More about Sol Cayo Santa Maria Hotel
VERY CLEAN AND TIDY AND FRIENDLY
Upon arrival we had drinks and very swift check in by friendly staff. room was fine with the kids room next door (by request). Meals were excellent and lots on offer. will detail more when time permits Nice pool directly on beach
Sol Cayo Santa Maria - What a beautiful sight
This is another absolutely beautiful hotel, and now, with the buidling of the even better (so I understand) Melia Santa Maria, you have the use of both facilities.
The downside is the hour drive from the mainland on a causeway built specially to develop this tourist area. In order to see any of Cuba, you have to start your trip with an hour long drive. But if you plan to stay in the hotel, to enjoy the beautiful pools, gardens, fabulous entertainment, and a lovely beach restaurant, then this is a really good choice.
BEWARE the jelly fish when the ocean is still. They really sting. But I am told this is only in certain seasons, but I don't know which, so ask about that. I got hit in October. The house band in this hotel is exceptional, as are the dinner musicians. The piano bar is also a very pleasant place to start an evening, with very talented pianists.
The gardens are particularly beautiful, attracting a wide variety of birds, and the swimming pools are very pleasant.
We really enjoyed the coffee bar, where you can get a great cappucino, and if you tip nicely, they'll have it prepared as they see you arriving!
If you do manage to rent a car and leave, take the time to visit Caibarien and Remedios, two very Cuban towns on the mainland, just off the causeway. Remedios, is particular, is an interesting place to get out of the car and tour on foot. The local church houses a famous statue of the Virgin Mary, pregnant! Knock on the door, and anyone in there will be pleased to show you. The hotel on the square is also a nice place to eat, or even stay overnight if you want to get away from the Resort for a change. Take the time to just sit in the square and watch the traffic pass by - kids in school uniform, bicycle taxies and a wonderful parade of Old Chevies.
BEWARE: If you travel the causeway on your own, take your passport. You may be asked for it when you are returning on the causeway.
We stayed at Sol Cayo Santa Maria the week of March 14, 2005 -- myself, my husband and our two children aged 16 and 20. We had the most amazing time! We had so much fun! The beach is absolutely prestine -- white sand and blue water. We did not want to leave. There is so much choice for food and drinks. The restaurant on the beach makes the best cheeseburgers and rum punch. The pool bar is a great place to go after a day at the beach. The people that work at the resort are so friendly and helpful all of the time. For instance, I wanted to get my water bottle filled up at the patio bar before we boarded the bus back to the airport. It was kind of busy, and the bus was about to leave so I couldn't wait for the water. As I was waiting in line to board the bus, the bartender tapped my on the shoulder and had a big water bottle for me. Is that service of what! Please remember you are in Cuba and you are there for a vacation and to relax! Take your time and enjoy the people and the resort. This resort has a lot to offer. I also highly recommend taking the snorkling day trip.
A family of Four!
Wonderful,Beautiful,Friendly and amazing!!
I was at the Sol Cayo Santa Maria from may 21-28/2005
This was my first plane ride, my first trip outside of canada and my first trip to cuba but not my last.
First of all I would like to say that this hotel has the most beautiful setting, and landscape. There pools are spacious, clean and quiet. There restaurants are clean and the food is great.
Here is my review:
Grounds: Palm trees everywhere, beautiful flowers, serene ponds with lots of frogs at night. hand carved statues and little lizards hidding in the bushes.
Pools: All pools are connected with bridges or walkways. First pool outside the buffet restaurant shallow good for lounge chairs, second pool outside activitie centre volley ball, basket ball and water polo. This pool is also located around the pool bar. Third pool is the deep pool and is great for romantic night swimming.
Activities: During the day you can catch exercise classes with an instructor near the ocean on the beach. Throughout the day you can do aqua arobics and pool volley ball, they have soccer in the tennis courts and spanish lessons, they also offer salsa lessons and merange.
