort in 15 years of going on vacations. The staff makes this place amazing - you always feel welcome, while being surrounded by a beautiful lush environment, white sands, and a gorgeous ocean. [Details]
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The strong points
Ocean, beach, LESTER & DIANA

Can't wait to go ago!

, Mississauga, ON
2022-11-27
This was our first trip to Cuba and we had an amazing time!

I was initially hesitant to visit because of the food cause I'm a picky eater, but my goodness the food was AMAZING! Different options 24 hours a day and it was delicious!

The waiters and servers were friendly and so courteous.

The resort was clean and no bugs or lizards in the rooms.

The entertainment was fun and different every day!

Royalton Cato Santa Maria is my new home away from home and I can't wait to come back next year!

So many memorable people but a few I want to thank:

The Managers who ensured we had a great trip: Alejandro and Stefan
Our amazing Butlers who greeted us daily: Michel, Omar and Javier
The friendly ground staffer that is like my new cousin: Luis
The cleaning staff who give great hugs: Aleimda and Sonya
The fun and lively entertainer who brought great energy: Lis
And our wonder waiters: Danaysi, Marylin, Anita and Yaima [Details]
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The strong points
The food was REALLY good The rooms are clean The drinks are strong
The weak points
No weak points! 10 out of 10!
Sanitary measures
Facility was clean, no Covid concerns.

Royalton

, Bowmanville, ON
2022-11-13
Well as far as servicce the people are great . Problems are food shortages no eggs,, plated food ,somtimes not eitable, toilet paper used as nakins at tables .booze cheapest like acid. Towel shortages . If you like cheese and toast well that will be your only staple, resort next door has a real buffet . No real show time there . Butlers really nice but not needed,invest in some serverers on beach and around pool resort nice rooms out dated. 3 [Details]
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Certified

Royalton Santa Maria excellent

, Mayo, QC
2022-11-09
First I would like to compliment all staff they are amazing I would definitely return without hesitation . Food was amazing, beach wow. ! also like to mention a few names that made are vacation special Omar, Stephane, Alejandro, Yadira, Yoandra the entertainment staff they are so many more everyone has a smile they are their for you at all time. Hope to see them soon [Details]
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The strong points
food beach staff
The weak points
None

Best vacation ever!!

, Sorel-Tracy, QC
2022-10-07
Where do I start? The place is amazing, clean, feels luxurius and is actually what it says: luxurius!
The service, the staff, the manager, the beach even the food, were all beyond any expectations we had!
The room was clean and very comfortable!
The food, except the occasional shortage of this and that, was perfect every time! The staff crafts wonders out of anything they have on hand, with a smile!
Talking about service, you will experience the best service I've ever got in any resorts from anyone who works there.
The manager Alexandro is very present and friendly and is making sure everything is perfect to anyone he speaks to!
He was everywhere, on the beach, restaurants, bars, name it, every day making sure his guests were happy on any and all levels!
The beach, what can I say? Every day, we had workers finding and bringing chairs and a table for us in a heartbeat!
All in all, I recommend the Royaltin Cayo Santa Maria to anyone without any hesitation!
We will definitely go back there soon!! [Details]
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The strong points
Beach Service Room Food
The weak points
The Wifi had some issue but for us, it wasn't really a problem because we were on vacation and that wasn't a concern and a need to begin with.

Our home away from home !

, Frankford, ON
2022-09-08
After travelling all over Cuba for more than a decade we find ourselves returning to this resort ( forth visit in four years). The beach here is stunning, the resort grounds are kept immaculate and the personal service and attention to details superb. As an adult only resort it has a quiet and lay back atmosphere which we love! If you like to party, this resort is not for you !

