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    ce fut l un de mes plus beau voyage ...

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Diane on Mar 22, 2015

    Date of stay: March 2015

    Trip type: Friends

    Nous avons aimé visité votre hôtel ..le seul commentaire c,est qu'étant donné les nombreux visiteurs ils fallait souvent faire la file pour aller se servir au buffet ,et au bar il manquait souvent de bière au début de l'après-midi ,mais ...

    Nous avons aimé visité votre hôtel ..le seul commentaire c,est qu'étant donné les nombreux visiteurs ils fallait souvent faire la file pour aller se servir au buffet ,et au bar il manquait souvent de bière au début de l'après-midi ,mais en général nous sommes très contents de notre semaine de vacances et je le recommanderais n'importe quand ...merci aux personnel courtois et chaleureux..aux sourires et à votre belle humeur..vous êtes des gens sympathiques qu'on a le goût de revoir...Aux gens des spectacles BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO VOUS ÊTES EXTRA......vous avez beaucoup de talent....merci merci et merci xxxxx

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    Breath taking beach and ocean, gorgeous hotel, will come back!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Jen on Nov 14, 2014

    Date of stay: October 2014

    Trip type: Couple

    Amazing hotel, great staff. So friendly. The rooms were very modern, and very clean. No complaints about anything, except for jelly fish. Which the hotel of course can't help. But there were lots, at any time of day. My husband ...

    Amazing hotel, great staff. So friendly. The rooms were very modern, and very clean. No complaints about anything, except for jelly fish. Which the hotel of course can't help. But there were lots, at any time of day. My husband received a sting the second day. There are a variety of beautiful pools to swim in instead however, and the beach is incredible for lounging on.

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    Can't wait to return with more friends

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Pauline on Oct 31, 2014

    Date of stay: November 2013

    Trip type: Family

    My first trip to Cuba , Hotel beautiful clean rooms good service . Beach had lovely sand long walks when tide was out other than difficult to get down to se level no steps . Food good especially the speciality ...

    My first trip to Cuba , Hotel beautiful clean rooms good service . Beach had lovely sand long walks when tide was out other than difficult to get down to se level no steps . Food good especially the speciality restaurants . Not so good Entertainment in the evening . I am planning to go back this year , the most thing I was impressed with it was so safe you had a god feeling walking to the next village very courteous gentle people loved it

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    Amazing resort/amazing staff/ Spectacular time had by all !!!!!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Dorothy B on Jun 17, 2013

    Date of stay: June 2013

    Trip type: Couple

    Just back(June 8-15/2013)Great hotel/great location/great beach/great food/amazing staff-soo kind and accommodating/would definetly recommend this hotel and will definetly be going back ...

    Just back(June 8-15/2013)Great hotel/great location/great beach/great food/amazing staff-soo kind and accommodating/would definetly recommend this hotel and will definetly be going back again.

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    Wonderful beach, nice hotel

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Julie on Apr 07, 2013

    Date of stay: April 2013

    Trip type: Friends

    Overall, this was a good hotel. It had a good value for the price. There were 4 different pools, and the sand and water at the beach were beautiful. Water was clear, but the beach was quite narrow. To get ...

    Overall, this was a good hotel. It had a good value for the price. There were 4 different pools, and the sand and water at the beach were beautiful. Water was clear, but the beach was quite narrow. To get to the beach, you had to climb down a steep slope, so if you have mobility issues, this is not the place for you (event the Melia has a boardwalk and stairs to the beach). Cayo Santa Maria is quite isolated, and I think the biggest downside was that it was a long time in transit (no direct flight from Calgary, and then a 2 hour transfer from the airport). Food in the a la carte restaurants were good (asian and romantic), and the buffet was decent, but we were limited to only 2 a la cartes during our stay. The crepe lady at supper (buffet) was amazing! If you have any allergies to seafood/fish, beware that you will have a lot less options for tasty food. Some things were not labelled very well, but people were friendly. Overall a good relaxing vacation. If you go, order a Santa Maria from the bar. Very tasty!

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    Great place for a relaxing vacation!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Georgina on Apr 07, 2013

    Date of stay: April 2013

    Trip type: Family

    This hotel was a little larger than we had thought it was going to be, however it was laid out nicely. Everything was within walking distance and there was a lot of options for bars, pools and places to eat. ...

