Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Reviews

Home page > Cuba > Cuba Hotel Index > Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) reviews


Find and Compare Deals

Cayo Santa Maria Hotels with Similar Ranking

Melia Buenavista

5.0 based on 3 reviews
Last reviewed Jul 7, 2014

Playa Cayo Santa María

4.3 based on 3 reviews
Last reviewed Jan 25, 2015

Melia Las Dunas

3.7 based on 34 reviews
Last reviewed May 6, 2017

Melia Cayo Santa Maria

3.6 based on 15 reviews
Last reviewed Apr 9, 2015

Memories Paraíso Beach Resort

3.6 based on 9 reviews
Last reviewed Sep 23, 2016

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

3.4 based on 5 reviews
Last reviewed Feb 20, 2016

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)  

Cayo Santa María, Caibarién, Villa Clara, Cuba

"Hot week at the HUSA"
Posted by: Claire on Jan 1, 2014
see all reviews

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Reviews
Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Pictures and Information
Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria

User rating 3.3

Based on 24 reviews

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Information

The 5 star Husa Cayo Santa María Resort, located in the province of Villa Clara province, sits on the sea front of one of the Cuba's most stunning beaches which stretches for 2.6 km with turquoise waters and fine white sand.

Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.


Best Deals

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Reviews

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 3.3 of 5 24 reviews
Very good
By Occasion...
Business (1)
Leisure (26)
By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (8)
Solo Traveller (1)
With friend (3)
With Group (1)
With Spouse/Partner (14)
1 - 10 of 24

"Cayo Santa Maria Barcello is one of the best resorts we have visited."

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  D  on Feb 17, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
353 people found this review helpful

We visited the Barcello Santa Maria from Jan. 18. through Feb. 1 2010.14 days of amazing weather.

Your Arrival:
Flight sucked!2 attempts @ landing in a storm before diverting to Cayo Coco where we sat in the plane for over an hour besore returning to Santa Clara airport. Bus trip to resort about 1 1/2 hrs. Arrive at the resort @ 2:00 a.m.
Check in well organized,however the 10 min the bell hop told us to get the luggage to our room was at least 30 min.

Clean, large, well equipped, comfortable.Everything in working order.For 2 adults it was more than adequate.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffets, never a problem finding something to eat. Food was as good as we have had in Cuba.Really enjoyed the a la cartes, Spanish,good food, lots of it.Italian also good, portions smaller than Spanish, seafood was OK.Most of the guests loved the seafood, we had the salmon and it was so-so. Bars were well stocked. mixed drinks were great,but consistency varied with the bartender.Service was usually quite fast.

Beach, outstanding. Grounds,well maintained and gorgoeus. Pools also first class.Beach was the choice of most guests and you had to get their early to get a decent spot.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We were there for 2 weeks of sun and relaxation. We did not look for any activities, so while there were things to do we did not participate. The best part of this no one bugged us.

Other Comments:
The bus trip was a drag.If we don't return that would be the only reason.The Barcello will be on our short list for 2011. Staff was excellent. Anything we asked for was tended to quickly.The only place we had a problem was at the hairdressers in Pueblo. It is very poorly equipped.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"i bit disappointed"

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Heather  on Apr 26, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
379 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
we had a late arrival , didn't get in till 2:00am April 12/2010, the one and half hour bus ride was long and the resort was not special enough to do that again.

overall good. the shower was interesting, we had alot of water on the floor from the run off from the shower stall and it went out of the bathroom and under the door, until we figured out to put a facecloth at the back of the tub , so it could direct the water. The water pressure was great. The tip i read before going to this resort helped alot at 2:00am about putting your key card in the slot next to the light switch to receive power in the room. We had a good maid, she left us new things most days, kleenex one day, face cloths the next and a bath mat another day and we always had lots of towels.

Restaurants and Bars:
i tried the italian and seafood alacarte restaurants, to tell you the truth i would rather go to the buffet, more selection and i can see what kind of food i'm going to eat. I must say that the red and white house wines were quit drinkable, i've been to other resorts and they were undrinkable. You could find lots of selection at the buffets (morning, noon and night) and i really enjoyed being able to have a selection of ice creams for lunch and supper (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.) The coffee was not great, i did see some people with their own and thought what a great idea also saw people with their own peanut butter another great idea and i would like to see at least one adult selection of cereal among the sugar ladden selections. Our Lobby and bar were quit active at night , they had great entertainment for us, their mixed drinks were very sweet and never did find a special one that i really liked, though we did like the cuban coffee they make at the bar.