The personal service you receive from the staff here is wonderful. Butlers are assigned to guests for the duration of your stay, Any special requests and they will do their best to satisfy. We have had the pleasure of meeting several of them over the years, Javier and Michel stand out from our most recent visit, always a smile and eager to make your stay the best it can be. We look forward to our return trip to the Royalton very soon.. [Details]
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The strong points
Staff here is wonderful
The weak points
rooms are starting to get a bit dated
Sanitary measures
excellent

Very good

, Ottawa, ON
2022-08-15
I had a very good experience, and I will go again in the future. [Details]
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Certified

Absolutely amazing,highly recommended

, Laval, QC
2022-07-03
Fabulous vacation! We stayed at the royalton for 2 weeks…. Rooms spacious and clean, grounds absolutely beautiful, food the best we've had in Cuba, drinks great, staff are hard working, very friendly and always very helpful! Beach AMAZING, pools very clean and animation and night shows very good! Management absolutely amazing, Alejandro and Michaela very professional, always seen around the resort engaging with guests and making sure everything is good…Enrique and other bartenders (don't remember names) excellent service, Janet, Yadira and all staff at lobby bar also excellent service, thanks to all the waiters at a la cart for their great service, special thanks to Jesus (chef) for all the amazing food, he is by far the best, a big asset to the resort, keep him he is the best!….thanks to Anibal (animation) very nice and funny guy, we had so much fun…. Thank you to all the staff and special thanks to management Michaela and Alejandro for making our vacation so amazing, we will definitely return this fall and we will highly recommend this hotel to all our friends, family and readers [Details]
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The strong points
BBQ lunch at snack bar the best, Cuban food every day, continue it's absolutely amazing…. Jesus (chef) GREAT…this was the first time in over 20 years we actually enjoyed every meal in Cuba! Service AMAZING management super great

A Luxurious Vacation with Families & Friends

, Ajax, ON
2022-06-29
This is our second time this year at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria. My husband and I had an amazing trip back in April 2022, this time we brought our families and friends. When it comes to customer service, beach and food, Royalton Cayo Santa Maria is definitely number one.

Michel Romero was our butler back in April, he was so amazing we requested for him again. He met us upon our arrival, all 19 of us! Although our flight was delayed and we didn't get into the hotel until close to midnight, Michel waited for all of us and he gave us a very warm welcome. Michel took the time to check-in every single one of us into our rooms. For the whole duration of our trip, Michel was there constantly catering to all our needs, addressing all our concerns, and coordinating our lunch and dinner, so we're always together. We celebrated 5 birthdays (including my dad's) and the wedding anniversary of our friends. For such a large group, Michel somehow managed to coordinate everything and helped us celebrate these special occasions. We all had a wonderful time.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
We're so happy to see all the staff un-masked this time around, because we can finally see their smiles. The service was the same from the first time we visited back in April - truly exceptional. Royalton Cayo Santa Maria definitely set the gold standard when it comes to customer service. Everyone here is so friendly and so attentive to your needs. They open the doors for you and they make sure that you always have a drink and you're well taken care of. Regardless of whether you tip or not, everyone here serves you with a genuine smile.

Michaela, the interim manager, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and to make sure that we're ok. We know you're very busy and it's really nice to see you being very hands-on and also helping out your fellow staff. Alejandro, we missed you. We hope that you're enjoying your well-deserved vacation.

The hotel capacity at the time of our visit was about 60-70%, so not all the staff were working (some were on vacation and some were temporarily laid off). Although we missed some of the staff we met from our 1st trip, almost everyone we met this time was so friendly.

Upon arrival, Bernardo from the lobby bar quickly recognized us and he served us drinks right away. Every night, we're all at the lobby bar drinking until past midnight and playing cards. Yadira, Yoandry, Luis Alberto, Javier and Yasiel - thank you for always making sure that our drinks are filled and for serving us with a smile, especially Yadira. You are so kind and always so attentive to our needs. Bernardo, you make the best Iced Coffee Royalton, it's one of my favourite drinks there.

At Eggscellence Restaurant, we had several lunch and dinner here with our family & friends. Yaima, Liz, Yarima, Lilibet, Isabella, Yoandry, Jose, Liesly, Eldis, Carlos - thank you everyone for serving us all and for being accommodating to all our needs. You're always smiling and even made sure that our tables were set up and closed to one another for all 19 of us. Yaima, thanks for going the extra mile for serving us our favourite fried plantains and fruta bomba!

