Sol Cayo Santa Maria

3.323.323.323.323.32
Sol Cayo Santa Maria
#22 of 24 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
3.32 based on 632 reviews
Traveller pictures (296)

Travellers Reviews in

Filter reviews by
Sort by
pages: 12345678

Exceptional service ! Problems with infrastructure

, Brampton, ON
2018-03-11
This is a lovely older Cuban resort. The hurricane did a number on it, but the outer appearance is being taken care of and plants are in bloom and beginning to revive. Many Palm trees were destroyed and in most areas removed. The water system is a problem with rotating outages. Daily shifting from washroom to washroom. Staff are scrambling to keep up. A nuisance, but the quiet and no lines make up for it. MOSTLY! Exceptional service because of the current low number of guests. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Exceptional service. Clean, older hotel. Large rooms. Recovering vegetation. Lovely white sand beach. Quiet!
The weak points
Rotating water outages. Daily shifting washrooms! Few restaurants open. Rotating as well.
Certified

Sol Cayo Santa Maria Review

, Plantagenet, ON
2018-01-22
The first room did not have a working toilet or water after numerous complaints they changed us to a better room. Looking out the balcony the amount of garbage on the ground was incredible, there were no garbage cans on the beach thus leaving pigs to dump their garbage on the beach, there were lots of flies in the buffet room. The reception staff was not too cooperative so the service representative was 100 % time more helpful. There was no hot water in the room ever, the cleaning ladies did not ever sweep the floor during the week. The rooms did not have room numbers or lights in the room thus leaving it dark in the evening...light bulbs were burned out. The general staff was very friendly and welcoming to us, the beach were amazing and water activities awesome. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
Certified

Never to return

, Guelph, ON
2018-01-13
This entire package was a huge false advertisement - it is not an adult resort for starters, has no gym, has not one single discoteck, has no professional massage services, most of the staff do not speak English, and a couple staff members are very rude and sexist towards women.

I have bed bug bites all over my body plus bites from outdoor flies. I also saw a very large cockroach in the bed as well as roaches in the sink. The restaurants are not clean, and they do not wash the sheets in between check outs :(. Yuck is all I can say!

Most of the staff are really nice - the only thing good about this place. Management is really helpful and do speak English more fluently.

Water and electricity kept cutting in and out and a lot of the resort is not lit adequately for it to be safe for walking at night - almost tripped walking to my room after dinner because the stair well had zero lighting. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The people working here and proximity to beach
The weak points
Everything but the people - food, accommodations, room, customer service, facilties

Completely Renovated friendly human size resort.

, Gatineau, QC
2017-11-27
The Sol reopened november 15. It was completely renovated over the last weeks following hurricane Irma. Forget past critics about how outdated the hotel was. Rooms, bars, retaurants, lobby, beach palapas have been rebuilt, renovated or updated. New landscaping with thousands of plants of all sizes. The Sol is a relatively small resort where you are welcomed warmly by the personnel. No long waiting lines at the bars, restaurants or buffet. Over 200 new rectangular sun umbrellas that provide lots of shade. Enough beach chairs for everyone. No need to get up at 6 in the morning to reserve one. The hurricane actually improved the already great beach. There is also a small coral right off the beach for snorkling. Lots of food offerings. See pictures. The best is the Picúa at the beach with a charcoal grill. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The friendly staff. The beautiful renovations. The tropical setting and the wonderful beach.
The weak points
The bus trip (1 1/2 hour) but worth it to see the beautiful causeway.

Unquestionably Dissatisfied

, St-Hubert, QC
2017-06-12
This hotel was not only improperly advertised, it is also not a 4 star hotel, by far. Only 3 bartenders spoke a little english, and hundreds of other workers did not. The rooms have cockroaches and we had to wait 24 hours for a new room. The 2nd floor railing are not attached to anything and very dangerous. The gym is permanently closed to all guests. The piano bar is permantently closed to all guests. The disco is permanently closed to all guests. There are no aquatic activites available (the activities guide informed us that only our hotel was not eligible to participate in boating activities). My cousin got $80 stolen from his room. We were refused service at the Cuban restaurant and we had a reservation (only 8 people out of the advertised 60 were seated). The customer service office was always closed even though it is advertised as being 24h. The "adult-only" pool was swarming with children. Only 2 shows the entire week at the theater. No offers for massages or pedicures. No free caddy services as advertised. Cubans are served immediately even if tourists are waiting for 15 minutes. Green pool for 48 hours. Trucks driving around spraying gallons of pesticide all over the guests causing ashtma attacks. Pina Coladas are made with tap water and caused ridiculous diarrhea. The buffet was a disaster all week, workers just standing around while all available tables we dirty and still had plates on them from previous guests. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The beach
The weak points
Everything else
Certified

