Sol Cayo Santa María Reviews – Cuba Hotels – Sol Cayo Santa María

Arrival: January 29 to February 6 We arrived at the Santa Clara airport a little later than expected. We were to arrive at 11:30 but because of fog, we circled Cuba quite a few times, so were were probably about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes late. Our pilot was told to divert to Havanna because of the fog, thank heavens he took matters into his own hands and we landed in Santa Clara, we are Canadians after all and used to bad weather. The landing was a little rough, but we arrived safe and sound. One big piece of advice, fill in BOTH sides of the island card or you cannot go through their Customs! They will make you get out of line, fill it in properly and then will send you to another line. Otherwise everything went well. The bus ride to Santa Maria was so nice after being cramped in the airplane. It would have been much better if we did the ride in the daytime, was nice to go through the Cuban cities and see how they live and the causeway looked lovely. All went very smoothly once we arrived at the resort. After checking in, they took our bags to our rooms for us, we went to the bar near the desk and had a drink to relax. Also, bring a flashlight, hard to find your rooms in the dark.

Rooms

The rooms were very clean and large. No complaints there whatsoever. Both sheets and towels were changed daily by very friendly maids. They just loved receiving the little pile of gifts that I left everyday for them on the bed. They left me a friendly note every day and had fun with the towels and sunglasses to make animals that they left on the bed. Great safe in the closet, very easy to use, just make up your own code. Some people have complained (in the reviews) about the rooms, but I found them extremely clean and bright. I never saw one single little creature the whole time I was there. The fridge in the room was filled daily with water, pop and beer. You might have to remind them, but it is only a phone call or drop by Customer Service by the front desk.

Restaurants and Bars

Again, no complaints at all. There were seven of us in our group and we all agreed that the food was good. It is Cuba, not downtown Toronto! If you like spicy food, bring your own hot sauce. I very much enjoyed the Italian and the Poolside Grill – great ribs and BBQ chicken. I do not like seafood, but the others loved the calamari at the beach restaurant. The guys at the beach bar were always lots of fun. Get to know them and you get fabulous service – and by all means, TIP. The buffet restaurant was OK, I enjoyed the pasta bar and in the morning, the omlette bar. Do not order beef in Cuba, stick with seafood, pasta or chicken. I ordered the filet mignon at the International Restaurant and it was not very good at all. Beef is not their thing whasoever.

Beach/Pools/Grounds What can I say, the beach is amazing. I would travel to this resort again for the beach alone! The Melia has the best beach on the island! As you walk to the right of the resort, it gets very narrow and crowded. I never did make it very far that way, I turned around. BUT, if you walk to the left, it is absolutely lovely. You can walk for miles if you want. The sand is white and soft and the water is clear and lovely turquoise. I was literally speechless when I first saw it in the morning. I am not a pool person, but they are beautiful. I never went to the Spa, so I did not see the third pool. The grounds are lush and beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the hammocks. Grab a book and swing yourself to sleep with a lovely cool breeze. Heaven!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel

There are tonnes of activities on the resort. One of my friends went to the gym every day and enjoyed the thai excercise class. The one day I got up early enough to take the class, it was cancelled. Two girls we met there went to the spa a few times and thoroughly enjoyed the massages. This is not included in the price, so I did not go. There is souvenier shopping by the pool every day from 10AM to 4PM. They do not really bargain very much, but go ahead and try. The vendors change up every 2 days. I shopped at the resort to the left of the Melia and they were more willing to bargain if you were buying more than 2 items. We did not go on any tours. I enjoyed the island way too much to leave.

Other Comments

In closing, I highly recommend The Melia Cayo Santa Maria. I would go back in a heartbeat!! You can buy real coke in the shops, I personally do not like coke substitutes, so I was visiting the resort to the left of us for coke. Also, get up very early the first morning you are there to book your a-la-carts. Get a number under the wine bottle, sit down for a capaccino and wait your turn. Well worth the wait, if you arrive too late to book your restaurants, you will lose out.

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