At Senses Restaurant, we had my dad's birthday celebration here along with the other 4 celebrants, and the wedding anniversary of our friends. We want to say a special thank you to Michel (our butler) for coordinating everything including the decorations and the cake, and to Michaela (interim manager) for letting all my family and friends have the "special dinner" with lobsters. The timing of the dinner was so perfect because we ended up having the entire restaurant all to ourselves. Although we're such a large group, it was very special and very intimate. Disleidy, Yuniel, Katia Castillo & Silvia, Chef Geimel, Alain, Estrella ,Yandry & Dairon, Lunchera Lumey Dailen ,Veronica & La Rubia Pastelera - thank you for such a magical evening. Everyone had an amazing time. To the rest of the Senses staff, Yeslin, Deily, Anys Yudith, Carlos - thank you so much.

At Sunset Bar, we had several lunch here from the grill section, and also snacks (before dinner & midnight snacks). Yuniel, Yadira, Natali, Anliet Cheilan, Javier, Marisol, Ariel - thank you everyone. I have to give a special shout out to Tony for going the extra mile. You took care of us very well, my families and my friends. You have an amazing voice too and it was nice to hear you sing. Thank you also for helping us pack some burgers and fries for our return flight. To Jose Enrique and Reynaldo at the grill, you guys are the grill masters. I know how hot it was to grill under the sun, but you guys are still serving with a smile on your face.

Since we spent the majority of our times at the beach we want to give a special shout out to Eberto, Enrique and Norge, for making sure that we're taken care of. You guys always check on us every single time to make sure that we're ok and that our drinks are full. To Oslay and Rosemary, thank you for taking the time to say hello. You guys remembered us from last time and we still love your yummy quesadillas. To Raxon & Jose, thanks for helping us find our loungers at the beach and for sweeping the sands off. A special thank you to Yandy (the lifeguard) for helping my uncle when he was in trouble in the ocean.

At the Front Desk Reception, Dania and Jorge, thank you for going the extra mile in addressing all our concerns, especially with our wifi needs. Dania, it was very nice to see you again.

To the bell boys we met in this trip, Oscar and Fernando, thank you for driving us around the resort when we were bored LOL. For all the rides you gave our families and friends, thank you.

To Sonia and Liane at the lobby washroom, it was nice to see you again.

To the rest of the butler team, Liam, Alexis, Javier & Lester, thank you for taking the time to say hello to us. You guys remembered us and that was really sweet. Although you weren't our butler, you still checked on us if everything was ok. Omar (we missed you) hopefully you'll be back soon.

To our housekeeper, Jaime, thank you for keeping our room tidy and for all the floral and towel arrangements. Aleida, although we were at Bungalow 8 this time, you still said hello to us and it was really nice to see you again. You're like our mom now at Royalton.

BEACH
Cayo Santa Maria offers the most breathtaking beach we have ever seen. Clear turquoise water with miles and miles of fine white sand. The ocean was definitely calmer this time around and we swam every single day, even on our very last day. The shore and the water is also shallow. No matter what time you go to the beach, you can always find a beach lounger. I love walking along the beach to pass my time. You can walk to your right facing the ocean towards the Sanctuary resort (where you have access to). It takes about 10-15 minutes one way depending on your mobility level. If you go to your left, you can walk for up to an hour one way. Here, you will see the other resorts (most of them are still closed). When I saw the other resorts, it gave me more appreciation of Royalton. I love watching the birds go hunt for their fish and the sandpipers running around the shore. We saw lots of small fish swimming nearby and a few big ones too. My friends, who love fishing, went on a fishing adventure one early morning with the help of Alejandro and Dayan from the Animacion Team.

FOOD
Although this is our second time, the taste and the quality of the food is still amazing. Even my families and friends are surprised on how delicious the food are. One of my friend said it's the best he's ever had and who knew he'll be dining on lobster, steak, salmon and risotto in one night. Their executive chef, Jesus, does a great job in overlooking the quality and the taste of the food in the resort. You'll also see him walking around saying hello to the guests and making sure that he gets feedbacks on the taste of the food - always looking to improve. There's always something for everyone: pork, beef, chicken, fish, calamari, lobster, seafood, vegetables and fruits. My husband and I are foodies, and we truly enjoyed every single meal. The menu at Eggscellence and Senses are different now, it used to be the same during our 1st trip back in April. Royalton also organized a special dinner for all their guests one night where everyone had lobsters. There's also the Diamond Dinner for the repeat guests.

