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Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

Arrived at the resort March 24th in the afternoon and was checked in promptly by hotel staff and escorted to our room with a beautiful view from the third floor of building 6.

Service was great at the resort..... the only problem is the other people that are vacationing at the same time, no manners, obnoxious and loud (you know what Canadian province I’m talking about). Standing in line waiting for food at the buffet does not interest me if I’m half cut trying to forget all the annoying quebecors that got in my way that day.

If you don’t like people stay away from this resort and don’t go on any excursions unless they are private or exclusive as you will be frustrated with the undesirables that will attend with you....

Avoid taking yellow cabs unless you’re loaded and are from Quebec.

I highly recommend the exclusive catamaran that gaviota tours offers.

This resort would be great with half the people. Thanks to Ruben at the swim up bar for making this trip tolerable.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Sailorsoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yaidelis C, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Thank you for writing our hotel´s review on TripAdvisor. We're always eager to hear what you liked and how we can improve. I´m really sorry for all the inconveniences during your stay. The inconvenience that you had it is not usual in our resort. It is not common that this hotel is overcrowded but those days of March were holidays so maybe that is why there were too many clients. If you decide to come back here in the future, please, contact me in advance. I´m sure that your 2nd stay gonna be excellent.
Yours sincerely,
Yaidelis Calvo Reyes
Customer Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

We have visited this beautiful place 3 times now and will not go anywhere else in Cuba. The highlight of this review is the staff. They are always so helpful. The entertainment staff is by far the best of any resort we have visited. A huge shout out to Lisdania. She always welcomes us with open arms and a warm smile!!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yaidelis C, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear guest,
Greetings from your home away from home.
We really appreciated your 3rd stay in our resort.
Your loyalty makes the sense of our work and we are so proud you feel that this is your 2nd home.
"Come as a guest, leave as a family" is more than our slogan, it is our way of thinking, living and working. You are part of this great family of "Playa´s Hotels". Looking forward to seeing you a 4th time.
Yours sincerely,
Yaidelis Calvo Reyes
Customer Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Hotel- Room and facility is very clean. Our room was well maintained each day. Bathrooms on site were always clean and stocked. Always saw staff mopping floors in the different buildings. Pretty modern all around. The view of the ocean from our room was seriously brah taking. Only complaint was the garbage outside our balcony of building 14 between building and forest. Aside from that you won't see garbage anywhere else on the ground. Perhaps an over site.

Staff- This was our first time to Cuba and although i was expecting every one to go above and beyond this wasnt exactly the case...but there are def ones that do! Hose at the quieter bar is the best bartender on the whole resort! Awesome dude. Luis and Yasel at the coffee bar. There's a cigar guy although i don't remember his names. There's a super awesome guy at the snack bar He wears glasses...again not good with names but stand up guys! Housekeeping and staff in the room buildings always say hello when you pass.

Food- So i hate saying this but...it's Cuba I was told when we were there that the food was better then most resorts in Cuba. And by the 2nd 3rd day you discover the best places or things to eat. I promise you won't go hungry. Great food once you discover what's good. (Great real beef jumbo burgers on the beach, ham and cheese panini and hotdogs also on beach/ Great calamari, shrimp and chicken sandwiches in snack bar/ great croissants and ham and smoothies in buffet at breakfast, also buffet for lunch and dinner has great chicken and roast beef and chicken fried rice. All the a la cartes we attended were great as well.

Beach- AMAZING! Breathtaking! White sand. Blue water

Pools- A few pools to choose from, all beautiful. Well maintained but im a beach girl!

Entertainment- There was a show each night at 9:30. We only stayed for one full show and peeked in on a few others. They were okay but def nothing to ride home about...but honestly i feel that's more of a personal opinion. We stayed busy doing lots of other things. The disco bar was pretty awesome at night. We enjoyed that a lot.

There were slim to no mosquitos during our stay. My husband did end up with maybe 10 bites from whichever bugs he may have come in contact with and i got no bites at all. We both did not wear any bug repellent. So that was great. We were told March isn't mosquito time.

My husband says the coffee bar at Playa is the best coffee/cappacinos etc in the whole world! I heard this from atleast 3 other people while we were there too.

I highly recommend the catamaran tour if staying in Santa Maria it was fabulous and the dolphin marina where you eat lunch is delicious as well!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yaidelis C, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear guest,
Greetings from Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
We are proud that you have chosen our property to spend your vacation. Thank you for recommending our resort on your review.
Our management team and staff are at your total disposal at any time you need us, our purpose was to make your holidays a pleasant experience.
Hoping to see you again,
Yaidelis Calvo Reyes
Customer Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

I stayed at this resort at the end of March for a week, with my mom. I have been to Cuba before and therefore know what I was getting myself into.

When we got there the checkin was done quickly and the staff was very nice. We were given a room in the bungalow right across from the buffet so we thought we'd give it a shot at upgrading to a suite with a view on the ocean. For 30 pesos a day, we were able to upgrade to a magnificient suite in bugalow 14, the closest one to the ocean. If you want to treat yourself, this is definitely worth it. The room was huge, with one washroom and one full bathroom, a living room and closed bedroom with a king-sized bed. We were also given a bottle of rum for upgrading and one additional à-la-carte reservation.