    This hotel was a little larger than we had thought it was going to be, however it was laid out nicely. Everything was within walking distance and there was a lot of options for bars, pools and places to eat.

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    Service déplorable, beaucoup de moustiques, manque de propreté, 24 hres sans électricité. Pas de papier, pas de savon dans toilettes publiq

    Not recommended

    Reviewed by Michelyne on Feb 24, 2013

    Date of stay: February 2013

    Trip type: Family

    Bonjour, Plus jamais Cuba, c'est la 6ème et dernière fois que j'y suis allée. À l'hôtel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, 1h30 de bus, pour s'y rendre de l'aéroport de Santa Clara. Il y a des moustiques et je suis piquée ...

    Bonjour, Plus jamais Cuba, c'est la 6ème et dernière fois que j'y suis allée. À l'hôtel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, 1h30 de bus, pour s'y rendre de l'aéroport de Santa Clara. Il y a des moustiques et je suis piquée comme un édredon. À 7 heure le matin, il faisait le fumisage, on respirait ça et il y avait tellement de boucane, que ça créait un brouillard... un conseil, que je donne à l'hôtel, ça devrait être fait durant la nuit, de sorte que nous en ressentions pas les conséquences, il y avait des bébés et des enfants sur le site, pas très bon, pour leur poumon... Je me demande si, les gens qui écrivent des commentaires sont payés par des agences, mais la seule personne crédible se nomme Chantal et demeure à Ste-Anne des Plaines, elle a sûrement voyagé ailleurs comme moi, pour voir la différence. j'ai fait au moins 20 voyages dans le Sud et sinon plus...et ce site pour le service pas plus de 2 *, les cubains attendent toujours les pourboires et ne sont pas très souriants. Pas de service de mini bar dans la chambre comme c'était supposé et écrit dans les avantages. En 7 jours j'ai changé ma serviette de plage 1 fois, il n'y en avait jamais, c'était toujours la même réponse, plus tard.... Bar 24 heures très bruyant, pas d'agent de sécurité pour calmer les fêtards juste devant les chambres, malgré notre appel et notre visite à la réception à 2 heures du matin, aucun respect des autres...Dans les toilettes publiques pas de papier de toilette, pas de savon et d'essuie-main. Pas de propreté, au repas, le service se faisait avec la même spatule, que se soit boeuf, poulet ou poisson, nourriture jamais chaude même dans les restaurant à la carte... Aucune hygiène, faudrait qu'il soit éduquer en ce sens, il y avait même de la moissisure dans le fond d'une bouteille d'huile. Attente en ligne pour se faire servir, trop longue, nous avons changé d'idée à plusieurs reprises, on abandonnait... Nous avons manqué d'électricité 24 heures dans notre bloc, rien à faire, la réception nous contait toujours des sornettes, au lieu de la vérité, au lieu de nous changer de chambre, ça duré du dimanche à 18h30 au mardi 16h30. Pas normal pour un site supposément comme indiqué 5 étoiles dans leur lobby. Le samedi, nous avons perdu la télévision, supposément le satellite, mais juste notre bloc encore. Parlons de la plage, pas pratique avec ces deux palliers, il faut débouler sable et rocailles pour y arriver, (PAS ÉVIDENT POUR LES PERSONNES AGÉES OU AYANT DE LA DIFFICULTÉ À SE DÉPLACER) peu d'abri solaire, pour les chaises à la plage, toujours prises, car les gens allaient mettre leurs serviettes très tôt, (à remarquer que nous avons eu à peu près 2 belles journées, de soleil, sur 7.) Il faisait tellement froid le samedi soir et le dimanche matin, qu'on a dû mettre nos manteaux d'hiver pour aller au bar du lobby, prendre nos cafés. Le café au déjeuner, à la salle à manger, exécrable, au bar il était bon. Par contre beau site bien entretenu par les jardiniers, tous très souriants. Pour ce qui est des piscines, très propres et beaucoup de chaises et d'abris pour se protéger du soleil. La chambre était pas extrêmement propre, juste ce qu`il faillait, papier de toilette, changement de serviettes, lits refaits. Je ne pense pas que les toilettes et la douche étaient lavées avec du désinfectant ou du nettoyant. Les toilettes par contre fonctionnaient bien, il y avait de l'eau chaude pour les douches. Voyage payé trop cher, pour le peu de plaisir que nous avons eu, $1,421.03 chaque. Nous sommes très déçue, pas de vol direct, car nous étions avec Westjet, sans repas sur l'avion, juste breuvage et grignotines pas très sain! C'était avec escale à Toronto. Le vol d'arrivée à Montréal, à notre retour le 22 février, devait être à 21h16, mais Westjet ne pouvait atterrir à Toronto, pour le transit à cause de la pluie verglassante qu'on nous a dit, donc, on a manqué de gaz à force de tourner en rond, et on a dû se rendre à Ottawa, pour gazer, (pourquoi pas Montréal ???, nous aurions été rendu) nous sommes revenus à Toronto ensuite, pour le départ annoncé à 22h45 pour Montréal, (pas de repas) on a décollé juste à minuit, puis on a atterri à 1h15 du matin. Donc 3 envols et 3 atterrissages dans la même journée! INCROYABLE...C'était mes pires vacances. Donc, pour tout ces tracas et le manque de jouissance de nos vacances, nous accordons un petit 3 étoiles et très petit, à cette hôtel. Je demande un dédommagement en argent pour tous nos désagréments, le manque de comfort et les fausses données de ce site. Michelyne Blais 42 de Piémont, Laval, H7M 1B6 450-668-2730

