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“Not perfect but very good resort.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Not perfect but very good resort.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2012

My hubby and I went to Melia Buenavista on Aug.7th and came back Aug. 14th. I don't know where to start. At this time of the year is low season, so it wasn't too crowded, but the weather was nice and very hot. It's an all inclusive resort just for adult. Royal Service Oceanview is worth upgrading. We stayed at room 0922. There was a king size bed and an outdoor shower. Bed was very comfy. The first day of our stay went so/so because, our request for romantic bath was missed by the butler and the excuse was that he did not receive a respond from me which I stayed very clearly that I wanted that event after dinner. I just checked back and I did send the reply to him. I wasn't too happy that he made me feel like I was a liar or something. He was very defensive of what has happened. The ridiculous thing was that I reply in Spanish too. Well, I let it go for that time. So, we gave him a chance. Each butler has a every other day schedule; so, Thursday came and the same butler attended us. That Thursday was it. He screwed up all the reservations for that day like the spa, dinner, and romantic bath. Spa was supposed to be reserved for Friday at 3:30pm and he reserved for the same day, Thursday at that time. When he handed the confirmation for the spa, I didn't bother checking the date on the slip, because I thought I can rely on him. I made a complaint to the manager not because he just screwed the whole reservation schedules, but we almost ended up paying for the no show charge for the spa. Not to mention that he messed up the reservation for dinner too. He made reservation for 9p instead of 8p and made the reservation in another restaurant instead of what we asked for. Plus, I requested a romantic bath for 9:30p. C'mon! I don't think we can finish dinner in 30mins specially when it's reserved in a la carte restaurant. Where is the common sense here??? After this incident, that same day we requested to change to another butler to attend us. After changing butler, everything went nice and smooth again. I don't want to mention the name of this butler, because you can see some of other reviewers in tripadvisor have mentioned him too. I didn't want to be bias after reading all the comments before hand, so I give a try. But the reviewers were right about him. I don't know how can he meet the requirements to be a butler. What tick me off was that he said, "Everybody made mistake." Well, I'm not here to listen to your excuse or teach you how to do things. That was so unprofessional. I'm here to enjoy my break. I would say that the overall experience was very good but not perfect. There's still room for lots of improvement. I would like to say thank you to all the staff and manager who took really good care of us on our stay. Thank you to the maid, Katy and butlers, Alien, Lucas, and Maicol for all. Thanks to the manager, Ernesto Osuna for settling the issue. Thank you to the bartenders at the main pool, Oreste, Osmani, and Norge. There are a blast. Thank you to Ricardo who's the chef of the bbq right beside the pool bar. The drinks were two thumbs up at the main pool bar and not to mention bbq food too. You must try the bbq pork; it was delicious. Thank you to the bartenders at the lobby bar, Noe, Javier, etc...Love the cappucino and the music there. Los Navegantes was one of the a la carte restaurants and it has a fixed menu; the beef carpaccio, fish, pasta, shrimp salad, sirloin steak, rabbit, and cheesecake, and bread were yummy. Ocean duo and soup weren't consistent. Don't bother trying the chincken. The majority of time, we booked this restaurant because of the ambiance, food, and staff. Thank you Solangel and staff. El Caribe was another a la carte restaurant that has different menu each night. I wasn't impress with the food. That's why we went there only two nights. Breakfast buffet at Los Marinos was so/so. The food didn't look to fresh but was edible. The bread seems to be from the day/night before. It was hard to the bite. I didn't try the lunch at Los Marinos, because we eat our lunch at the main pool. As a conclusion, food quality and consistency of each dish is very important for the customer specially when it comes to five star resort. Receptionists were all nice and helpful at the front counter. Special thanks to the lifeguard, Reynal who took us snorkeling for 4 days. Love it and it's the first time too! He's the man! You must do snorkeling when you come to this resort. Don't expect to have too much activities in this hotel, because it's mainly to snorkel and relax. There wasn't much to do other than relax, snorkel and hanging out at the lobby bar to listen to live music. The spa was ok. There wasn't much night entertainment. One night, there was synchronize swimming show; it was good. Hoping to return next time for some more snorkeling and relaxing time. Since, you say that you're five star resort, hope I can see that next time. Improvement needed with food, day/night entertainment, and professionalism on some staffs.