The staff was overall very nice, shoutout to Jose at the pool bar who definitely made the best drinks, always with a smile. Mario at the buffet was also very friendly and made sure we always had everything we needed.

Unfortunately this is where the positive aspects of our trip end.

When we got there, the resort was quick simply overcrowded. Not sure how often this happens, but a large group of Italians had booked a pretty great number of rooms and even their own animation. They had no respect whatsover for the other guests. Because the resort was so packed, I had to reserve chairs by the pool at 7:30 in the morning. I often saw them come by and remove other people's personal belongings and take their chairs. At the buffet, the lines were very long and people were cutting in front or making their kids wait in line for them. This was causing quite some chaos and was definitely unpleasant. We regularly had to wait for up to an hour before getting some pizza, which is ridiculous. The buffet was extremely noizy, and some sections had very bad lighting, making it way too bright, as if you were eating at a cafeteria.

The resort was so packed, even the employees were confused as to why and many of them looked completely exhausted. Wherever we went, it was very hard to find somewhere to sit, whether it was at the lobby at night, at the snackbar for lunch, or at the buffet (which is HUGE). This was very annoying the whole time and definitely a turn off. We had 3 reservations for à-la-carte restaurants, and we went straight to customer service when we got to the resort to make our reservations. To give you an idea of how packed it was, we went on the Wednesday and our first reservation was only on Saturday. However, when you passed by the restaurants, you could see a lot of empty tables. This is because they hold tables for people who have no reservations but are willing to pay to get in. We were tired of the buffet and tried our luck at the Italian and International restaurants. 10 pesos later, we had a table even though we hadn't reserved. Tipping goes a long way so don't hesitate.

Knowing this is Cuba, I wasn't expecting much from the food. If you don't mind having rice and overcooked meat every single day, along with canned veggies, you're going to be fine. But don't expect to get variety at the buffet, they literally had the same foods the whole week we were there. They ran out of shrimp on our second day there, and were out for the remainder of the week, which was a bit disappointing.

The international (romantico) restaurant was very good! The lobster was great. The only downside (and it's quite bad), was that after we were done eating, we starting seeing cockroaches walking out of the kitchen towards our table. At first there was one, but we eventually say 3-4 more. That was definitely gross.

The Italian and seafood restaurants were ok, not wow. We also went to the Cuban à-la-carte, please do yourself a favor and avoid going there at all costs. The meat wasn't good, not tender at all, and was served with rice and chips... Just go to the buffet instead, it's actually better.

The alcohol was great, as opposed to other places I've been on vacation to. The wine was surprisingly good.

When the large group of Italians left, the resort was a lot quieter and we had one day where it felt like it should have, not overcrowded.

Overall the resort was OK, if you enjoy a cheap getaway and don't mind sharing the space with way too many people and are not difficult with the food.

I would definitely NOT go back however.

Room Tip: Bungalow 14 or 15 if you want to be a bit more quiet and close to the ocean
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Cath_mp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yaidelis C, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
We are proud that you have chosen our property to spend your vacation and at the same time I´m really sorry for all the inconveniences you had while in our hotel.
The inconvenience that you had it is not usual in our resort. This hotel is rarely overcrowded but those days of March were holidays so maybe that is why there were too many clients. I took note about your comments in order to check it with our team.
If you decide to come back here in the future, please, contact me in advance. I´m sure that your 2nd stay gonna be excellent.
Sincerely yours,
Yaidelis Calvo Reyes
Customer Service Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

What make your stay is the amazing staff, all so very nice. The food, however is very poor and you get bored easily. The breakfast are passable but the rest of the day the buffet is terrible. Only 3 a la carte restaurants, one out of the 3 is good, the one who serve the Langoustes is good.

The beach access is very difficult and could be problematic at time. However, this is a dream beach, miles to walk on. Our trip was in Dec. 2017 and we had red flag for 5 days, sunny but very windy. Weather was nice around 26 with last two days over 30. Yellow flag for last two days and finally been able to access the warm ocean. Be aware of bug flies in the sand as I was stung badly on each leg. Bring a lot of Benadryl, anti itch polysporin and a anti itch Aveno. These last for weeks after. Had to get dr. Cortisone cream to get rid of it.

Rooms are passable and well kept but full of mosquitoes when we got there. Bed was not confortable at alł. Go to that place for the paradise beach and the top service from the staff, the best in Cayo Santa Maria by far.

This trip permitted us to see a live show from the famous Bona Vista Social Club, what an amazing night, a dream of a lifetime for us. This was at a nearby shopping mall and we had a great shuffle service. Absolutely never hesitate to go see their show, they are absolutely the best representing Cuban musicians, singers and dancers. That night will stay in our memories of the best trip to Cuba of all time.

Room Tip: Bloc 16 close to the beach.
Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Gloria D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yaidelis C, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
Thank you for writing our hotel's review on TripAdvisor. We're always eager to hear what you liked and how we can improve. I´m really sorry for all the inconveniences during your stay with the weather. Regarding mosquitoes and other insects, you should know that we are in a tropical environment and even when the hotel is fumigated daily they are always around.
I took note about your comments in order to check it with our team. Your suggestions are always welcomed.
Always at your service,
Yaidelis Calvo Reyes
Customer Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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