Please keep in mind that although dinner is à la carte, you can always order more than one main, so you can taste both, or more. Since my parents were not sure if they will like what they ordered, I encouraged them to order two mains, just in case they like the other one more. When my friend ordered 3 main courses one night, the waitress told him "no, that's too much" and she looked unhappy. It made him feel embarrassed and I thought it was kind of rude of the waitress to say this to him in front of everyone. Every single night, he was having such a wonderful dining experience, except for this one night. He was very hungry though as we went on an all-day excursion and this was his first real full meal of the day. Maybe they were short-staff at that time but it's just this one incident which put a dent on his overall amazing dining experience at Royalton. And yes, my friend finished all his 3 mains that night.

I must say though that despite the economic turmoil Cuba went through this past 2 years with the lack & shortage of tourism, Royalton still did an amazing job. Sure, sometimes they ran out of certain things, but keep in mind, that we also experience the same thing in Canada. My husband and I actually liked the idea of à la carte dining as supposed to buffet, as it helped us eat in proper portions (to maintain our physiques), and made us feel better for not wasting food either. If you have a certain favourite spice (chilli flakes, calamansi, or toyo or a special vinegar), bring it, and it will help enhance your dining experience. However, we find that we don't really need to add further spices, but it helped to spice it up sometimes to remind you of home. If you find the food too salty, you can also ask for them to go easy on the salt.  Remember, you can always make changes in your reservations to cater to your own schedule. Also, a must try is the lobster and chicken quesadillas at the beach snack bar. And if you like fresh coconuts, just ask the gardeners. Jose Luis, thank you for serving fresh coconuts to us. My parents had them every single day. While staying at Royalton, you also have access to Sanctuary, Grand Memories and Memory. We went for a lunch buffet during their Cuban Day at Sanctuary and it was a lot of fun. Thank you Michel for organizing this as well.

DRINKS
There's definitely a lot more drinkers this time around. Since the hotel is not in full capacity, they didn't really ran out of drink choices. The main lobby bar seemed to always have everything, so it's a good place to find your drink. Also, they make the best coffees there. They have like 10 types of coffees. To Bernardo, Yoandry, Luis Alberto and Yadira at the Lobby Bar, thanks for making sure that our group always have a fun night of drinking. Remember to bring your own tumbler at the pool and beach bars, to help prevent plastic cup wastage. To Norge, Enrique and Eberto at the Beach Bar, you guys are spectacular. Thank you for all the Malibu Pineapple you got for us. These guys work so hard under the heat of the sun and they come to you while you lounge at the beach.

POOL
There's 2 main pools: there's the Lobby Pool which is much quieter and peaceful and less crowded; and there's the main Entertainment Pool which has music and activities throughout the afternoon. My husband and I are not really pool people, but we did swam in both pools during our stay. We liked the quieter pool in the main lobby a lot more. Since the hotel wasn't at full capacity, there's plenty of lounger beds available for everyone.

ENTERTAINMENT
We are a group of 19 people (the youngest is 18 years old and the oldest is 85 years old). I've never seen my dad danced in public and he had so much fun. My friend's mom, who's 85 years old, also danced in front of everyone. The Animacion Team: Dayan, Anibal, Nerelys, Karelys, Blanca, Lis, Mario and Alejandro, made sure that everyone is having a great time. Whether it's reading a book or dancing salsa, there's always something to do everyday for everyone. These guys work all day long until 11pm, and yet you see them always smiling and always cheering you up. Every night they have themed shows. We thoroughly enjoyed the Cuban Night with live music and professional Cuban dancers, the Michael Jackson Show, the Aquatic Show by the Pool, and the Retro Night. My husband and I love dancing, but dancing usually stops at 11pm every night, so we are left to entertain ourselves. The majority of the guests goes the bed before midnight and it's usually the quiet time.