Rooms: Two double beds that can be pushed together to makle a giant king size. Somewhat comfy. Note: I had the air conditioning on all night cause my boyfriend gets really hot and I was freezing. The blankets are more like sheets dont forget to use the warmer blankets above the shelf in the closet. T.V. has some english channels but mostly spanish. Bathroom is big and has an even bigger window above the bath tub. Our shower didnt work so well and ended up spraying all over the bathroom. Water pressure is not so great. Only one big huge bug but I think it was because we took an afternoon nap and left the balcony door open. I wwould reccomend getting an ocean view room because the sunrise is beautiful and it's nice to wake up to the view of the ocean.
Restaurants: Buffet: Not much of a variety! Breakfast: eggs any kind,omlettes choose what you want. lots of bread, sausage, potatoes, crepes with mango sauce and strawberry sauce..yummy, fresh squeezed orange juice, cereal, yogurt. Lunch: pretty much the same as dinner! Dinner: Porkchops, pork,turkey,roast beef,chicken,fish,potatoes,pasta,carrots,salad,cheese,veges,stuffed anything.
Italian a la carte: Nice setting, very friendly,variety of salads,soups, and meat dishes.
Creole a la carte: We went here around 7:45 on friday night, nice setting located outside! Some of the workmen do the mosquito smoke clouds around this time and they did not spray near the restaurant cause of the smell...due to this we were infested with mosquitos and could not finish our meal it was terrible and ruined our night...bring mosquito reppellent.
Pool Bar: Serves sol cayo santa maria sandwiches (tomato,cheese,chicken,ham,onions,mayo with baconstrips on top of the bread) very good my boyfriend had three a day!
La picua (beach front bar and restaurant) : Great food had burgers, hot dogs, fresh fish and porkchops served with fries and salad! Number one choice for lunch. At night they serve lobster dinners for an extra $20 CUC.
Nightime Entertainment: My boyfriend and I found the entertainment to be quite boring, same thing everynight. But the disco that starts at 11:30 was fun and good laughs if you want to make fun of a bunch of people who are trying to dance like cubans!
Tips: Exchange some money at the airport so you can buy some beers for the bus ride (1/2 hours) Wait untill the day before your last day to buy souvenirs from the vendors as the prices may go down. If you like the music they play during the entertainment or at the disco ask the dj at the beach as they will burn you copies for $12 CUC especially the club song! Dont buy cigars in their boxes from anywhere except the stores in which they sell them. Bring pringles or snacks in your bags because the chips in the store cost $4.00 CUC which is about $5.00 dollars canadian for one bag. Rent the mopeds they are so much fun, you don't need a liscense it was $9 CUC for one hour. Go on the catamaran trip you will never forget it.
Have Fun this is a beautiful resort with lot's to do and you will have fun! Say hola to Georgio at the fish grill in the buffett reataurant and hola to emu at the disco!
Wish I was going back!
Can't Wait to Go Back
Just came back from the Sol Cayo Santa Maria Hotel (March 7-14th 2005). My travel agent warned me prior to my departure that I would be disappointed by the windy cool weather, the isolation of the resort & the constant high waves of the Atlantic. To the contrary, there were no really windy days, only 1 rainy morning, only 1 day where swimming in the ocean was prohibited and every other day it was super hot & the water was very warm - I usually get cold easily, but most days I didn't want to leave the water as it was so enjoyable.
As others have pointed out, the drive to the resort it almost an hour & 1/2 - it goes by quickly but too bad on the way there its late at night so you miss all the sites of Cuba & the beautiful views of the water from the causeway. I have been to Cuba 4 times prior and I would honestly say that the beach at this resort is the most beautiful, unspoiled I have ever seen. The resort is made up of cottage like rooms spread on beautifully tended, landscaped grounds. Yes it is isolated but there are various 1 or 2 day tours offered to neighboring cities. I rented a car for $95 convertible pesos with one of the locals and drove to Santa Clara - I would recommend leaving the resort for a day to get a real feel for Cuban life. I wanted to take the trip to Trinidad but it was cancelled as not enough people had signed up - I was in Trinidad 10 years ago and it was really beautiful (more so than the city of Santa Clara) but the bus-ride from the resort is about 3 hours.