Restful and pleasant

, Dartmouth, NS
2017-05-13
The age of a hotel should not deter anyone from visiting it. Yes some people expect every resort to be like the last one they visited in that same country last time or they expect it to be like home but in a tropical climate. Uneealistic expectations that aren't met sets your vacation up for failure. Think about where you are going and what life is like there then research before you buy. Simple. The Sol Cayo Santa Maria is an old hotel in a country that relies on tourism. Its life is written in the cosmetic damages caused by time and the people who have visited her. Sone of those people treated her gently others didn't because after all it isn't their home so they don't need to. The bathrooms need some work. Some beds may be a little uncomfortable but how much time do you spend inside. Staying indoors isn't what you are paying for so the cosmetics don't matter. The grounds are well kept, the restaurants have good food and the buffet has alot of selection for just about every taste preference. You are provided bottled water to help avoid tummu troubles but take imodium or pepto bismalt anyway to give you a littke more assistance. If that doesn't work the tonic water and bitters is said to help straighten you out. There is a lot to do in the Sol Cayo resort both on the beach and around the pool area. There is a gift shop with all kinds of things available. If you are 18 be prepared for parents whi sit in the patio bar and let their kids run around the lobby unsupervised. Wifi is accessed in the lobby via a paid wifi card feom the cimmunications office in the lobby ir at the lobby desk after hours. It costs about 1 peso per hour. One of my fellow passengers said they got a lower exchange rate of Cdn to peso at the airport but you can exchange money at the hotel in the kiosk just outside the lobby. The kiosk does not take loonies, toonies or change just bills. You have to ask for small pesos (1,2 & 3"s) or you get the larger denominations. Tipping isn't mndatiry but these people work for peanuts and your tipping really augments their salary. 1-3 pesos per meal for service in restaurants, 2 pesos for the person who cleans up after you in your room-you might want to hit the dollar store for persoanl care items you can leave as a thank you gift. Tip a peso after each drink run at the bar or a bigger one when you're done. You can even tip the guy who makes your omelette. Tipping isn't mandatory but no one likes to give good service and not be thanked for it. The people you meet there that help you have a good vacation are happy to help but treat them with the same respect you would expect to be treated with. Whatever you don't forget to live on the beach for a couple of hours a day with your sunscreen. Drink the bottled mineral water provided free if charge but take some imodium/pepti bismal just in case. A fellow traveller recommended tonic/bitters as well. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The staff, the food, relaxed atmosphere,
The weak points
Bathroom needed some work, AC vent covers need to be flush to wall-doorway for friendly lizard visits, maybe new boxsprings/mattresses, unsupervised children
Certified

Warm, frendly hotel with a superb beach

, Gatineau, QC
2017-04-01
Third time at this hotel. Not the only one, there were more than 80 people during my stay that were there before. That says a lot about this hotel. People return to this hotel for its human size, friendly staff and beautiful beach. Unlike, newer huge impersonal resorts, there is no waiting in line at the bars and restaurants. Staff have time to provide a warm, frendly service. No fighting for chairs at the beach and lots of palapas for shade. Over the last year, the water problem has been resolved and a number of renovations have been made. Food has also improve quite a bit. The buffet offers a greater variety of prepared food and cooking stations. The food and service at the lunch grill at the beach are excellent. At noon, the pizzeria is also very good. At night, the a la carte restaurants are also quite good with always an excellent service. At the buffet, Oscar and Cari offer a great service. At the bars, Alain, Lizandra, Martha and Lizdany will give you a great service. Tips are appreciated of course, but contrary to a lot of hotels, you will get an excellent service whether or not you are a big tipper. It's not a new hotel but that's what makes its charming and convivial. If you prefer a smaller place with nice, friendly serviçe as opposed to an impersonal huge resort, this is your place. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The frendly staff and rhe beach
The weak points
An older, but charming resort

Accomodations

, Wellington, ON
2017-02-05
http://www.monarc.ca/images/1.gif [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The weak points
No hot water and very slow getting service after speaking to service desk best way to get service was to speak with a travel representative when you could find one.
Certified

Ho hum

, Prince George , BC
2016-12-29
i was disappointed with the cleanliness of the buffet and dining area [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
the beach and the people are beautiful
The weak points
unclean
Certified

A dream turned to nightmare.