The beach is beautiful , i'm sure you could walk forever, unfortunately i only saw it first thing in the morning. The wind came up and each day it was stronger, so the red flags were out and no one allowed in the water and if you got out of the sun the wind was actually cold, i don't know about you but i cannot stay out in the sun all day, even with my SPF 60 on and not get fried either from the sun or the wind. So we spent most of our days at the pool. Now the pools are beautiful but that is not why i go, i go to relax on the beach, people were saying that the wind we had is quit common there, another reason i will not be returning.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
most beach activities were cancelled due to the high winds I didn't do any of the excurstions.

Other Comments:
- found the air transat representative borderline rude.
-they closed the colonial section buffet halfway through the week and that put quit a strain on the beaches side buffet, I've never before had to wait in a line outside a buffet until a table was available.
-we also lost power on the sunday we were leaving April 18th from 11:00am till about 5:45pm. interesting, ok the toilets would not flush and alot of flies started showing up.
-found that the general bathrooms were mostly out of toilet paper i had taken a roll of my own, and not surprising that people are pigs in washrooms.
-there was a blue cloud of smoke early every morning and we soon discovered that it was pest control, yikes closed the balcony doors when we heard the very loud noise that accompined that. (sounded like a low flying plane)
-the exchange for convereted pasoes at the resort was at times long and they would just close down and tell you no more today or go to the other side of the resort.
-found it odd that their was a request to and from the resort when we were on the bus, at the end of our destination we were asked to give a donation to the bus driver, this one was a new one on me.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Beautiful resort and well worth the money!"

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sara  on Aug 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
392 people found this review helpful

Very nice resort. Perfect for couples and young families. Not enough action for most teens or people in their 20's.

Be aware that it is now low season and only the Beach side is operational.

LOTS and LOTS of walking if your room is in Building 7!!! Flip side is that you are very close to the beach boardwalk over the dunes. There are carts that you can wait for to get around, but be prepared to wait for them.

From Santa Clara airport, it is an hour and a half drive to the resort. You go through two little towns and it is a chance to see how real life is for the Cuban people. If you think of this drive as an additional "bonus" excursion, you will enjoy it. Buses are air conditioned and almost new.

Check in was a breeze - luggage arrived at our room in minutes. Room was exactly what we asked for, with a partial ocean view from the balcony. Be sure to keep track of your blue beach towels!! You will be charged if they are not returned and at check out, they can refuse to give you the check out card for your tour operator that allows you to get on the bus to the airport.

Rooms are clean and adequate. Many problems with patio door not closing/locking and we had the shower curtain problem too. They have added rings to try to lower it down, but the pole was installed much too high, so you have water going everywhere. Toilets broke one night, was fixed quickly next day. We had some small spiders visit inside the room at night - nothing horrendous, but they were there every night. Had to ask for an iron - our housekeeper (Dayli) brought us one the next day. She did towel art every day and the room was kept very clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was very good at the buffets. There is a pizza station, pasta station, two grills where they will cook your breakfast omelet or eggs and your steak/chicken/fish as to your liking.

We did the seafood and italian à la carte restaurants. Appetizers were the same at both, food was tasty and wine very good. They had musical entertainment, which gave a nice ambiance to the restaurant.

Loved the lobby bar! We played cards there every evening, enjoying a drink or fancy coffee and listening to the live music. They had one piano player / drummer duet who were very, very good. We tipped well and got very good service.

The Swim Up pool bar and Beach bar were both nice, but waiters aren't too attentive, even when you tipped well. Long line ups at both spots. Must be horrible during high season.

Beach is gorgeous. Turquoise water and white flour sand. Hard to describe how nice in words - it really is paradise.

Depending on wind, it will be either bobbing waves or bigger waves that break on the beach. Lots of palapas - arrive early to guarantee a spot, as they go quick.

Pool is beautiful - but they need to provide more shade!!

Grounds are well kept. Gardeners are out early morning, working hard to tend to the flowers and trees.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are pool-side activities (follow the leader dance, bingo) but the female animator was a little on the loud and annoying side.