The food - I don't consider myself a picky eater but I was disappointed by the food - the selection was there, but for some reason, the buffet at other Cuban resorts (some even less than 4 stars) tasted a lot better. I definately did not starve but I never ate to the point where I was fully satisfied.
Entertainment - they try really hard to make the most of each show (presented nightly) but a lot of people rudely tended to get up and leave mid-way. Its not Broadway & I think people expect too much when there. I will admit the shows weren't too interesting (I went to Hotel Tryp last year in Cayo Coco where they were more vibrant and inviting) but because I saw the dancers & the entire entertainment staff really making an effort to please the crowd, I would never leave without watching the whole production.
I do recommend trying a cappuccino at the 24hr bar - 1st time I tried one in my life & I almost missed my bus back to the airport as I couldn't get enough from sipping it while sitting by the pool. Delicious!
I would also recommend exchanging your money at the airport (not sure if this is an option for those arriving) as the exchange rate is a lot better than at the hotel. Note: most places outside of the resort do not accept the convertible pesos that are used at the hotel. As well, 24hr internet is advertised yet not once when I was there did it work - very disappointing but it made the vacation feel that much real. If you are going to purchase souvenirs, wait until the mini-market is set up by the store every few days - very good selection & a lot cheaper than at the hotel shop where everything tended to be over-priced. Cuban rum & cigars are a lot cheaper at the airport than at the hotel as well. The resort is definately tailored to families & couples - I'm 25yrs old and went with older family friends - had I not gotten to know some of the entertainers at the resort, I would have felt a little lonely, if not bored.
Overall, I really can't wait to go back as aside from having a really relaxing vacation (away from all the craziness of a busy city), I had an opportunity to really enjoy myself too once outside the resort and in Santa Clara where I made a lot of new friends - perfect mix.
We have just returned after 2 weeks at this wonderful resort. Hotel, staff, food and location were 1st class. Don't listen to the moaners, some people are just not happy unless they are complaining. I think that they forget you are in another country and experiencing a different culture and expect to get a Mc Donalds and Sunday roast everyday. If you are looking for a place to go and relax then this is the place to go. You cannot walk anywhere except on the beach as Cayo Santa Maria is a small key with only 2 hotels and as yet (thankfully) it is unspoilt with no village nearby but no doubt it will be in years to come ,so now is the time to go. What it says in the brochure is what you get, so read the brochure before you book.
If you are feeling energetic then there are plenty of activities during the day on the beach and by the pool but if you are like us (30 something couple!) you will be happy lying on the gorgeous beach or by the pool. There are several trips available to go on but as it was so hot we just opted for the catamaran day trip which included snorkling and a lobster lunch. Great day and worth the money. The other trips involved long coach rides but those who did them seemed to have a good time. Restaurants were good. Los flamencos did great pizzas for lunch. Unfortunately because of the mosquitos we didn't enjoy the cuban restaurant in the evening, nothing wrong with the food just very uncomfortable. Take lots of insect repellent (we had to buy more when we were there as ran out!!)
We would definitely go back to this resort. The Cuban people are wonderful and just want you to have a good holiday and they are very proud of there country. They don't expect tips but appreciate the odd peso which is about 66p. They only earn about £11 a month so this is a lot of money to them. I found it very sad driving through some of the villages as they are so run down but the rep assured us that they are very happy and don't need material things like we do. It makes you think!!!
Just to say that we have just returned from the Sol Santa Maria & the mossies where awful, I took loads of mossie repellant nothing worked, we where not the only one's alot of other people suffered too! only one person was not bitten who came on our flight of 350 people most where having to have injections & anti histamine tablets plus cortesone cream.
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
I stayed at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the resort is very,very nice:)
Tou can find over 40 pictures of the Melia Cayo Santa Maria on
Just click on "reviews" and Melia cayo Santa Maria....
Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
"Beautiful Beach Vacation"
At the beginning of September 2009 I was about 2 weeks from starting a new job, so my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip in the meantime. She found a great last minute deal to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba so we packed our bags and we were off. It was my first time on a Caribbean vacation (other than Mexico), so I was pretty excited about it. A few different people had told me that Cuba had the nicest beaches in the world. While I haven't been everywhere to put that to the test, I can tell you this beach (located about 50km off the northern coast of Cuba on an island) would be tough to beat.
the water in this area of Cuba is perfect. As it was about 40 degrees every day, it was necessary get wet every hour or so just to stay cool. The water was super clear (as you can see) and the waves were very rarely big.
One thing to look out for when swimming in the ocean is jellyfish. There aren't any other sea creatures anywhere near the beach, but on days when the water was calm there were literally thousands of Jellyfish in the water. You had to stick to the pools on those days, because the ocean just wasn't an option. The picture here is tough to make out, but there are lots of jellyfish just under the surface.
Short visit to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.....
"Melia Cayo Santa Maria"
I visited Cayo Santa Maria for a few days beginning of December.
The weather was not too nice for us so my pictures are a reflectio of a rough day on this island.
The hotels I visited were Melia Cayo Santa Maria and Sol Club Cayo Santa Maria.
The island is gorgeous with beautiful beaches but the it is about 1.30 h driving from the airport .
It is definitely a place fro people who just want to unwind and relax for a week or two.....nothing else to do in this area.
jellyfish lurking below the surface
me taking a dip when it got too hot to handle
perfect blue water
The whole beach to ourselves
Sol Cayo Santa Maria
i am going to sol cayo santa maria on 9th june for 2 weeks with my boyfriend. has anybody been here or around this area that could give us some tips please. Don't really want to go unprepared so would appreciate any help.
Also just wondered what sort of price the excursions are etc just so we have some options.
Sol Cayo Santa Maria
We are heading to Santa Clara, and staying at the Sol Cayo Santa Maria, Oct 1 for one week, has anyone been there and if so what was it the like ie the beaches etc. Thank you
RE: Sol Cayo Santa Maria
We made a day trip to the Cayo Santa Maria from Remedios.
There was a lot of new development there, but we went to an undeveloped beach called Perla Blanca. Getting our hire car down the bumpy muddy road was a bit of an adventure but when we got there we had the beach to ourselves.
I can't say what the resort part is like as we avoided resorts. I'll post some pics on my Cuba page for you to have a look at.
How to get from Cayo santa Maria to HAVANA
Hi there, Im going to Cayo santa maria in June with a group of 4 friends. We are staying in an All inclusive, but would like to take a trip to Havana. Can anyone suggest cheapest way to do this?? Do you have an idea of the price?? Also if anyone knows how many hours away the 2 are from each other this would also help! Thank you in advance! tania x
RE: How to get from Cayo santa Maria to HAVANA
What resort are you staying at? I stayed at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in December and they had excursions available to resorts guests. (The Sol resort nextdoor has the same options as well)
On a side note- I don't know if you are aware but Havana is quite a ways from C. Santa Maria. I think it might up to 4 hrs away from the Cayos. There are opportunities to rent a car at the resort (not quite sure of the price-I remember seeing something around 35 CUC's). Also, you have to be an extremely confident driver to venture out on the autopistas (highways) because you'll encounter more horses and bikes than cars. Make sure you always have your passport with you because it is required to cross the causeway into the cayos.
I've also heard of an excursion from Cayo Santa Maria to Havana by plane. These excursions are really cheep (under 100 CUC's) but I hear that flying small Cuban planes can be quite dodgy and their safety rating is quite poor.
I strongly reccommend an excursion to santa Clara instead of making the trek all the way to Havana. They have organized tours (around 43 CUC's) or the option to rent a car/moped as well. It is only 45 minutes away and is a fantastic city! Great nightlife as well, it is quite the cultural centre.
havana might be too far if you are only staying for a week. On the other hand,if you are staying 2 weeks, it might be a very fun thing to do.