, Boyle, AB
2016-12-02
Took 4hours to get room with no water for two days then cold water for two days. Moved to two different rooms with a slight improvement only. Lots of Mold in bathrooms. 2 pools with no water. Walks all falling apart with holes everywhere. Buffet was dirty. Windows not washed for a long time. Food was poor with choices that never changed all week. Beach was really nice with very nice fish in restaurant. Best food on the resort. No music or entertainment because of Castro's death. We will never go back or recommend to anyone. A total disaster. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach & vegetation in resort
The weak points
Everything else on resort
Certified

Personal

, River Hebert, NS
2016-05-12
Resort is made up of 54 separate building. Each little villa has four rooms 2 upstairs 2 down except for handicap which is 2 rooms on one floor. There is a pizza place , the buffet and 2 restaurants. There is a kids zone. And beaches are divided into 3 sections . One nude beach, beach Nautica which was where you could go sailing, speed boating etc. And the beach between these 2 was very quiet and laid back. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beaches were beautiful and clean and not over crowded
The weak points
Workers didn't speak very good English . Hard to communicate with them
Certified

Wonderful Resort

, Cochrane, ON
2016-03-12
My husband and I had a wonderful time at Sol Cayo Santa Maria. We weren't sure what to expect since we usually go to 5 star Resorts. The resort is small which is what we prefer. It is an older resort in need of some TLC, but the grounds are well kept, the staff is fantastic, the food was GREAT (Surprising for Cuba), and our room was perfect! (Very comfy king size bed and lovely ocean view super close to the beach.) Bring your own pillows though. The ones there are hard and flat. The beach is amazing and there was great snorkeling right off of the beach. Directly attached to our beach is a nude beach if you want to avoid those nasty tan lines. LOL The entertainment was wonderful in the Piano bar and in the main lobby. Although they need to advertise the afternoon entertainment better. We didn't attend the stage shows in the evening, but they were just the same old same old. The resort was having some water problems when we were there , so water pressure in the room sucked. But it was fixed the day before we left. The pools were fresh water and very clean and refreshing. Getting back to the food, the beach restaurant was so wonderful. We ate lunch there almost every day. The grilled fish, chicken and pork were fantastic.Our server Casy was the best server ever. We loved her! Also the staff at the beach bar were exceptional. Make sure you try the pizza for lunch at the Cuban restaurant, it's to die for. All and all this resort exceeded our expectations. If you read any negative reviews, IGNORE them. One more thing..The Merlot at the a la cart restaurants is fantastic! Not so much at the Buffet. To sum it all up, you will be very pleased with this friendly little resort. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff was amazing. Food was great. Beach was beautiful. Room in our 2 unit villa was perfect.
The weak points
Resort is in need of some TLC.
Certified

Sol Cayo Santa Maria: NOT a 4-star!

, Markham, ON
2016-02-22
Our first room smelled mouldy, toilet didn't flush. We requested a move to a different room and the closet in it smelled like urine. The toilets in public areas were out of order. Some that did work had no toilet seats. This is supposed to be a "smoke free property" and yet every bar, open area, restaurant, pool area, etc. is filled with cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke. There is a gym advertised to be on this property. There was a room filled with gym equipment but none of it was functional. There were holes in the floor of the gym. A jacuzzi is also listed in the description for this property. It is as cold as ice! This is sold as a 4-star resort. I wouldn't even give it 1-star. Food in the à la carte restaurants was not edible. Even the food in the buffet restaurant was inedible for the most part. If you can live on a steady diet of pickles and cheese for 2 weeks you would love the buffet restaurant. Boardwalks to the beach were broken, railings missing or rotted and nails popping out of the surface. Stairway to my room was not lit; i.e. had no lighting; also pathways around the property were poorly lit if they had lighting at all. My companions and I woke up one morning after having been completely chewed up by insects in our beds. We had the room fumigated and sheets changed. We were there for 2 weeks and if we had not ripped the sheets off the beds ourselves the sheets would not have been changed even once. I highly recommend to AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Spend your vacation dollars elsewhere. In this review, it is mandatory to put an answer in the "Recommended for" section. The only recommendation I can make is to avoid and in the list that is not an option, so I will recommend Kids Club. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Some wait staff were very good. Some bellmen were very good. Area seems very safe as no one lives close by.
The weak points
Public toilets don't work. Rooms are mouldy smelling or smell like urine. Food especially meat was dreadful. Long bus ride from airport. Can't recommend.
Certified

Excellent value.

