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“Rated #3 in "ALL" Cuba For Good Reason.”
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Rated #3 in "ALL" Cuba For Good Reason.”
Reviewed 17 March 2012

The Melia Buenavista offers a second to none all inclusive experience with its "Royal Service" , great location and exceptional people. My wife and I have stayed in some nice resorts but the MBV made our recent anniversary stay one we will allways cherish. The staff, the food,the ambiance, the snorkelling all exceded our expectations. ( If you snorkle, go to the shoreside of the island or if weather ( wind.) permits, do the wall between the island and center beaches- it was as good or better than Fiji.)
The Royal Service was a special treat and Gerardo was a prize as he allways kept us informed, seated us well for dinner and set us up with some great surprises. Food selection and quality was great - had one ( of several.) terrific steaks in the Navigators and most of the meals were of top quality - i.e.fresh grilled fish / lobster and if you did not like the smorg for breakfast or lunch you could order off the menu and if you wished, have it delivered to your room or even the beach. Compare "that" to other supposed all inclusives.
One thing to note is that if you wish a side tour to Havana or ?, or want to go fishing
(especially Bonefish / Tarpon.) see "Jill" ( great Gaviota booking agent in Lobby.) ) early as these sell out quickly.
The entertainment groups that played there were very good; professional quality - only wished that the wind had allowed us to dance outside by the pool ( after dinner.) to the great Cuban music .

Well done Ernesto - your #3 rating is well deserved.
Don and Dodie.

Room Tip: Pool Rooms are great value but if you love the Ocean the upgrade is worth it for the view.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank DonandDodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 1 April 2012
Dear Valued Guest Don and Dodie,

We thank you immensely for taking the time to share your detailed experience with others and for your nice comments about our resort, food, live music and service.

I am overjoyed to read your comment and thank you very much for your email.

We will keep on working hard to provide the best of all ourselves. Our goal is always to exceed our guests´ expectations.

Our main commitment is to maintain and increase guest satisfaction through the consistency training of our staff; of whom we are very proud and believe is the finest in Cayo Santa María.

Thank you for your kind remarks about Gerardo. He was very happy and pleased to read throughout your review. Comments like yours encourage our staff to be better.

If you would like to plan to come back, please contact me. I look for forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista very soon.


Best regards,


Ernesto Osuna
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English first
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

We traveled to Melia Buenavista from March 6th to 14th, and this was our third time in Cuba. This was by far the best experience, best location, best hotel, service, etc.

We met a lot of interesting people there, but it was the staff, the real Cubans, that made our vacation that much more special.
The bartenders at the pool bar are amazing. You read about them here, but don't realize what people are talking about until you actually meet them in person. Thanks Orestes, Noe, and Norge.
Also thanks to Javier and Yani at the lobby bar. Thanks to our maid, Diana. Our butlers Lucas and Alien. Guys at the beach bar Luis and Osmany. Can't forget the gardeners, who brought us coconuts right to our balcony every morning, and security guard, Tony. We can't name you all, but muchos gracias to all the staff.

The food was also awesome and the music bands too.

We would definitely go back in blink of an eye. Already looking forward to it.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ajuva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 1 April 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we wish to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us, and especially about our staff.

Oreste, Norge and all our team will be very glad to know that their effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.

It is a great pleasure to read that you enjoyed the food and the bands during your stay.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista soon.


Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna
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Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

Won't bother repeating what was said in all the previous reviews; this was our best vacation in a long time and the resort is outstanding! We had an upper floor room overlooking the Sunset beach and enjoyed sunset and jazz every evening. Thanks to Alex for the amazing snorkelling!
Some observations to help those planning to stay there:
- bring facecloths and small towels (any colour but white) as there was occasionally a supply issue with these
- bring Kleenex (facial tissues) as, for some reason these were not provided and could not be had for love or money anywhere on the Cayo
- be aware that, on the last day of the month, many shops and banks are closed or have reduced hours
- for those concerned about modesty/privacy in the outdoor showers, bungalows 1 -10 have had lengths of bamboo hammered into place in the gaps between the slats (see photos); this increases privacy but still allows a breeze to flow through. Don't know if this is planned eventually for the entire resort but they were finishing bungalows 9 and 10 while we were there. Ours also had a weatherproof mesh fabric fitted on the inside; can't be sure if this is true for all units.

Room Tip: Bungalows 1-10 are more private, near the "sunset" beach and have had their outdoor shower...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Don F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 1 April 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us, and especially about our sunset ceremony. We loved it too!!.