There is nightly entertainment at the resort Theater. Theme varied each night. Female animator was the hostess - could she be even louder at night??? Yep.

We did the catamaran excursion. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE!! We went snorkling, interacted with dolphins, spent a couple of hours at a private beach, had a lovely lobster lunch (chicken for those who don't like lobster) with an open bar. There are nets where you can lay down and get some sun. A lot of fun and the highlight of our trip.

Other Comments:
The pest control truck was a little nerve wracking. It would pass by nightly, leaving a huge trail of blue smoke. Smelled like turpentine. We nicknamed the truck "Agent Orange" and would cover our faces when we heard the plane-like noise it made. Know it is a necessary evil, as the mosquitos would have been fierce without pest control.

As we were leaving the resort at the end of our stay, we saw the pest control truck on the main road that leads to the hotel. It was like a flame thrower - flame was shooting out at least ten feet behind the truck. Not sure if it was a malfunction or if it was cleaning out the spray gun. It sure was scary to see, though.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Best resort for us in Cuba so far .. but.."

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Doug  on Jan 18, 2011  >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
403 people found this review helpful

First off, we stayed at the Beach section which is side by side with the Colonial and people can use/share either section. This is NOT the same as Caribe section which is totally separate and you are not allowed to visit & vice versa.

We've been to almost every major tourist area of Cuba (Cayo Largo is last) and we were very impressed with almost everything at Barcelo. Food and drinks were awesome. There have been bad reviews (mostly Caribe) and I have no doubt that some people would not be happy but it's their fault in most cases. Even arriving after midnight, the 24 hr. grill had a great selection of 4 chicken dishes, beef, pork and 2 kinds of fish plus the usual salads and sides Usually, you're lucky to get hotdogs, burgs or cheese at most resorts at the late night grill. Every time I went to the buffet I took a moment to look around and 9 out of 10 plates were piled high with french fries, pasta or pizza. With so much great food nearby, no wonder some reviews are bad.

Room Block:

It's a full 90 min. bus ride from the airport. We knew that and were prepared for the wait. No beer on the bus but there is a stand just outside the airport before you board the bus. I wish they had told us about not selling beer on the bus though as it was too late by the time we found out.

The rooms were very large and no problems with cleanliness or fresh supplies each day. They supplied face cloths (first ever for Cuba), kleenex package, minibar with pop/beer/water. No ants, bugs, etc. I did get a few bites probably from sand fleas on the beach but my wife had none. No mosquitos. The toilet was not working properly upon arrival and after trying to fix it, I contacted the mgr. and it was fixed in 3 hours. PLENTY of hot, hot water. Nice reasonably soft bed and we made a special notice that all furniture we saw in the room, buffets, bars, etc. were all high quality and in good condition.

Restaurants and Bars:
Lobster was on the buffet for the second night and lobster and steak were the specialty at all the a-la-cartes. Lots of fish, gigantic prawns, a huge assortment of salads plus the usual stuff. Many AI's in Cuba feature cabbage salads. Not here. It even beat the buffet at GBP Tulum in Mexico for variety and quality. The a-la-cartes at GBP were better but that's pretty normal for Cuba to feature the same food as the buffet, just nicer surroundings.

There are 2 main bars besides the beach bars. Each was identical and had espresso machines and a full variety of quality drinks. We really enjoyed the bucket full of champagne bottles they set out later in the afternoon and evening. We did our best to consume as much champagne as possible but the empties were always replenished with new bottles.

The drinks at any of the bars were always well made, although sometimes not the same but that's to be expected. Good quality liquors but you will pay extra for special brands if you need them.

Problems: This is a massive resort. We've been to large resorts before without a problem but the layout of this reminded me of a new subdivision that you can't find your way out of. It took awhile for people to find their way around and if you arrive late at night as we did, everyone is stooped down by the walkway lights trying to read the map and make sense of where they are. Signage quite frankly STINKS. Your luggage is taken to your room but you are left to your own devices to find your room. Not a good first impression. Check-in was handled in a large room so that went very fast and smooth. I timed our walk from our room at the far end of Beach to the 24 hr. grill at the far end of Colonial and it was 12 min. Not huge but you need to enjoy walking.

The beach is awesome. Very impressed with lots of loungers and palapas. There are 2 beach bars which was not enough but to be fair, I waited 5 min. at most. The beach grill was 3 star at best - dogs, burgers, chicken but long waits.