, Gatineau, QC
2016-02-09
I have been going to Cuba since 1975 so I have seen many hotels. This hotel is one of the best values to date for what it offers for the price and for its warm, friendly staff
Everyone I dealt with was efficient, friendly and warm. My cleaning lady, Nahanni, kept the room super clean. Lizdany at the patio bar wellcomed me everytime with a warm, frendly smile. She remembered my name and what I liked to drink. Alain and his team at the Cuban restaurant, Carey and her team at the beach restaurant were very professional and provided a warm, frendly service. Even the gardeners, always salute you with a smile and wish you well.

Considering the price paid, I think I got more then my moneys woth with respect to food. The Peruvian Chef Victor is there all day long making sure everything is ok and nothing is missing. For breakfast, a good choice of fresh juices, yogurt(excellent), fresh fruits. Omelets, eggs and pankakes are made to order. There is also cereals, cheeses and varied hot dishes. For lunch, I prefered the beach restaurant where they serve excellent hamburgers, chicken, fish and pork cooked on charcoal. At night, at the buffet, at the fish station, you can choose from a different variety of fish that they will cook for you. At the meat station, you have the choice between beef, pork and chicken that they also cook to order. As well, there is a rice station where they will cook you a fried rice with whatever you want. That's in addition to a good variety of prepared dishes. That being said, at night I prefered the a la carte restaurants which have nice menues, are quieter and are set in a more romantic environment. No major lineups, except at the beach restaurant , which is quite popular. While I was there, didn't notice any problems with flies. I would have expected it in a tropical setting.

The room was dated but was freshly painted and very clean. The mattresses are confortable. I recommend a room with a seaview. Fantastic view of the landscape and jade ocean. Besides the bath, a huge panoramic window with a beautiful seaview.

The beach is one of the niciest in Cuba. Bring your snorkeling equipment, there is a small reef with beautiful fish just off the beach.

Entertainment for every taste, from noisy to subdued. I prefer the piano lounge with the duo of pianist and cello and the one with the pianist and flutist.

When I was there, the pool was well kept: fresh, clean water.

In summary, a nice, no frill , frendly hotel set in a beautiful tropical setting besides a superb beach. An excellent value for what I paid. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The warm , frendly staff. The beach the value.
The weak points
Not a new hotel, but it has its charms.

Awful food, noisy, not relaxing.

, Winnipeg, MB
2015-09-08
While there, I heard that this was once a 5 star and has been at 30% capacity for some time. Apparently, the intention is to renovate to change that, but they shouldn't bother unless they do something about the following:

Food
-improve the food quality
-improve the daily variety of food
-do something about all the flies in the buffet. (I saw flies only at the buffet, and nowhere else on the resort. There were so many that we were batting them off our food, glasses and ourselves while trying to eat. It was so nauseating, we had a hard time going there and ended up feeling weak and tired from lack of food)
-cover the food on the buffet tables to protect them from flies. (I would have loved to have eaten from the salad bar, but I wasn't going to eat flies and fly poop)
-keep the birds out of the buffet restaurant. (There is bird poop on the ceiling rafters, and who knows were else!)
tip - you don't need to boil an egg to the point that its yoke is army green to know it's cooked.
-Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the a la carte restaurants as we did not have pants or shoes that weren't sandals so we were not allowed there....

Ambience
-for anyone going to a resort to - heaven forbid - relax or destress, you'll be disappointed to find out that there is always loud pop music, (sometimes offensive music about women's supposed views of the size of men's "bamboo") blasting at the pool. If you think you can get away from that by going to the beach, think again. They do the same thing there. Quite frustrating.