You have mentioned certain lacks in the room and I would like to mention that were temporary and future guest don´t need to bring them. Concerning the privacy in the outdoor shower it has been solved at this time in 95% of the rooms and the hotel will be completed very soon.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna

Hotel Manager
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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

We were guests at a neighboring resort Early March 2012 when we heard there was great snorkeling here so we went west on the beach where we were instantly greeted. That was just the start. While being personally guided to a section of beach, and setup! As to respect and not interfere with resident guests. We were also given detailed descriptions and directions to where the spots were and water depts and stay off the coral and watch out for the erchins etc. Awhile later when resident guests were finished with in water guided tours, We Got A Guided Tour As Well. Talking to regular guests on the beach we got to see the wonderful rooms with front and back balconies where the back one was an outdoor shower. With only around 100 rooms in bungaloes of 4 units each, the top 2 rooms per bungalow shower are under the stars. An adult resort with limited guests and max privacy and max service as opposed to our resort with some 1300 rooms. Away from the hustle bustle of a busy resort and away from nightlife and shopping, and a bit more money. So if that's what you are looking for. I can recommend this place.

Room Tip: Top Floor to get the shower under the starts. otherwise, any room
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MROYCalgary_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 1 April 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Melia Buenavista Team, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your comment about how good is the snorkel in the hotel.

The hotel is located in Punta Madruguilla traditionally known in Cayo Santa Maria as one of the best snorkeling site. I am glad you liked it.

We also like to provide our guests with the safety and the guidance of our certified lifeguards.

I hope that in your next visit to Cayo Santa María you will stay with us.

Best regards,


Ernesto Osuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

Just returned from this amazing resort on Monday. I was there with my sister for March break (5th-12th). Unfortunately, I am disappointed I did not get to speak or see the manager Ernesto Osuna since he was away in Havana while I was there. I'm sure it would have made him happy to hear the comments below.

Weather in Cayo Santa Maria during our stay:

The weather was terrible when we arrived (cold front in the area, wind, rain and clouds) but by day 3, the sun was out and it was beautiful! Since this resort is out on a point, the breeze is welcomed and appreciated throughout the day. Even if the sky looked cloudy, the wind soon pushed the clouds away and the sun was out from morning until night.

Butlers:

We were assigned Edel and Ernesto as our butlers for the week. We met Edel when we arrived and took a liking to him right away. This man is extremely professional, kind, calm and efficient. He took care of us like we were his daughters and made sure everything was perfect. We made our reservations for the week and everything went smoothly. We didn't really speak with Ernesto on the days Edel was off because we had everything we needed. We also arrived back in our room one evening to a bubble bath with a personalized note from Ernesto saying he hoped we were having a great time. We ended up tipping generously and even gave Edel a bottle of wine before leaving that we had brought from Canada.

Room:

The room was exactly like all the pictures show, very spacious, clean and well organized. There was a lounge area, plenty of shelves, a closet space (with hangers, a 3-drawer dresser and more shelves for clothes and shoes). The bathroom is separate from the bathtub and sink, which is an excellent idea.It was out first time trying an outdoor shower but it was actually exciting! Almost all the outdoor showers have a beige canvas on the inside so you are hidden and protected. We had a partial ocean view room and could see the water from our balcony.

We had a morning maid and an evening maid (turndown service). There were two days when we didn't have any hand towels at our sink, but always had two big bath towels and a foot towel beside the bath/shower. The bed was always made and things cleaned up. We also received 3 short hand-written notes from our maids thanking us for our "presents", which was tip money (usually 3-5$ a day). If there was something to improve for the maids, I would recommend they sweep the floor a couple times a week but that would be it. The minibar was always stocked, plenty of water, beer, cola and juice.

Property:

This place is beautiful! Some people complain about the gardens not being well taken care of, but you have to understand that this is a newer resort and it takes a while for the vegetation to flourish! The gardeners were out every morning working hard at trimming and cleaning up the grounds. They were very talkative, polite and even offered us flowers for our hair while walking to the pool/beach. The lobby bar, restaurants, walkways, etc. were all nicely decorated and had a modern look. Many paintings around the resort were abstract and something I would put in my own home.

POOLS:

There are two pools at the resort. One near the beach and the Los Marinos restaurant, the other closer to the lobby. Both pools were a tad cold since the weather was chilly for a couple days but by the end of the week, the water was much warmer and cooled you off from the sun.

I cannot say enough about the bartenders! Before leaving, I read about Orestes, Noe and Norge on tripadvisor so upon arriving there, I knew we'd be well treated and well served. Not only was this the case, but they truly made our week fantastic. They work like dogs 6 days a week and get one day off. They took turns running around taking orders at both pools and one of the beaches, they filled glasses up without needing to be asked to, they ordered hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches from the kitchen and brought it to you and always had smiles on their faces. I can't count the number of times I was sitting at the bar and talking with other guests and I'd turn around and my glass would be full of whatever I was drinking.