Room Tip: Oceanview and second floor suite is a must. You don't only enjoy the oceanview but you will also...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank monkey_mouse11
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, 28 September 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

I would like to thank you for sharing with us your opinions about your stay in our Hotel, it really helps to improve our daily work.

We will check very carefully all the details you are writing in your review, concerning the butler service. It´s very important for us their job so thank yo very much for your feedback. As I have taken care of you personally I know the incident very well and I have already spoken with the butler and He is much better. I give constant training to my staff and in a few days I have a new fantastic and very experienced butler manager.

I’m offering my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you had during your stay with us. We will really appreciate your confidence vote in your next visit to Cayo Santa María; we assure you that you will be received with the excellence have always distinguished us.

My best regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2012

This May be a Long review! Sorry, but I waited a while, to digest, and try to remember this very awesome time, that We feel very Lucky to have experienced..My husband and I,had booked at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria.July 19-26/2012..We had been there ,in the past, and were looking forward to our return..Long story short, we arrived late, to our room, to find the AC, Not working, the room, in dire need of a Good cleaning..Since it was late, We simply went to the front desk to ask,"Please could someone check the AC, if it is not going to be fixed, Please may we have a room change tomorrow? We are not Fussy, we have Travelled over Cuba,11 times..To our surprise, the lovely lady, immediately offered us an Up-grade,to the Melia Buenavista!..We were hesitant, a bit taken aback.To be honest, We were happy to be there, and did not really want to move..(I had no Experience with the MB, as it was not ever on our radar..In booking trips to Lovely Cuba.)In fact, I had never read a Review for this place,But I am a Great fan of Trip Advisor, and always write a review after returning from my Holiday, After an uncomfortable night,and after being told, that No rooms are available.??. Another story... We agreed to the transfer...After consulting with Our Transat Rep, (She mentioned that it was a 5*, New, with Butler Service.).and the Plus for us: we could visit all the other Melias,via a free shuttle.and visit the Pueblo and Estrella market !....We decided to Run With this kind offer..So Happy to say, this Holiday,turned out to be one of our Best!..We were driven to the MB, the next Morning.
Arrival: Ushered in, to the Lovely, Cool,Modern, Zen, lobby, greeted with cold towels, and Greeted by the most lovely Man, I have ever had the chance to meet..His name is Lucas, and He was to be our Butler, for the week..He ushered us to our room, explaining all the details, resteraunts, beaches, pool, ect..
Room: Wow! this is really where the Wow!, comes in..Huge, Modern, Gorgeous, King bed, with luscious pillows, flat screen TV, Sitting area, Balcony, facing the Ocean. Large seperate jacuzzi bathtub,private room with toilet&badet, seperate, lovely sink,tiled, "new", area.(Creams, Toiletries) ect.Everything smelled Fresh/New.!..But,and But, the Rain shower,in an outside area,all private,,so Lovely..I am still missing this feature, now..I miss the Sun, and the sound of Birds, while I take my showers, here at home:( .There is a fully stocked mini fridge, with water, pop, beers, and you can ask for wine, champagne, or just about anything else, if the need arises..There is 24.hr.room service, for those, who feel the need to endulge!