Service
-This is hit and miss. All the women we interacted with were very pleasant, and so were most men, but not all. Watch your change if you buy anything at the store, and check the prices before purchasing as the clerk there ripped us off and when confronted, tried to do it again.
-if you are not able to change your money at the airport, don't change it with anyone at the resort except the actual money exchange office they have, otherwise you will be ripped off.
-the other thing about the store is that is had next to nothing in it.

Rooms
-our first room was decent and had a beautiful view of the ocean, but the a/c sounded like a 1980 pickup with no muffler. We asked them to fix it, they said they would but didn't. When we pressed the issue, they tried to say they did fix it, and that it was working. Of course it was working, but it was extremely loud. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be able to have a conversation with someone in the same room as you.
-They ended up moving us to another room where the toilet was not working. We asked them to fix it but knowing that request would be ignored, (and it was) we fixed it ourselves.

Pool
-As I mentioned before, you cannot enjoy the pool without pop music blaring.
-the pools were all dirty, the floors were dirty and there were things floating. They were not cleaned once during my stay and were dirty when we arrived.
-before going there, it looks like there is a lot of pool space, but actually, about 80% of it is only a few inches deep, and due to the extremely hot weather, (which was great), the inches-deep pools were also hot.

Beach
-the beach is very nice and huge, which is a good thing so you can get far enough away to only hear the blaring music from the pool bar from a distance.
-If you like snorkelling, there is a small area with some colourful fish at the west side of the beach, just before the nude area. There's not a lot, but was great for a novice like me.

This is my second time at a Cuban resort, and I would go back to Cuba, but not to this place. I would not recommend it to anyone. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach
The weak points
Food, flies on/in food, noise, dirty shallow pools, dishonest store clerk.

Would not go back here

, Newcastle, ON
2015-07-28
We booked three rooms for my husband, grandson and I; our daughter & her boyfriend; our son and his girlfriend. We found that the food was pretty much the same every day with a few exceptions. It was not easy to find something we liked. They did not tend to problems we had issues with from the very beginning, including no toilet paper, broken safe, patio doors that did not open. When one room ended up with cockroaches and ants, we requested they be moved, which they did. That room was missing patio furniture and the toilet paper didn't arrive there until the evening. It wasn't really ready to be rented out. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The beach was gorgeous and the weather was great. The people in the pool bar, beach bar and the Picoue beach restaurant were very helpful and very friendly.
The weak points
Our three rooms were spread apart, even though there are 8 rooms in each section. We requested rooms beside each other and booked far enough ahead that they could have accommodated this request.
Certified

Wonderful

, Meadow Lake, SK
2015-05-16
This was the second time I had been to the hotel and it was fabulous. I love Sol Cayo. The beach is amazing, the staff is amazing and the food was good. I can see where some people who need to be pampered may not find this smaller resort to there liking but for me it is wonderful. I will be going back next year.
I read some comments on the rooms and I must of lucked out the last two times I was there.
The only thing that was lacking was the water pressure and really what do you really expect. You are on an island and if you didn't notice on the ride to the resort Cuba isn't the richest country.
You won't find nicer people, clear blue ocean and beautiful white sand beaches anywhere else.Cayo Santa Maria. People have to remember it is one of the oldest resorts on the island. Love it!! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach and size of the resort
The weak points
Water pressure

We have found our Spot :)

, Ottawa, ON
2015-04-14
This was our 6th trip to Cuba; our 3rd to Sol Cayo Santa Maria. We really do enjoy this resort; for us it's the "People" and the "Playa"(beach).

We've come to realize that there is something to be said for smaller resorts. As a result of shorter staff duty rotations (bar, buffet and restaurant) and a right size client base, you get to know the staff and they get to know you. This makes for a very personable and positive experience. For us this translates into anticipating what drink we may want next, encouraging those that want to...to learn and speak Spanish but most of all to laugh together. To have the mutual confidence to share in a joke, a smile and an experience.

People: We can't say enough about the staff at Sol Cayo Santa Maria. The Cuban people are a beautiful people both on and off the resort. Management at Sol Cayo Santa Maria is doing a good job of harnessing the best of the best. In particular Eric Machado, Sandra and Vivian will remain strong examples for us of why this resort is a favorite. Gracias mis amigos.