FOOD:

Breakfast (3.5/5)- Served at Los Marinos only (or room service). One buffet section had eggs (poached, scrambled, sunnyside up or boiled), small sausages (very tough and dry), bacon, french toast and thin crepes. I ate a flat potato hashbrown one day only, there were none the other days. Another section had cold cuts, cheeses (amazing), vegetables, fruit (canned peaches, orange slices, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit, melon and they had bananas two days only). They had bread, croissants, cookies and pastries along with cereal and yogurt in another section. The cappuccinos were excellent and coffee as well. The jam is not very good, but they had syrup and peanut butter (imported from Canada). If you didn't like the buffet, you could order your eggs another way (or an omelet) from the a la carte menu. Breakfast was overall, repetitive. We got sick of eating eggs by the end of the week.

Lunch (4.5/5): Served at Los Marinos (buffet style included tortellini, spinach, mashed potatoes, limited meat selection, rice and beans). They had a cold cut and cheese section as well as a salad section. You could order off the a la carte menu as well (pasta, pizza, or sandwiches).

Lunch was also served at Los Caribes (restaurant by the main pool). Here you had to order off the menu and it was either pasta (5-6 kinds), pizza (6-7 kinds), hamburgers and fries, calzones, hot dogs, or sandwiches. I have to say, the pizza was amazing!!! My sister tried the meat sauce pasta and was pleasantly surprised as well. We never tried the sandwiches because we found the bread in general was a bit dry so we thought it would be worse if toasted.

Dinner (4/5): The three restaurants serve dinner and you need to make reservations with your butler. Los Marinos serves seafood (a lobster tail, shrimp, a piece of fish, potato and veggies) and meat (pork, chicken and steak with a potato and veggies). The fish was good but the rest was below average, we were a little disappointed and didn't return.
Los Caribes is a theme restaurant for dinner. They had italian, cuban, romantic night, asian, etc. We tried the Italian, Cuban and Romantic evenings. All were good and no complaints. The soup was the best in every single restaurant! The last restaurant was Los Navagantes and served several options (fish, steak, chicken, rabbit, vegetarian). The shredded rabbit was the best meal I ate all week! Overall, the desserts were not as great as I thought they'd be and I would have liked more fish options since the beef and chicken were somewhat tough and dry.

Room Service: We ordered breakfast one morning and it was the same food as at the buffet but arrived hot and it was nice for a change. The waitors come in your room, set up a tablecloth and the food in your room. Excellent!

Activities/Entertainment:

We knew there wasn't much entertainment at this resort when we booked, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were a few things planned each day by the pool or in the evenings. There are yoga sessions in the mornings at the spa, aqua fit classes at lunch at the main pool, volleyball mid-afternoon in the pool, Spanish lessons whenever you wanted, chess, boardgames, and books were also available at the activity booth anytime.

I want to thank Yaiset, Guelmy and Navy for talking and laughing with me throughout the week. They work long hours and do their best at motivating guests and keeping them entertained. I am so happy I was able to practice my Spanish with them and learn a little more about their culture.

There were 3 activity nights while I was there. The pool bar is open late on Thursday and Saturday. On Thursday, they have retro (80s) night with a projector showing music videos along with red and green spotlights shining on the ground to make a dance floor. Navy was great for getting people to come dance and enjoy the older hits.

Friday night is the beach party on the main beach! The activity team animates dancing, limbo, salsa lessons and there was a magician performing tricks as well. The beach bar is open late for this evening (until 11pm).

On Saturday, we were fortunate to see an aquatic ballet performance at the main pool bar. There were 9-10 people who came and danced, did acrobatics in and out of the water to music. Very impressive!

Overall:

I'm definitely going back and will recommend this resort to everyone! Even if the food wasn't like here in Canada, I went to Cuba expecting the worse and was pleasantly surprised. I never once had an upset stomach or felt sick. People are too picky when it comes to food. The staff makes this resort five-star because without them, it would be a lonely, boring place. They are the ones that deserve praise. If anyone has any other questions, email me: heidilynn@globetrotter.net.

Room Tip: Top floor recommended in any category
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank heidilynn28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ernesto O, Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, 1 April 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

I want to thank you for your recent visit and more over for your full detailed feedback. It makes me really happy and I am sure that in your next visit we will have the opportunity to meet personally.

It is also very satisfactory to know that you enjoyed our service and food and the fact that you named so many of our associates, whom we are very proud of, It means a lot to us. Let me tell that they were very happy reading your review.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are thinking to come back in the near future for a bit more pampering. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back.

Best regards,

Ernesto Osuna

Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Melia Buenavista

Property: Melia Buenavista
Address: Punta Madruguilla, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price range (per night): $311 - $776
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Buenavista 4*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located west of Cayo Santa Maria in a privileged ecological environment, and surrounded by beaches and coves. All-Inclusive five-star resort with 105 junior suites and suites, and the Villa "Zaida del Rio." Designed for adults over 18 years. An entire hotel featuring Royal Service. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and wellness/spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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