Food: this is one of those places where We were, looking at each other, and having a bit of Dilema..Simply because, We are more comfortable with the Buffet, thing, and alacartes, ect, of the usual places We normally Stay in Cuba! Just being able to Pick&Choose..to eat What and When, we choose..And, like all of the Sandals & Riu resorts, We have stayed, We found , that sometimes, it can be a bit pretentious., Well, Hands down, this place,.out shone all of the other 5* Resorts,we have ever visited.This includes;Mexico,Jamaica ,or St Lucia.:)., Lovely 5*star food. Menu, or small buffet at Breakfast and Lunch,Fresh Fruit,Veg, , Great Coffee.always,,at the bars as well!. Gracious, White Glove, Classy, Dinners at the two Dinner places.International fare..International Wine..Awesome!..Good Job!, The food , was lovely, and very well Presented, everytime.But..The thing that We Love about Cuba , and why we choose to always return: is the Unpretentious people, and the lovely, the Beaches,.The Happiness, the general, Homeliness, the Family,Feeling...That ..we did not find here...Do Not Get Me wrong,These People were indeed the Upmost , Customer, oriented, Classy Staff, that We have ever encountered, in Cuba..In Fact, sometimes, we wondered:If in fact Are we in Cuba?..Sounds a bit crazy, but this is my Observance..Tipping was not noticeable, at all..But We did tip, because We know these hard working People, still go home, to their same, life, some travelling for 4-5 hours, back and forth, working 12 hr. days, while still, always having a smile on their faces..All being perfectly groomed, and very Classy, every day..all dressed to the nines, sweating, while carrying on their duties, which include the Barmen at the Pool bar..Carrying large trays of drinks, food ect, down to the beach, and serving people, in the pool, drinks,and food,to those, (who stayed in the pool)..I might add..My heart went out to these guys..One example; We went to the beach, one afternoon, and asked for hamburgers, Told him, we would come back to get it."No, No ", he said, Before We knew it, down he came with a full tray, we were in the water, so I waved, to Him, to say just leave it, it's OK, He stood by our chairs, and swatted away the Birds, till we came out of the water!! So Sweet, but to Me, My heart, went out to Him, as I knew, He had others, waiting for Him, back at the Pool.!..and it was not all about the tip.,,This was his Job..This little thing,stays in My Heart....
The kindness,the sweetness of the very classy Butler :Lucas..Wow! I miss this man everyday.:(...His Refrain to Me was;" Why do you not call Me,? Why Don't You ask for anything?" My answer was:"We do Not need anything,,We are perfectly Happy!"...He seemed very perplexed...BUT..I had left a sweater at The MCSM, in the closet, in our quick move, noticed it after two days,,We went over, and asked at reception, only to be told, we would have to fill out a theft report? This was not our intention,,So we walked away, spent the day at Their lovely beach, had lunch, ect,Came back to our Haven, chalking it up, to a lost sweater...Oh Well...The next morning, We mentioned this to Lucas, at Breakfast, in passing..Well..after a lovely Day, at Melia Las Dunas, we arrived back, late, to find: My Sweater, a Lovely Note, And a Bath, with Bubbles, and Flower petals!..We were So Taken aback, So Humbled!..This Lovely Man, had driven over to the other resort, and actually searched through the Lost&Found, items, to find My Sweater! Words do Not do this Man Justice..I was just Happy, that it was indeed, My Sweater, and Not someone, elses! I would Not have had the Heart to say anything different!LOL..I can go On and On, I know this is Long, But in closing, I thank the Melia chain, for giving Us this Gift,,I will definately suggest this place, to everyone, I know..My Husband and I will continue to travel to Cuba and will We be returning to, Melia Buenavista, in the Future,? I Hope so..But Time will Tell..But The Melia Chain, fills My Heart! Thank You!