Beach: We have yet to find a bad beach in Cuba. For Sol Cayo Santa Maria we have always found plenty of chairs available, the beach staff is welcoming and there are never vendors trying to sell trinkets or cigars. In particular the snorkeling right off the beach offers a good array of colorful fish to fill the GoPro. The clothing optional side of the beach is a good option that you can choose to indulge in or easily avoid.

Food: We have always found the general buffet to be just fine and a great option. Most lunches we would end up choosing from a wide assortment of thin crust Pizzas at the restaurant just off the beach. Excellent with Cervezas, Mojitos and/or Wine. We had two dinners at the "Los Cocos" restaurant and really enjoyed the service, atmosphere and food.

We will look to make our next trip a 2 week trip to Sol Cayo Santa Maria. When we go for only 1 week, we are there to lie on the beach & take in the ocean activities. An extra week would allow us to visit the mainland and take in more of what the "real" Cuban experience has to offer.

Again many thanks to our hosts at Sol Cayo Santa Maria for creating another memorable Cuban vacation. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The staff and the Beaches are wonderful.
The weak points
The grounds could use a little more color and lushness

Nice vacation

, Rouyn-Noranda, QC
2015-04-07
Need refresh but it's ok.

Great vacation. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff
The weak points
Need refresh
Certified

Sol Cayo Santa Maria - Below Expectations!

, Churchill, ON
2015-04-05
Hotel was well below expectations! This was our fourth trip to Cuba and this is by far the worth resort we have stayed at. We have stayed at hotels which were only 3 stars and they were better than this one. Our main complaint is with the guest services and maintenance of the resort. We were moved to 3 different rooms during our stay as they had problems which could not be fixed, like toilets not working, no AC and ceiling fans not working. In our last room we were assured that everything was checked and working and when we got there the AC and ceiling fan didn't work. They said they would move us to yet another room and at this time we just said fix it we are tired of moving! After spending a very hot night, they did however fix the AC the next day, but after repeated requests to fix the fan it was never repaired and we just gave up on it. It is very obvious when looking around the resort, proper up keep is a problem. This resort was once very nice, but it is being neglected and starting to be rundown. Proper repairs are not done, just patching it up and without any regard for how the repair looks. We have talked to other guest during our stay and it many others had similar issues with their rooms and noticed the deterioration of the resort. We walked to the other Melia Las Dunas resort next door and it was clear to see that this resort is better maintained and is worth a much higher star rating. The Sol is about a 2.5 star rating in our opinion and if you are looking for something better than this then don't book here. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach, Pizza restaurant, Piano Bar, Italian restaurant.
The weak points
Resort maintenance, guest services, shortage of cutlery in buffet restaurant. Breads not freshly baked, tasted like a day to two old.
Certified

Sol cayo santa maria stay

, Belleville, ON
2015-01-18
was disappointed as we didn't have hardly any water pressure all week and no hot water. Also the food was cold most of the time and very limited selection [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
staff
The weak points
food,water pressure
Certified

SOL Cayo Santa Maria

, Mississauga, ON
2015-01-18
This was our third stay and last at this hotel. We were satisfied twice before, but this time, things were changed and not for the better.
We had no running water for most of the time. Air-condition worked only at the highest level, safe did not work. After reporting these problems at the customer service desk, nothing was done.The quality of food has gone down, personal all new, seems indifferent with very limited English. Except for the personal at the Buffet restaurant, they really tried hard to please. It is time to go somewhere else next time. We were in Cuba eleven times never had a problem before. Thankfully, we did not pay too much. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The ocean is great, we love it.
The weak points
It is an older hotel, no improvements visible since last time that we were there two years ago.
Certified

A welcomed escape from winter!

, Toronto, ON
2015-01-02
This was my third trip to Cuba, but the first to Cayo Santa Maria. We would definitely go back to this resort, which is a nice place for a seven-day escape from winter. (FYI: The neighbouring resort is called Melia Cayo Santa Maria (a 5-star resort). It's essentially a larger and more "polished" version of Sol. To be honest, I'm not convinced it's worth the difference in price.)

BEACH: The beach is - in a word - fantastic. Bring your snorkel gear or goggles because there are loads of tropical fish to see just a few metres from shore. Also, there is a clothing optional beach. It is significantly less busy than the public beach, and certainly more quiet too (e.g., no children playing about). If you're interested in getting an "oceanview room", you may want to reconsider. Sure, from the room you may see the ocean, but you'll still be at least 100 metres from the beach.