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    Beautiul resort and wonderful staff. I hope to visit again in the future!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Seretha Halifax NS on Jan 29, 2013

    Date of stay: January 2013

    Trip type: Family

    My daughter and I travelled to Cuba Jan 21 to 28 to Hotle Playa Cayo Santa Maria. It was an excellent hotel. clean, staff were great and the food was good. They cooked the beef and eggs ...

    My daughter and I travelled to Cuba Jan 21 to 28 to Hotle Playa Cayo Santa Maria. It was an excellent hotel. clean, staff were great and the food was good. They cooked the beef and eggs infront of you. The desserts were ok. This resort is not for teens. My daughter was boared. it's mainly for drinking and relaxing. There are no elevators in the hotel so if you find it hard to climb stairs get the first floor. We were on the topfloor over looking the pool it was realy beautiful. bring your own cup as the cups are very small. The service was great. Met alot of staff. The bell boy, jorge was excellent. Miss you Jorge... Louisa who worked for Hola Sun was awesome too. She answered any questions we had. Not much of a beach, it was ok. I loved the swim up to the bar pool. We went to the villages everyday so I could keep my daughter busy. The el cartes were ok. Remember you are in Cuba, they do not cook like we do. The lobster was terrible which I waited for. They grilled it and added some sauce to it. Ask for it plain. It was mostly cloudy when we were there but it was still warm. the snack bar didn't offer a whole lot but was open 24/7 and was next to our hotel. Bungalow 7 was next to the beach and snack bar. No bugs and the maids did a great job. Loved the jeep excursion although we didn't get a chance to go horse backriding as it was too late. This is where we gave out our gifts to the kids as we passed by. They loved it and my daughter too. All in all, I would recommend this resort. it was beautiful and clean. The hotel should have an itinerary for people arriving and the times. We didn't know anything that was going on unless we past by. Seretha - Halifax, NS

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    Beautiful Hotel, Great Staff, Goregous Pool, interesting guests...(bus ride in is beautiful but a little lengthy)

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by MrsC on Jan 29, 2013

    Date of stay: January 2013

    Trip type: Couple

    Rooms: Our room was beautiful, very clean and more then spacious for the two of us. The other couple we traveled with had a "musty" smell to their room but aside from that there were no complaints about the rooms/accommodations. ...

    Rooms: Our room was beautiful, very clean and more then spacious for the two of us. The other couple we traveled with had a "musty" smell to their room but aside from that there were no complaints about the rooms/accommodations. We had done our research before hand and knew to ask for a room on the 2nd floor to avoid bugs. Pools: We saw at least 4 of the pools which were all very clean and inviting looking. The water felt a little chilly but it was very appreciated on the hot hot days. Beach: The beach was gorgeous yes there is a big "step down" to get to the lower level which may cause some issues for someone with a disability or pushing a baby buggy. There are plenty of beach chairs and someone will bring one to you as soon as you reach the beach. (There were some sand fleas, each of us did end up with some bites on our legs after just 2 hours at the beach) Lobby Bar: the bartenders at the lobby bar are fantastic. It was very busy there every night but with a few tips you can assure you will be served all night long. 24 hours Snack Bar: We spent a lot of our dining time here. They serve great chicken fingers, french fries, meatballs & sauce, hamburgers, cuban sandwiches and so on. In the mornings they even put on a small breakfast buffet and serve made to order omelets (you just have to ask) Staff: all the staff from housekeeping, gardeners, buffet servers, bartenders and so on were always tops notch at customer service. Sometimes it may have taken a few minutes but any request you had they would fulfill it Entertainment was a minimum but we were perfectly okay with that. Just went to relax A slight downfall: As 4 English speaking travelers we were excited to meet and mingle with others like ourselves however that was not easy to do... the majority of guests at the resort spoke french and strictly french. (for those that are French the resort staff have no problem communicating as they all speak 3 languages Spanish, English & French)