Room Tip: Always ask for Ocean View! So Peaceful!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank kaiserOntario
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, 12 August 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.

I am glad that you had the opportunity to experience our hotel and service.

All our team will be very glad to know that their effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.

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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2012

We were at Melia Buenavista from July 17 to July 26.
Everything good you read/hear about this place is absolutely true. You are treated as a royalty in this "royal service" resort.
It is a perfect size resort for people seeking quiet and relaxing place. It has about 35 bungalows with 4 suites in each. Outdoor shower - what an amazing idea.
Staff... There are no words to describe.
Javier and Joel - butlers - name it, they'll get it. With the smile, of course.
Orestes and Norge at the pool bar - well they are famous by now. Everyone LOVES them.
Michael from the beach bar - nothing too hard for him. Walking up and down the beach asking if you want drink.
Yani - the waitress at the Los Caribes - makes your dinner really special...

And those are just the names I remember. Absolutely EVERYONE is awesome.

Beach is one of the best I saw. Sea crystal clear. Love swimming so we enjoyed it big time.

Entertainment - decent. Every night there was something around the lobby bar. If you wanted more - Melia Las Dunas is fairly close and bus to take you there is free.

Food - not the variery of Riu Palace, but EVERYTHING they cook is delicious. You'd really have to be picky to complain about food. I never go to all inclusive resorts to judge the food.
It is everything else that is more important to me.

To end this... I firmly belive that life is not long enough to see all the places world has to offer and there is not enough time to go to the same places twice. BUT... Melia Buenavista is definitively the exception. We WILL go there again...

Thank you for everything.
You guys are awesome

Zana & Esad
Suite was 2421 - awesome beach/oceanview.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Zana K
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, 12 August 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

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

I am overjoyed to read that your visit to Melia Buenavista was an awesome stay for you and that our staff made you feels welcomed and loved. 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 the high standards you have experienced through consistency training to our staff; of whom we are very proud and believe is the finest in Cayo Santa María.

Thank you for your kind remarks about your Resort Host Javier and Joel and Michael, Oreste and others. They will be very happy and pleased to read throughout your review. Comments like yours encourage our staff to be better.

If you would like to plan your 2nd visit with us, please contact me (director.residente.mbv@meliacuba.com). I look for forward to welcoming you back to Melia Buenavista very soon.


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
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2012

*Warning: long review!*
I spent 9 days, from July 6-15th, at the Buenavista with friends. I will be honest and admit that I returned to this resort because of the staff and the amazing friends I made earlier in March. The people make this hotel shine, please make the effort to strike up conversations with the staff to make your stay even more worthwhile! Here's a breakdown of our vacation..

ARRIVAL & CHECK-IN:
We arrived at the beginning of the afternoon and were greeted with the usual hot towel and cocktail while waiting to check-in, which took around 5-6 minutes. I had previously emailed the resort and asked to have Edel as a butler. He is so professional, attentive and discreet. It was his day off, so our second butler was Alien. He was quiet and serious at first, but opened up and chatted with us the rest of the week. We were given room 1812 on the 1st floor, an oceanview room, between the poolbar and large beach. We had booked a non-oceanview jr. suite but since the hotel was only at 50% occupancy, the oceanview was very much appreciated at no extra charge, thank you! Since it was my second stay, a bottle of rosé wine was waiting in the room.

ROOM:
Since I was travelling with a work colleague, we had two queen beds that were pushed close together - huge! The rooms are spacious, offering a small lounge/living room, lots of desk space, cubby-holes to put items, pillows, clothes as well as a seperate closet with hangers, 3 drawers for clothes, an in-room safe, seperate bathroom, jacuzzi bathtub and the famous outdoor shower everyone talks about (heavenly). There's a separation between the sink area and bathroom/bathtub for extra privacy. There is a hairdryer near the sink area and I brought my flat iron and used it every day, no problems with the voltage or plugs. I also brought my mini laptop and Ipod, everything worked, no surge protectors needed. The beds and pillows are super comfortable, no sore backs! The mini-bar is stocked daily with juices, cola, beer and water. You can ask your butler to deliver wine or champagne to your room and they will gladly do it! You
have a day maid and an evening maid. The day maid changed the towels, cleans the room (and washes the floor, I walked in on her one day) and makes sure everything is just so. The night maid turns down the bed, dims the lights, draws the curtains, etc.

BREAKFAST/LUNCH:
Breakfast and lunch are offered at the Los Marinos Ranchon near the large beach. There were some differences in the food since the month of March. For example, a variety of eggs were not in the buffet, you had to order your eggs or omlettes off the menu. The hotel was full in March, so having 2-3 types of eggs available in the buffet was convenient, but more of a waste of food during low season. The buffet offered: fresh fruit (sweet ripe mango, watermelon, honeydew melon, bananas, other tropical fruit, pineapple, etc.), variety of cheese, cold cuts, vegetables (lettuce, tomato, peppers), breads (baguette, buns, cake, cookies, pastries, croissants, sliced bread), cereal, yogurt, milk, juices, small potato cakes, 3 types of sausages, bacon, pancakes and beans. The cappuccinos were amazing and the coffee strong. Service was quick and excellent, waiters very friendly and professional. A special thanks to Osniel and his co-worker (can't remember his name) who always had smiles on their faces, making sure everything was ok. Tip: They didn't have peanut butter this time, so if you're a fan, bring your own. Their ketchup doesn't taste the same as in Canada, so if you're fussy, bring some as well.
As for lunch, my friends said the steak was amazing (off the menu), and many side dishes were offered in the buffet (rice, beans, vegetables, etc.). I prefered to eat lunch around the poolbar so I can't comment more than that!