ROOMS: The rooms are a fair size, though in need of upkeep. The bathroom, which was quite large, provided hot water every day and passible water pressure. The beds are to be expected: flat slabs of rock, as is the case pretty much anywhere you go in Cuba. The room safe was free, which is a nice perk since many resorts charge for a fee for them. Tip the maid generously in Cuban pesos (aka CUP), roughly 3 CUP every other day. If you do, she'll keep an eye on your supply of bottled water. Really, there isn't much reason to dwell on the room; it's the last place in which you want to spend the bulk of your time. Besides, any drawback is easily forgotten because the air conditioning unit is an ultra-performance miracle from heaven.

SERVICES: There is an impressive selection of services at the resort, including a bank (at many resorts money must be exchanged at the reception area). There are multiple places to get drinks and food. The outdoor bar at the front lobby is superb. They have the largest selection of drinks I've ever seen in a resort in Cuba. The coffee is superb, especially the cappuccino. The central bar La Jutia was also convenient, with a good selection of drinks and various snacks (e.g., grilled ham and cheese). There is a rather large store as well which sells a variety of things like snacks, alcohol, souvenirs, clothing and body/skin care products. I highly recommend NOT shopping at the store. It is immensely over-priced. For example, a bottle of insect repellent was 12 CUP (about $14 CDN) and a bottle of SPF 30 was 19 CUP (about $23 CDN). Also, many items do not have a price tag, which makes it easy to get ripped off (one cashier ripped me off by 7 CUP, but I let it go). Ensure that you bring your own insect repellent (you WILL be eaten alive at night -- trust me!!), sunscreen, and any other personal care product. They will be much cheaper in Canada. As for souvenirs, you'll find them to be much cheaper at the neighbouring hotel Melia Cayo Santa Maria or at the market in El Pueblo La Estrella. Information on the outdoor market is available in the lobby of the hotel (Note: The market does not give you an authentic experience of Cuban life. It seems more like a movie studio).

FOOD: Breakfast is served only in the buffet restaurant Los Taguascos. There's a decent selection of food, and ample fresh fruit (the bananas and citrus are outstanding). There are many options for lunch. The pizza place serves pretty good flat crust pizza. It's conveniently located next to the beach. Another option near the beach is La Pecua, which serves a few lunch options (hamburger, chicken, fish, calamari, fries). The à la carte restaurant Los Cocos was a nice change from the dinner buffet, but only in terms of ambiance. With a touch of creativity you could prepare the same menu at the dinner buffet. Finally, the dinner buffet was reasonably good with quite a few decent options (some suspect ones too!). The grilled and roasted meats are excellent. All other options are touch and go. The joy of a buffet is having the chance to sample what you may or may not like. It is, however, quite repetitive over the week. Don't miss out on the ice cream; it's miles better than the garbage you buy at a grocery store in Canada.

TIPPING: Don't be cheap. Resort staff rely heavily on tips, more so than on their modest salary. You will quickly see that the staff deserve their tips; they are friendly, courteous and hard-working people. A couple should expect to tip around 15-20 CUP per day. You decide on how you allocate the tips during the day (e.g., 2 CUP for lunch with good service and lots of beer). Avoid lump-sum tipping. For example, don't tip 20 CUP at the bar to cover drinks and service for an entire day. Staff rotate during the day, so you might be unnecessarily generous to some while short-changing others. I recommend reading this: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g147270-c114818/Cuba:Caribbean:Tipping.For.Service.In.Cuba.html.

THE CATS: There are dozens of wild cats at the resort (not to worry, this is normal for Cuba). Some are quite adorable, but don't let their cuteness fool you. Do not pet them -- some no doubt carry various pests. Do not feed them -- there are signs around the resort. NEVER pick them up -- I witnessed a small child being clawed by a cat that was infinitely more interested in food than in love.