ROOMS
Since we're repeat guests, we were upgraded to an ocean-view room in Bungalow 8. This bungalow is far enough from the main entertainment pool so we have peace and quiet all the time. Each bungalow has 10 rooms. Rooms 01 to 06 are at the ground floor and rooms 07 to 10 are on top floors. We prefer the top floors better. If you got the standard room, you can opt to pay extra for an ocean-view. I must admit that the rooms are dated and may need some upgrades. The bed is comfortable though and we requested for extra pillows and took advantage of the 24-hour room service. We're fortunate to not have any problems with our room, but we heard from the other guests we met, had few concerns that were addressed right away. Bungalow 5 and 6 are closest to the beach, but honestly, the resort is small enough that it's not really much of a walk whether you're at the furthest bungalow. There's 122 rooms in the entire resort. If you have mobility issues though, maybe ask for bungalows that are closed to the lobby and at the center of everything such as bungalow 1, 5, 6 and 11.

WIFI
WIFI is included during your stay. You can always recharge your wifi if you ran out (speak with the reception desk). It's surprisingly strong and fast, especially at the lobby. We're fortunate to have good wifi connection from our room.

MOSQUITOES
OMG. There were lots of them, like all day, all night, especially if there's no wind. This is the only bad thing we experienced at Royalton and it's something that the hotel can't control. Unfortunately there's been a series of rain every single day of the week prior to our arrival. Although we had great sunny weather and calm waters during our stay, the mosquitoes were out in full force. The hotel did fumigations every night, so that helped a bit, but after a few hours, they will come out again. We tried OFF, Repel, Lemon Eucalyptus, and the only thing that works is the "WATKINS Great Outdoors Insect Repellent Spray with 30% DEET" from Costco. You need DEET. It says it's good for 6 hours but we find ourselves re-applying after 2 hours. Also, bring After Bite creams. Make sure you're covered at night or bring a foldable handheld fan (abaniko) to fan away the mosquitoes. Also, don't wear any perfumes/colognes or use any scented body wash or lotions as it will attract more mosquitoes. The best solution to stay away from mosquitoes is dip or swim at the beach or pool.

LGBTQ
The hotel is LGBTQ friendly. We saw some other LGBTQ couples during our stay and the staff are so welcoming. I really appreciated it when the staff addressed my husband as my "husband". This may be a small thing, but to be acknowledged as a couple made a big impact during our stay.

TIPPING
We brought $5 CAD bills with us and $1 US bills. Please don't tip your CAD coins (loonies and toonies) as they are completely useless to them. Also, make sure that the bills you give are in good conditions (not ripped or stained or inked all over). I heard that although the bank exchange rate for $1 Canadian is about 18 Cuban Pesos, the $1 Canadian in the black market is actually 80 Cuban Pesos. So if you give 20 Cuban Pesos, you're actually giving about 25 cents Canadian. If you give $1 US bill, it's equivalent to 100 Cuban Pesos in the black market. It's really up to you how you want to tip but I do recommend setting aside some bills only for tipping. They also appreciate any personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving razors, feminine hygiene pads, lotions), medicines (Tylenol, Advil, cough syrups), clothing (especially for kids) and most especially footwears. We also brought in chocolates and cookies from Canada for their kids.

MUCHAS GRACIAS ROYALTON CAYO SANTA MARIA. You exceeded all of our expectations and we will definitely be back again. Michel Romero, you're the best! Thank you for everything. [Details]
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The strong points
Customer Service is Gold Standard here. Everyone is so nice and willing to serve you. THE BEST BEACH & FOOD in Cuba!
The weak points
It would help if the hotel add more mosquito repellents throughout the entire grounds (especially the populated areas and common spaces), mostly at night, so everyone can enjoy the outdoors more. Also, the rooms can use some renovation and upgrades.
Sanitary measures
There's hand sanitizers everywhere and staff are constantly cleaning the common spaces.

Amazing resort

, Vancouver, BC
2022-06-22
We had such a wonderful experience in this resort. We had Michel and Omar as butlers and they were so nice to us everyday. They arranged our dinner reservations for our stay. Food is delicious, mainly at the grill. Beach is second to none, blue water and white sands. For sure we will be back in October [Details]
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The strong points
Beach, the staff is so kind and they greet us everyday, the food is high quality, the service the more professional i have ever experience and animation is very relaxing.