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    Excellent value for an all inclusive trouble free vacation.

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Adam on Nov 17, 2012

    Date of stay: November 2012

    Trip type: Family

    Fabulous vacation. A new modern hotel with all the amenities, wonderful staff and service. Beautiful pools and beach. Excellent food. Great value and would definitely ...

    Fabulous vacation. A new modern hotel with all the amenities, wonderful staff and service. Beautiful pools and beach. Excellent food. Great value and would definitely return.

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    Excellent value, great location and premises

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by LAP on Nov 13, 2012

    Date of stay: October 2012

    Trip type: Family

    Beautiful beach enabling long walks. Great hotel with very friendly staff. ...

    Beautiful beach enabling long walks. Great hotel with very friendly staff.

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      TripAdvisor

      What to expect (based on 2995 reviews):

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        5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

        Wonderful week!

        Reviewed by Anastasija K(Ajax, Ontario, Canada) on May 25, 2015

        My husband and I stayed at Playa CSM May 17-24th. It is our 2nd trip to Cuba after few others to the Caribbean. Like someone mentioned before, make sure to bring food on the bus as the ride from...

        My husband and I stayed at Playa CSM May 17-24th. It is our 2nd trip to Cuba after few others to the Caribbean. Like someone mentioned before, make sure to bring food on the bus as the ride from airport to hotel is 1.5 hrs long. If you are catching one of the later flights, you might miss dinner so make sure to have snacks. Check-in was nice and easy. Our room had enough space and was nicely decorated; however, the room and the property altogether seemed a little dated despite that the resort is only 4 yrs old. Very clean, nevertheless. Grounds, pools and overall area was well-maintained. The buffer offered good food. Despite that the variety was not overwhelming (take into account the country’s resources!), we enjoyed freshly cooked chicken, fish, and vegetables along with fresh salads, fruit and dessert; their cheese is great! Neither myself nor my husband got sick. The beach is beautiful!! Wonderful water, white sand, just great. The only downturn is that the shaded huts are situated on an elevated area of rocks and sand and thus, one must climb down a few rocks to get down to the water. For people with mobility issues or small children, as well as elderly, this might be on a challenging side. The sandy part is a little narrow but in the afternoon the water draws back and the beach becomes wider. There is a coral reef approx. 30 min via hobbycat ($10cuc per person); we found it allright but not extremely picturesque. Last but not the least, the entertainment. Simply amazing! Fantastic routines by great dancers! Cabaret show was our fav (don’t bring children!) along with Michael Jackson (would not miss it for the world!). And of course, the staff were amazing!

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        One week Vacation May 16-23rd

        Reviewed by mpecs04(Stoney Creek, Canada) on May 24, 2015

        I ll start off by saying the weather all week was sunny and hot! The ride to the hotel was exactly 1hr and 30min. Make sure you board the bus with some food in your stomach as it's a bumpy ride the...