GIFTS: There's a bad habit of people bringing cheap, dollar store crap to Cuba and handing it out to resort staff. I'd bet that every maid in Cuba could build a house with the toothbrushes she's received from Canadian travellers. Do not do this. Instead, tip the staff accordingly with CUP. This allows them to obtain the goods they actually need. I recommend reading this: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g147270-c129786/Cuba:Caribbean:Think.Before.You.Gift.html. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach, resort staff, range and type of drinks, quality of fresh fruit
The weak points
beds, no Internet connection, resort store
Certified

Excellence service

, Ottawa, ON
2014-12-05
Wonderful vacation. Great lady at customers service. Artistic cabin attendant; always a surprise with towels. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
beach, bars, staff. Good location
The weak points
food, vegetables
Certified

Another Amazing Stay

2014-11-27
Was there Oct 31 for 9 days. I have been too many times to count. It is my home away from home. Went the 1st time 9 years ago. The hotel is the oldest but does have character and the staff are great. The Guest Services team Pache, Rosa and Malvia are fantastic!! Front desk Yenia, Dayamy, Isobel and all the rest are amazing. Pool bartenders Ernesto, Yoel, Osmany - thank you once again for everything. Yetsy at beach restaurant/dinner reservations - they need to clone her. Bellboys are amazing too. Animacion - Jaikey and Marbey are fantastic people and so interesting to talk too. Beach towel hut - Maykel and Mayfair always a pleasure to deal with. Gardeners Pepe and everyone else always working hard on the grounds. Maids to a wonderful job too. I have always found food at the Sol to be the best. Because this is the oldest hotel there are improvements to be done and you see this happening daily. The Italian restaurant was so good and Aylen is the best waitress. Can't wait to go back. Thank you to all the staff!!!!!!! The beach is amazing when it is a calm day. Yes, location of the island if 1.5 hours away from airport but I look at it as a free tour of the area. Always interesting driving through the towns. People do complain about the distance but they should do their research first!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff are incredible.
The weak points
More staff is needed at beach restaurant and beach bar at lunch - thank goodness Yetsy was working as she is incredibly fast - she needs to be cloned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Certified

5-Star Beach, Relaxing Small Resort

, Sherwood Park , AB
2014-11-05
Nothing fancy,just a friendly small resort with a stunning beach. Great value. Good service. No line-ups. Good breakfast buffet. Good drinks and beach service. Good wine. Good beach restaurant and pizza restaurant as long as you don't get there too late. Eat a good lunch because the dinner buffet is very lacking. A la carte restaurants are slow and not worth the effort. Resort is quiet. Entertainment marginal. Second floor ocean view room was basic but spacious and clean and everything worked.Loved the direct flight from Edmonton. Was very pleased with the value for money. Under $1,000 pp week AI. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Amazing beach and sand. Lots of beach chairs and palapas.Beach restaurant and pizza restaurant.
The weak points
Dinner buffet.
Certified

Good experience

, Mississauga, ON
2014-10-13
Hotel was beautiful. Staff was super helpful and nice. Food was okay for all meals. The pizza place they had was incredible though. The beach was gorgeous and we went at a time where it was super easy to find a good spot. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach
The weak points
Food
Certified

Great Service Once Again

, Burlington, ON
2014-09-09
Have stayed here many, many times without disappointment. Great guest services team Pache, Rosa, Malvia, etc. Front desk staff were exceptional like usual - thank you Karen, Isabel, Yaima and everyone else - you have a very hard job and I do not envy you having to deal with horrible clients. Some people should not travel - they should just stay home!!!!!!!!!!!! Animacion team was great. All the bartenders exceeded once again. Food was great. Yes, hotel is oldest on island but still lovely. Beach is exceptional. Management should be proud to have you as staff - all of you!!! Bellboys, gardeners and waiters - you all work very hard!!!!!!!!!! Hola Sun rep Luis an incredible gentleman. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Amazing staff!!!!!!!!!
The weak points
The only problem I had was that I couldn't stay longer!!
Certified

SOL CAYO SANTA MARIA

, Mississauga, ON
2014-06-17
Amazing beach! Staff was very friendly and made sure we have great time.
Great value for price paid. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Cuban staff - people are amazing!
The weak points
Shows should be more interesting.
Certified

Good Value for Money

, Moncton, NB
2014-03-19
Nice resort that could benefit with some renovations but great service and friendly staff [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Great service from friendly staff who work hard to make sure you are well accommodated Special mention for Katherin in the buffet dining room who was exceptional in her delivery of service and attention to detail.
The weak points
Quality of the food is poor and the resort requires some maintenance and cleaning of facilities
Certified
pages: 12345678

Click to
see hotel on
Google Maps

Are you a hotel owner?