What a gorgeous beach!

, Inverary, ON
2022-04-09
The resort is located on a beautiful stretch of beach with turquoise waters. The rooms are large and clean. The staff are extremely accommodating and very friendly. The resort is very well managed with a hands on approach by the boss. I would highly recommend it. [Details]
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The strong points
Great staff!
The weak points
The resort is older and is in need of some TLC but this is minor in the overall experience.
Sanitary measures
Very clean
Certified

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria.

, Toronto, HA
2022-03-21
We had such a good time. Small resort, only two swimming pools. Amazing beach and excellent service. Xavier the butler was very helpful. They have three restaurants offering great menu. For Cuba the food was unexpectedly good. The only problem is moskitos. Be prepared. [Details]
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Certified

Thank you for the beautiful vacation!

, Toronto, ON
2022-03-12
Hotel Royalton Cayo Santa Maria is perfect!
Service was really very good.
Everything was clean and safe.
Management is working very professional.
Location - the best you can imagine: beautiful beach with the velvet sand.
We definitely will recommend Royalton to our friends.
Thank you! [Details]
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The strong points
Location: the best beach we ever seen. Good management.
Certified

Absolutely perfect

, Nepean, ON
2022-02-13
The General Manager Alexandro.is there and interacting with guests and there to help when you need it. They also have a 'butler" for each set of rooms..Mine were Liam and Alexis and they were amazing. Their English is great so they can help with anything you need.

The rooms are excellent. They're huge, clean, with comfy beds. The bathrooms have a walk in shower with a separate soaker tub and I was staying in the lowest.price room - the garden view room.

The food was incredible. I was pleasantly surprised given the pandemic and all. They didn't have massive buffets but they did have a la carte with some buffet options. Some highlights was the tuna steak, potatoe soup, tortillas by the beach, caramel icecream, and all the chicken dishes. A girl I met there had severe food allergies and they catered to her every need.

The beach is second to none. I've traveled all over the world (Thailand, Greece, throughout the Caribbean, etc) and there is nothing like the beaches in Cuba in my opinion.

Finally the atmosphere was just soooo chill. It was like everyone there was on the same wave length. There were party areas and quiet areas so it there was a place for whatever your mood. It's a smaller more intimate resort but not too small by any means

There were a lot of solo travelers but it didn't matter if you were solo or not everyone socialized and mixed a mingled and got a long It was all Canadians so it was just a great vibe.

As far as covid. There are no entry requirements except to fill out an online form..So super easy to get in. All staff where masks everywhere whether inside or.outside. No one had tested positive on the resort since Dec. They check your to.when you get off the plane and they do.the PCR test.at.the resort for $30 USD.

All.and all just what the Dr ordered. Absolutely perfect vacation. [Details]
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The strong points
Beach, service, food, rooms, covid testing and precautions
The weak points
Can't think of anything

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria 2022 - Fantastic Resort

, Guelph, ON
2022-02-03
This is a smaller more personal resort. The people that work here are first and foremost the best part. Our Butlers: Ketia & Diego were awesome. Loved Tony at the Snack bar & Letisia at Eggcellence - we miss you lots! Our rooms were perfect even though we didn't spend much time in them. The pools were awesome and the beach was picture perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed the Jeep Safari (leader: Ray) & full day private catamaran/snorkling/dolfin (leader: Freddy & Chino) excursions. We will do those again when we come back next year! We booked for 10 days and it was the right amount of time to get settled and feel relaxed. We may consider the 14 day one next time because we definitely didn't want to leave for home. The weather was beautiful - although next time we will come at the end of Feb vs January since there were a couple of cooler days. This resort was well maintained and again, the people who worked there were awesome!!! We booked our PCR test which was needed before coming home from the resort and got the results the day before our flight home. Thank you to all the wonderful people who made this trip memorable for us. [Details]
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The strong points
People! People! People!
The weak points
none
Sanitary measures
excellent
Certified

Can't Wait to Return!