        I ll start off by saying the weather all week was sunny and hot! The ride to the hotel was exactly 1hr and 30min. Make sure you board the bus with some food in your stomach as it's a bumpy ride the entire way on a bus with no shocks or bathroom! They will sell you 2 beers for $5 which is fair and a nice touch I find. Our bus did stop at a gas station at one of the towns for a washroom break, however they will charge you $1 to use it. Just an FYI. Check in-When we finally arrived we were greeted by about 50 people with there bags waiting to leave in the lobby. Once you add our bus load of people, it was very busy and I decided to run to the Front Desk to check in 1st and have my wife wait for our bags to be unloaded off the bus. This saved us at least 30mins at check in as the line up soon after was long since we had a full bus at arrival. Rooms- Our request for building 15 with a king bed were granted except we were on the 1st floor in room 1508. We had no towels at first but I managed to find the maid to provide me some. The issue was the bugs, the fire house shower head and the room was tired. Our room was full of mosquitos in the evening when we returned from dinner. All doors were shut and for the life of us we couldn't figure out where they were coming from. My wife and I spent a lot of time killing them and they kept on coming back to the point we decided we needed to switch rooms at midnight. We ended up in building 2 on the 3rd floor with a walk in shower and no bugs. Perfect! Building 15 is so requested that the rooms get TIRED and there is no little maintenance with painting or up keep. All the buildings are within a few minute walk to the lobby or beach so to be in building 15 or 7 is not necessary! We had an oceanview room from building 2! Beach-white sand and nice turquoise water with no seawood! Breath Taking! I did get stung by a Jelly Fish along with 11 other people during the week. Apparently this was uncommon as we talked to a few workers on the resort. Just be careful in the morning when the tide is higher as that's when everyone got stung. Cuban People-Friendly caring people. That's all I can say. They welcome you to there country and are happy to see you. It's awesome to see such friendly people who have so little. Food-A La Cartes we did were the Asian, Italian and Romentico. The Italian and Asian were our favourite. The Lasagna, Pasta Primavera was awesome! We had sweet and sour pork and chicken fingers along with shrimp at the Asian restaurant which was excellent. The Romentico was good but do not order the steak as it's tough meat and my wife couldn't finish her meal I'd stick to chicken or lobster which is what I had and it was good. Our reservations were for 9pm as we like to eat late on vacation and requested this time. Not an issue for us but not sure if we tried an earlier time what would happen. The buffet is horrible unless you wait in line and get a chef to make you meats, pasta or pizza otherwise the selection is very limited. The food made to order was a wait however well worth it! Trust me! Breakfast samething, buffet trays are limited our they did have a Pancake station, Eggs and Donuts. You would have to wait at least 10-20 min however its worth it! Trust me! ***the chef at the beach bar who does all of the meats, his name is LAZORO aka David Ortiz or Big Papi as I was calling him since he's a spitting image of him does an amazing job! He cooked everything perfectly that we ordered whether it was chicken, pork or sausages and he is a great guy. Make sure you have him cook you lunch on a daily basis as my wife and I have nothing but great things to say about him and his cooking. He was always happy to cook us lunch everyday*** Nightly Entertainment-we didn't see any shows all week since we grabbed tables at the lobby bar every night. Lobby-gets rammed around 730pm-8pm as the earlier dinner people will take up most of the tables in the lobby. Once the nightly show starts, half of the tables open up around 9pm and at that point my wife and our gang would grab tables for everyone. We always ate around 9pm. The Bank-exchange rate is around 78 cents on our Canadian Dollar. I exchanged $60 Canadian dollars when I arrived and got $46 CUC in return. This gives you an idea what to expect. VIP at the Santa Clara Airport in Cuba-You pay $25 CUC per person however you get your own private lounge with water, pop, beer, wine, food, snacks, Air condition, VIP check in and first on the plane.The main sitting area has no AC and you add a few hundred to the room it becomes hot and uncomfortable quick. I recommend it! You can get this at the resort from your Vacation Rep. Westjet-always a pleasure to fly it. Staff are great and there flight times are civil. Our plane left Toronto at 950am and arrived at 1pm. The way home it left Cuba at 220pm and we landed in Toronto at 6pm. Sunwing and Air Transit had 630am flights to Cuba and 10am Departures to Toronto. People were getting picked up at 530am to be driven to the airport who travelled with Sunwing or Air Transit. We got picked up at 930am. Just thought I would mention that. Overall I would return to the resort in the near future as it's a great bang for your buck. No one got sick and there was a large group of us from Ontario. We did met some French Canadians and we had no issues with anyone being rude or ignorant too us or staff. Not sure why the French get hated on so much. If you have an open mind and are easy going, then come to Cuba. If you expect North American booze and food on a beer budget, then you better stay home. Not sure why some people complain so much when your going to CUBA not the Trump Tower in New York City. What you pay for is what you get, so if your looking for a true 5* experience, you will need to pay more $$$$$$$$$$ for that. Be reasonable. All in all great trip, met new some nice people and would return.