DINNER:
See your butler when you arrive to make all your reservations for dinner ahead of time. This will avoid any confusion and guarantees a table at the restaurant of your choice each night. Pay in mind that there is a sunset ceremony at the beach on the far left of the resort where you can watch the sunset, listen to a live saxophone player and drink a glass of champagne. We made our dinner reservations at 7:30 nearly every night but ended up missing the sunset ceremony because the sun sets around 7:45! We noticed that the majority of guests were filling up the restaurants around 8:00 this time of the year.
You may eat at Los Navagantes, a restaurant that offers a fixed menu every night (beef, chicken, fish, seafood, rabbit, vegetarian) along with soup, appetizers and dessert. I know it sounds strange, but the rabbit is the best meal on the menu, and I am not a fan of rabbit. Please try it, you won't be disappointed! The decor is beautiful, quiet and a little more romantic than the other restaurant. The other restaurant is Los Caribes and offers a different theme menu every night of
the week (2 Cuban nights, French, Italian, Oriental, Gala, Romantic). The Cuban nights were the best! A special thank you to our waiter Yaikel who remembered me from March and who works hard to please and is always in a good mood.
Overall: The food ranged from good to excellent, it all depended on what you ordered. I didn't care for the beef, it was a little tough, but that's me. Chicken improved since March (less dry) and the fish is very fresh.

OTHER MELIA RESORTS:
While staying at the Buenavista, you have free access to the two other Melia hotels on the island (Las Dunas and Cayo Santa Maria). There is a bus that passes every hour free of charge to bring you to the other hotels. We went to Las Dunas to meet up with friends one day. The beach is beautiful, but it's packed with people! We went for a quick ride on a hobby cat on the beach, which was really fun and something different that the Buenavista doesn't offer (different clientele). We ate lunch at a snack bar and it was disgusting. We should have gone to the huge buffet so we learned our lesson. The grounds were beautiful but Las Dunas is huge and wasn't our style.
We reserved one dinner at Cayo Santa Maria at the Japanese restaurant. We sat around a grill and watched the chef cook everything from fried rice, vegetables, beef, chicken, shrimp and fish. Overkill of soy sauce and garlic! All in all, it was edible, but not gourmet like the Buenavista. We didn't stick around at that resort for the shows, we just wanted to go back home. Beware: while waiting for the bus, we were attacked by mosquitos and had to keep swating at them. Bring repellent with at least 30% DEET. Mosquitos weren't as bad at the Buenavista (they spray), but did get bitten during the week. Rain season is beginning so as soon as it's humid, the mosquitos come out. All in all, the Buenavista offers a different, calm atmosphere compared to the other resorts. It depends what you like, but at least you have the option to go to the other resorts for a bit more action.

POOLBAR:
The famous 3 amigos are now 2 amigos at the poolbar! Orestes and Norge are still hard at work around the poolbar, but Noe has been transfered for now to the Lobby bar. These waiters are constantly making drinks at the bar or walking around and asking everyone their orders or simply passing by with a new drink. They remember your drink choices and love to talk and joke around with the tourists. These guys are some of the stars at this resort! They keep the bar extremely clean and aim to please from 8:30am to 7:00pm. You can order snacks and lunch from the poolbar menu which includes hamburgers, hotdogs, a variety of pizzas (Mexicana is yummy) and sandwiches. They will order your food and deliver it to the bar or your lounge chair with napkins and utensils. High end alcohols are available, sometimes you have to ask for a certain kind if you don't see it, but they usually have it! There is a chef that sets up around noon beside the poolbar and cooks sausages, chicken, paella, and veggies on the grill. You can walk up and help yourself to anything.