, Ottawa, ON
2022-01-31
Our stay at The Royalton in Cayo Santa Maria was an absolute dream. The perfect quiet get away for me and my partner. The staff were helpful, friendly and thoughtful. Everyone was very willing to help me practice my Spanish - especially Alejandro the GM. He would offer tips and suggestions for me to practice. Considering that this hotel was just beginning to reopen after COVID-19 closures, I was very impressed. There was the odd thing that needed to be updated, but we had minimal issues the entire trip (the wifi was a bit of a challenge, but who needs it when you've got the ocean?!)

I do want to give a special mention to our butler Noelvis. Noelvis went above and beyond every day for us. He even asked to take our cabana for 30 minutes to plan a special surprise. We arrived back at our cabana to discover a beautiful bubble bath and bubble HOT TUB! We were glad to speak with him every morning he was working. You're in EXCELLENT hands if you have Noelvis taking care of you. In his words he's "always up for a mission" whether that be for hot sauce, bug spray or recommendations of any kind. WE LOVE NOELVIS! Honestly, he's a big part of why I would happily return to The Royalton.

The hotel was clean, beautiful and easy to navigate.
The beach was STUNNING!!
The food was most delicious at the beach cafe and bbq at the Snack Bar.
Our favourite bartender (Bernardo) at the Lobby Bar was phenomenal.

The only thing I would do differently is pack my own hot sauce and some earl grey tea. [Details]
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The strong points
- Noelivis (Butler) - Gorgeous Beach - Beautiful pools - Excellent breakfast
Sanitary measures
All staff were masked at all times. We received PCR tests prior to our departure. Hotel was always clean.
Certified

Royalton Cayo Santa Clara Cuba

, Providence Bay, ON
2020-03-26
This was our 4th time at this resort. So that should tell you something. Beautiful resort, very quaint only 122 rooms. Staff are amazing. Management are so very kind. [Details]
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The strong points
Beach is incredible. Staff amazing. Resort is immaculate. I love this resort. Husleika, Dario, Sosa, Neyrelas, Disladey, Mylin, Darien, Luis, Marlyn, Pedro, Edwardo, Horjay and so many more. Also the return guest turnout is very high.
The weak points
Food is very tasty but not hot. It was lukewarm to cold. Rooms would need a bit of a update but really not a big issue as they are very clean. I really missed not having the pizza counter.
Certified

Fantastic resort

, Saskatoon, SK
2020-03-02
This was our first stay at Royalton and our 17th trip to Cuba. Royalton was a real upgrade in price but was worth every penny. We have stayed at Memories next door several times and enjoyed every trip but Royalton was a big step up.
With only 122 rooms it provides a level of service that can't be matched by larger resorts.
All the staff we encountered from servers to bar staff to grounds keepers treated us like family. A special shout out to our butlers, Liam and Noelvis, Mirielle and Daniel in Eggsellence and Antonio in Sunset, (forgive the spelling).
I didn't get any names of the staff at the beach but you guys are amazing. The chef took a hotdog and made it into a work of art and the servers were tireless.
We stayed in room 201 and a special thank you to the cleaning staff that kept our room absolutely perfect.
The food was very good with ample selection. Although I didn't see a french fry for a week I didn't give it a second thought.
From the spectacular beach to the beautiful pools this resort is a cut above the rest. [Details]
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The strong points
The level of service from the amazing staff makes us want to return and recommend Royalton to everyone.
The weak points
No weak points other than a lack of a few things on the menu, but we hardly noticed
Certified

Perfect Vacation

, Regina, SK
2020-02-28
The Royalton is a well maintained resort on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Their three a la carte resorts are excellent. The resort has a large attentive staff. [Details]
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The strong points
The staff was amazing. We had outstanding service throughout the resort. Special mention to our butlers, Liam and Noelvis, our maid Dayami, Miriell at Eggslence, Antonio at the Sunset Snack Bar, and Gelvis at the Lobby Bar.
The weak points
It's very hard to find one! They were out of hash browns for breakfast. Considering the storages at neighbouring resorts, this was very minor!
Certified
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