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        Excellent Gaviota Resort

        Reviewed by Sweetmystery0(Alberta) on May 23, 2015

        May 11th – 18th The fantastic service at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria started before we even arrived. I would like to Thank Mareyi Gómez Montano for swiftly answering my emails and going the extra...

        May 11th – 18th The fantastic service at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria started before we even arrived. I would like to Thank Mareyi Gómez Montano for swiftly answering my emails and going the extra mile, by booking four a-la-carte dinners, without us even asking. Mareyi’s attention to detail and care was the start to the best Cuban vacation ever and a wonderful 35th Wedding Anniversary celebration. We cleared Customs fast; the currency exchange booth was closed, so we went next door to the departure area. The exchange rate was not the greatest, $100.00 gave us 79.40 CUC’s. There is an exchange booth at the hotel beside the Gift shop (better rates at the airport). 90 min bus ride was pretty good, lots to see and like being on a tour. The Lobby bar at the Playa is a real hub, buzzing with people; our check in with Fidel was fast and friendly. We got into the swing of our vacation with one of Aliesky’s famous Mojito’s (the mojito cart moves between the entrance of the lobby and across from gift shop). The hotel is well planned out and despite the size is very easy to get around, that was my biggest concern because we prefer small, cozy hotels. During our stay the Guest capacity was approximately at 88%, yet the hotel did not feel crowded. Our room 1467 located on the 3rd level has a beautiful view of the ocean; the sliding door was a bit stiff and bug screen was off track, but my Husband fixed that. We slept with the door open and were lulled to sleep by the ocean, nice to be able to do this and not be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Beach towels are in your room, you do exchange them at the towel hut and on your last day, leave them in your room. Our room was pleasant with a nice king size bed, it was on the hard side, but despite that we slept well. The fridge was stocked everyday with a large bottle of water, 2 cans of beer and 2 cans of pop; we were also given a welcoming bottle of Cava. If you want extra water, beer and pop just ask the guy who stocks the fridge; very accommodating. In the bedroom closet there is a free digital safe, iron/board, extra pillows and blankets. The shower/tub is separate from the bedroom; shampoo, body gel, body lotion and Kleenex are provided. The shower had good water pressure with plenty of hot water and it was never turned off. Toilets flushed with no problems and we had plenty of toilet paper. The Air conditioning worked great and was quiet. Our maids Yusmely and Duniel did a very good job, upon our arrival they wrote a welcoming note, telling us to contact them with anything we needed. We had no problems at all getting our towels changed every day, including face cloths. Our maids gifted us with four bottles of red wine during our stay, what a wonderful surprise and special way of honouring our Anniversary celebration. Block 14 is a very short walk to the beach (facing the ocean go down to the bottom level, walk to the end, turn left to go outside and then right along the side the building and you will see a trail that goes right to the beach) I would suggest wearing sandals. The trellis shade in that area is quiet, behind the dunes and a nice shelter from the wind, but the hotel does need to get some Staff into that area to clean and groom it up. The beach of course is the biggest draw card, that powder white sand and glorious Turquoise Ocean is just stunning. We were fortunate to have good weather during our stay (the odd rain shower and thunder storm, both a relief from the heat). The Ocean was warm and had gentle waves during our entire stay we loved it. There are loads of beach loungers at the Playa both fabric and plastic, this is the first holiday where we slept in, had breakfast and then went to the beach. It was nice not having to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve that perfect spot. We are not pool people, but if we were it would be the pool at the Eden Village (west side). The atmosphere here is quieter and very nice, plus there is a decent selection of liquor for a pool bar. The bartenders Dainier and Jose are very friendly and provide fantastic service; the best bartenders at the hotel. If you want more action and to be close to the main pool, snack bar etc., then I