LOBBY/LOBBY BAR:
You can ask the reception to change your money. For sure the exchange rate is a little higher than at the airport, but extremely convenient. There are two extremely slow computers in the lobby. You can ask for a free internet card (30 mins) at the reception as many times as you'd like. Don't expect hotmail or facebook to work. Tip: open a gmail account before travelling and use it in Cuba instead. The interface loads more quickly and you can check and send 1-2 emails with one 30-min card.
The lobby bar is open 24-hours and is modern and nicely decorated. There is a huge wall you can sign your name on, don't forget! Every night there is entertainment (singing, piano, live music). It doesn't offer a party atmosphere, but is more of a place to sit down, have a drink and chat. The bartenders never stop and keep the drinks coming. Yandry loves to show his dance moves between drink orders and don't forget to ask for Noe's special called "Mas Flow" (tell him Heidi recommends it!) There is also Osmany who loves to chat and make the hotel's famous cappuccinos (they are gorgeous and taste great).

ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT:
There are several activities offered at the hotel, but remember, this hotel is adults-only and caters to an older crowd. There is no loud music and too much action, very different from other family all-inclusives. Some activities include: yoga in the morning, aqua gym at noon, volleyball at main pool at 3pm, spanish lessons at any time at activity hut, snorkeling tours (see lifeguard at main beach to reserve a time, he is amazing and takes care of you, very safe, beautiful fish and coral) and salsa lessons at the end of the afternoon. On rainy days, they offer games and music in the lobby bar. The entertainment staff includes Navy, Yaiset and Lily for now. You can exchange towels at their counter near the main pool as well. No problems when I was there with
towel shortage. Entertainment staff is always present in the lobby bar in the evenings to mingle, talk and dance. I can't say enough good things about them, especially Yaiset who I consider a great friend. She is such a generous and sweet girl and treated me like gold.

SPECIAL TREATS:
It was my birthday mid-week and I was spoiled! Edel arrived in my room in the morning with breakfast and a bouquet of flowers. Towards the end of the day, he drew me a bubble bath, brought champagne, a small birthday cake and fruit in the room. Wow! Thank you so much, it was really appreciated and made me feel very special.

SERVICE:
The service is top notch, what more can I say? The manager, Ernesto, is present every day and open to talk to all the guests, but is not overbearing. He wants your stay to be perfect and encourages his staff to be attentive and on the ball. He works hard, works long hours and wants this hotel to succeed. If you have a problem, concern or comment, go see him, he will find a solution. Don't complain after you have returned from your stay, he wants his guests to be happy while at the hotel! I had the pleasure of having dinner with him one evening and we talked about Cuba, the culture and the hotel business. Very interesting conversations and a great person to get to know. Thank you so much Ernesto!

DOGS:
There used to be 2-3 dogs at the resort (March/April) who were born and raised on the grounds. Recently, more dogs appeared and they were starting to be overwhelming and some guests were worried and scared about dog bites, etc. Management made the decision to get rid of the dogs. Most of the dogs were brought home by the hotel staff, so there are no more at the hotel. I had brought down some dog treats and bones for them, but ended up giving them to Orestes and Norge at the poolbar for their dogs at home instead. I also brought down flea collars for their dogs and they really appreciated that!

TIPPING/GIFTS:
Many many people ask about tipping and bringing gifts to hotel workers in Cuba. In Cayo Santa Maria, workers don't live on the island and have to travel 1-2 hours morning and night to go to work. They aren't paid much (approx. 20-25$ CUC a month). They really do depend on tips to have a better life and buy clothes, shoes and other necessities that are overpriced in Cuba. Unless you have visited the area before and have kept in contact with some workers and know what they need/want, I would strongly suggest to tip generously and leave all the dollar store items at home. They have enough pencils, pens, hair clips, etc. They do appreciate shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc because they say the quality and scent is better than what they have in Cuba. They also like milk chocolate and gum. I had kept in contact with 3-4 staff members since March and was able to ask them what they'd like from Canada. It was simply things like a
backpack, watch, shoes, shorts and music. Such small things compared to what we have,
it was my pleasure to bring them something.