recommend buildings 15 and 7. Within a short walk from building 14 there is a ice cream bar, beer bar (bottles of beer), kids club, towel hut and main pool. The 24 hr. snack bar has a decent selection of food, not just the typical ham and cheese sandwiches. We ate there when we arrived and enjoyed the chicken fingers and calamari. I do understand that food is subjective and things do frequently change in Cuba, fortunately for us the food during our stay was the best I have had in 19 visits and could rattle the chains of several hotels we have stayed at in the Mayan Riviera. Keep in mind there were allot of Italians during our stay; we have learned over the years that when there are Italians at a hotel, the food is usually very good. At breakfast there was lots of fresh fruit (papaya, mango, melon, pineapple, passion fruit, Cuban pears etc.). Smoothie station, loads of fresh pastries, muffins, variety of sweet rolls, buns and freshly fried donuts. Hot and cold cereal, trays of assorted cold cuts and cheese, and of course the fresh food stations with eggs cooked to order, pancakes etc. So much more offered. Lunch and Supper had similar choices: Roasted chicken, Pig roast; Fresh food stations (fish, beef, pork, hamburgers, stir fries etc.), lamb, goat, variety of meat dishes, soups, salads, variety of pasta and sauces, French fries, fresh fruit, pastries, flambé, tarts, cakes, ice cream and so on. The Staff were on the ball filling up all stations. It is true, there are long line-ups at the fresh food stations, and some of the grills are very small. The cooks are doing the best they can and I agree that Management does need to address this issue, when the hotel is at high capacity. There were no bait plates at any of the food stations or, at the bars; so very refreshing. If you can’t find something desirable to suit your palate, then all I can suggest is try a cruise ship. Service at the buffet was always good to down right excellent, it is too bad that the Staff are moved around into different sections; our favourite server was Zoë; we called her “our Diamond”. This is the first Cuban holiday where we felt the holiday was all about the Guests, not the Staff. No hustle or, sob stories; we really felt looked after. When it comes to a-la-carte dining I do recommend a visit to the 24 hr snack bar ahead of time, the portions are small and there are long intervals between courses; there is only so much quiet conversation and gazing into each other’s eyes you can do. The Italian is not bad, found better choices at the buffet, plus the buffet had a nice cheese bar, which the Italian does not have. We felt there was a real push to purchase wine so needless to say we were glad our Maids gifted us with some decent wine, also the wine served at the a-la-cartes is the same as in the buffet. The Asian was a waste of time, 45 min to get an appetizer and after 90 min with no main course we ended up leaving to go to the buffet. The Romantico was very nice, good French onion soup, Shrimp and Lobster and professional service. The best for us was the Seafood we skipped the intro’s and ordering two main courses each. I had the Shrimp and Lobster and my Husband had the Shrimp and Chicken, both dishes were cooked to perfection and very enjoyable. Every Evening after Supper, we went to the Cigar bar and enjoyed 11 yr. Santiago Rum and Cappuccinos (best cappuccinos at the cigar bar). Lobby bar has a great selection of top shelve liquor including Ballantine’s 12 yr. reserve, Jameson, etc. All of the public washrooms we used were clean, had toilet paper, paper towel and the toilets flushed, in the Evening one of the cleaners took the time to decorate the bathroom sinks with flowers; what a lovely touch. Best prices for Rum are at the airport, the hotel gift shop charges and average of 3 CUC’S more however, they do have Legendario and the airport does not. If you want action there is allot to do and offered at the Playa, lots of entertainment. We were exhausted and desperately needed a relaxing, romantic holiday and we got exactly what we needed and wanted. We had two negative hiccups in regards to beach towels however; Customer Service resolved the problem and arranged for our beach towels to be delivered to our room. When we were leaving we had a bit of a bump, because the Bellboy was very late, despite several frantic calls to Reception. Reception was fantastic and had our check out slip ready; unfortunately the hotel delayed the Bus. Believe me none of this spoilt our pretty much perfect holiday. No departure tax anymore. Any questions please feel free to PM me and I will do my best to answer.