WEATHER:
It's rainy season right now but we were fortunate to only have 2/9 days of cloudy and rainy weather. Obviously, the hotel can't control the weather, so try and make the best of it. Even during a thunderstorm, we stayed under the poolbar hut and chatted with Orestes and Norge who kept the drinks coming even so. Weather is often different in the Cayos compared to in Santa Clara or even Caibarien, which is only an hour away. Often when it was raining in Santa Clara, it was beautiful at the hotel. Very unpredictable! There are many chairs and a lounge section in the lobby and lobby bar to sit back and relax if you don't want to be stuck in your room during bad weather. There are umbrellas in your room to use as well. Other than the rain, it was hot and sunny every other day. Bring lots of sunscreen or you will burn quickly. There is plenty of shade at the pool and beaches, no worries. You don't need to reserve your chair early in the morning (or even in March), there is place for everyone, guaranteed.

FINAL COMMENTS:
I apologize for the long review, but I really wanted to give details and reassure everyone who might have read some other negative reviews recently. For Cuba, this hotel is above amazing. Everyone knows your name and recognizes you, staff will go above and beyond for you if you are polite and friendly. Treat them like you would like to be treated and you will have the best vacation. I will be going back, not only for the hotel and service, but for the people. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to write me anytime in English or French (heidilynn@globetrotter.net). I'm beginning to feel like an unofficial spokesperson for this hotel! Also, if anyone is traveling to this hotel and wouldn't mind bringing down pictures/letters to the staff for me, I would really appreciate it. I don't trust the postal service in Cuba, sometimes packages never arrive. Happy and safe traveling everyone!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
43 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, 3 August 2012
Dear Heidi,

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

It is very satisfactory to know you enjoyed the hotel so much. I`m glad you liked it.

Being your second time with us is very important to know your opinion. I am also very glad that finally we could met.

Staff keeps asking me about you and when are you returning. Oreste, Noe, Norge and others send you a great HOLA.

We hope to welcome you back very soon.

Sincerely,

Ernesto Osuna
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laval
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2012

We stayed at the Melia Buenavista from July 6th to July 13th 2012. My friend and I needed a relaxing and quiet vacation, that'a what we've got!... We have been treated like queens by all the people we met duraing the week.

First of all, I want to thank the manager, Ernesto, to take our special requests into consideration (I wrote an email one week before leaving) and we had everything we asked: bungalow #24, 2nd floor, next to the main beach and the ranchon (breakfast and lunch), our reservations for the "à la carte" restaurants were made before we arrived by our great butler Gerardo. We had an oceanview and paid the price of a regular room!

The rooms are spaceful, clean and very complete. The outdoor shower is amazing! The walk-in is big, perfect for two girls! Our butler Gerardo explained us everything about the hotel when we arrived, gave us the reservations for the restaurants, we had an Havana Club rhum bottle in the room, and when we left, a bucket with white wine to make us enjoy our last night. All week long, those little attentions made the difference!

The beaches are gorgeous, the water cristal clear as always in Cayo Santa Maria. The service at the beah is also great! The man runs before you to place your chair with the confortable matress, I enjoyed it so much! Also, the bartender came every 30 min to see you at your chair to offer you something to drink.

Pools are great and the small one very quiet and relaxing. We floated several our on the floating matress, surrounded by palm trees, banana trees and flowers. Also, the bartenders come to offer you something to drink when you are floating in the pool! Wonderful!

The restaurants were great! We went to the Las Dunas one night, and another to Melia Cayo Santa Maria, the other nights we stayed at the Buenavista because we enjoyed the tranquility of our home! We have chosen the Buenavista because it's 18+ and we needed this time without kids (we are moms with young kids at home and I'm a teacher...) In the other hotels, it was less quiet!

We had 4 times langosta during the week, and we eated well all week long. The drinks, coffees are great too!

We appreciated the presence of the manager, Ernesto, that took the time alomost every night to see the clients, asking them how was their day, if everything was ok...

The resort is small (105 rooms) and was 50% occupied. Tranquility assured!!!

We loved our week and will be back for sure!!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Josiane G
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, 3 August 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

I wish to thank you for the compliments that you kindly made on this Web site. I am pleased to read that you had a relaxing vacation at Melia Buenavista.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us 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.

Kindest regards,

Ernesto Osuna
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
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
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price range (per night): ₹ 15,844 - ₹ 34,503
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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