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        Feels like my home away from home

        Reviewed by SmithNora(Dartmouth, Canada) on May 22, 2015

        This was the 3rd time I have been at the Playa in the last year. I love this place, not because it is a 5 star - which it isn't - it's because of the staff and people of this area in Cuba. I have...

        This was the 3rd time I have been at the Playa in the last year. I love this place, not because it is a 5 star - which it isn't - it's because of the staff and people of this area in Cuba. I have made some really great friends at the Playa as well as in Morin. The people from this area are different from other parts of Cuba. They are very genuine (yes you always find a few that aren't) but these people are extremely good hearted. Now the Playa: Renovations - the Playa has gone through extensive renovations and looks amazing. It was a tired resort when I first went there in April 2014, went back in January and a lot had already been done, when I went in a few weeks ago everything, but 2 of the buildings have been done. Looks really nice. Staff - best in the whole of Cuba. Check in - reception staff got us through with no issues. Very fast and off to our rooms. The staff at the desk Myla and Mavus are wonderful ladies. They are the two who I asked about different things and they were awesome. Public relations ladies - Yenny, Analcy and Annabel were lovely ladies who went out of their way to seek me out and ask how everything was, including the room and if I needed anything done. I asked for some different juices as I don't drink alcohol in the room and they made sure they were there. I didn't have too much to ask them as things really were already done. Entertainment staff - A1 staff. I have read some reviews that had blasted Karel. I can tell you without a doubt one of the main reasons I like the Playa is due to Karel and how he treats people and is great with the kids. I don't understand some of the reviews that took a stand against him, I believe there may have been some personality conflict or jealousy and that is why this BB person ranted. I don't know, I don't know that person but Karel is an A1 staff person who is very concerned about how the Playa is considered by the guests. He wants to make everyone happy, and maybe if he had one fault that might be it. You never please all of the guests, it just isn't realistic. You have to read all these reviews and then come up with your own take on it. I'm not a prissy person who believes I need my hand held. More staff Mya, Juan Carlos and of course the very Awesome Eli. My kids love Eli and Karl and Mya. Juan Carlos was only there one week we were there for our two. I am hoping he is back at the resort now and believe he is an important person that should be there. Bars - Jorge and Micray are the best bartenders. And the guy that does the Spanish Coffee - yum. Taxis - we rented a taxi and did our own excursion. We went into Morin and Ciago. The cab driver was suggested by one of the reception ladies and he was awesome. Stayed with us from 9 am to 11 pm that night. I was priced at $100 CUC. I can tell you that was no where near the amount that driver should get and I doubled it. He drove and was our tour guide and it was amazing to see those areas. It was also during Carnival time in Ciago and we had an amazing day. If you do go there, I suggest you do an excursion that way - so much worth the money. That whole day the 5 of us spent around 300 CUC (with $200 to the driver). That was for all our meals, drinks, carnival stuff. Well Well worth it. Rooms - clean, I actually like the beds as they are firm, I had no issue any night sleeping and getting up rested. I don't over do the drinks, but I do enjoy some. A la carts - the best is the Japanese and the Ice Cream Parlour. The ICP is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily. AMAZING. Buffet - it was closed our first 5 days but opened up for the remainder of our vacation which was 2 weeks. There was a little confusion somedays of where to go eat but that all got worked out. Food - it's basic. I you go there you will eat basic good food and you can always find something to eat. Fruit is amazing, ice cream amazing, eggs done the way you want them. In all, this is my happy place. I am actually watching prices to go down in August or September or 1 week.

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        Awesome vacation

        Reviewed by h8thec0ld(Thornhill, Canada) on May 20, 2015

        My friend and I recently returned from a week’s vacation at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria (May 2-9, 2015). It was my first visit to Cuba and her 5th. It was a memorable trip and we had an amazing time...

        My friend and I recently returned from a week’s vacation at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria (May 2-9, 2015). It was my first visit to Cuba and her 5th. It was a memorable trip and we had an amazing time and a lot of fun. There were a few little glitches, i.e. very long, slow check-in/check-out line ups, the phones not working in three of the buildings and some cleanliness issues in some of the public bathrooms. But on the whole, the Resort is lovely, beautiful grounds and all the staff very friendly, professional and helpful, including housekeeping, gardeners and beach staff. The lobby is large, bright and airy and a great place to just hang out, relax and mingle, particularly in the evenings. We wanted to give a special mention and thank you to David and Juan Miguel at the lobby bar for their exceptional service, attentiveness, patience and going the extra mile for us. I have heard so many people say that the food in Cuba is not the best but we had absolutely no complaints. We enjoyed the buffet for several meals as well as lovely dinners in the Italian and Asian restaurants. We were also treated to a fantastic meal at the gala dinner for the deluxe guests. The main pool area is a hub of activity and the beach is great with lots of available lounge chairs for sun or shade. No need to reserve early and there is a snack bar, bar and restaurant steps away when the need arises. There was always something going on at the beach, main pool or lobby as well as great shows at the theater in the evenings, featuring very talented dancers/performers. A huge shout out and big thank you to the amazing, talented and very special animation/entertainment crew for their warmth, friendliness and boundless energy. In particular, Frank, Freddie, Jordy, Chino, William and Lisdania. We were very impressed with them and looked forward to seeing them every day. They made this a very memorable vacation and we will not forget them. Hopefully we will be back again to see them in the near future. We miss them all already. Thank you everyone at Playa!

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