We did not use the pools but were shocked at the huge size. Lots of loungers and lots of canopies for those wanting partial sun.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The Pueblo actually exceeded my expectations. Our first visit we were very surprised at the good variety of items for sale and the low prices. No one felt the need to barter, prices were less than half those in Santa Lucia only a few months earlier and better choices. After an hour, the parade started and was truly a memorable experience.
The next day, we returned to find a completely different feeling. All new vendors, no band, no parade and we felt deflated. We asked and found that the vendors rotate every 4 days. There were fireworks one evening that we saw from the resort but there were no announcements otherwise we would have gone.
The train to the Pueblo operates constantly but you need to ask the driver how long they will be running. If there is no train, buses marked "home" transfer you but it's a 10 minute walk to Beach and 12 min to Colonial. The evening bus service seemed hit and miss and we walked.
The Pueblo also is where you rent bikes, scooters, buy drinks, meals, etc.

Other Comments:
We felt very outnumbered. This is a very popular resort with Quebecers and English was the vast minority. Not a huge problem but we were lacking in trying to find English speaking people to talk to.

Biggest complaint is that Barcelo is set amongst wonderful lush surroundings but you always feel you are sitting inside when in the 2 main bars. We like to sit and enjoy the scenery and sounds of the ocean and nature and we felt it was more like a cruise ship than a resort. There is nowhere to just sit and relax with a drink watching the ocean other than directly on the beach. You cannot see the ocean from the resort (unless your room is on the 3rd floor) but a platform close to the beach with chairs and a bar would have made all the difference to us. We enjoy the beach but I prefer to sit in the shade with a drink, absorb the surroundings and let the stress drain away. We loved the food, drinks, room but really missed the feeling of relaxation that we had at Santa Lucia.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria , Caribe Section - We had a great week!"

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Aija & Michael  on Feb 3, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
326 people found this review helpful

The Caribe section is the newest of the Barcelo complex. The resort is beautiful, tastefully decorated and landscaped and very spacious.

We found the staff to be friendly, willing to serve and happy if you made an effort to be polite, courteous. friendly and flexible. We made a few connections with some really great staff and they made the trip for us. Some of them do have limited English, but are willing to learn, just as we do with our limited Spanish. Most of the guests were French Canadian.

Room Block:
Bungalow 39 - 3rd floor

Arrival at airport and transfer went well. There were 3 buses and ours was the first to arrive, before 10:30 p.m. Check in was very efficient. Our envelopes were ready with room keys, bracelets and resort map. All that was required was submitting passport numbers and signatures.

We were told to give our room number to the bell boy who would bring our luggage to our room in 10 to 15 minutes. Long story short, we did not receive our luggage until 12:30 a.m., two hours late. In future, we will elect to take our own bags to our room.

Our room was beautiful and spacious. There is A/C as well as a ceiling fan. There is a mini fridge, which is restocked daily with 2 soft drinks, 2 Bucaneros and a large bottle of water. There is an iron, ironing board, large umbrella, large closet, safe. The sink area is outside of the actual bathroom. There is a coffee maker with tea and sugar provided. There is no coffee and also no cups.

The room was cleaned every day and soap and shampoo was replenished upon request. Our room wasn't done until after 3:00 p.m. most days.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet has good selection and variety each day. At breakfast, you can help yourself to champagne and OJ. It is not open for lunch. You can get a buffet lunch at the Grill - again, a good selection of hot and cold items and many items can be cooked to order - hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, beef, chicken, shrimp. Dinner at the buffett offers a great selection of meats, fish, vegetables, salads, pasta, fresh fruits and desserts.

I don't really understand how people can complain about the food. Granted, everyone has different expectations of the food based on their own tastes. I have read other reviews that say that the food is "sub-par", "inedible" and "so-so" and the most common, "you don't go to Cuba for the food". I shake my head and wonder what people are thinking sometimes.

There is a different problem though with the dinner buffet. On our first night, we found we had to line up outside of the buffet and people were only allowed in as others were leaving. We had to wait for 20 minutes, then ushered in to a table that would not have been our first choice. Service was spotty. On the other occasions that we ate in the buffet, it was the same. The a la cartes did not appear to be fully booked and were the better place to be.

We approached the front desk about this, as we have never experienced this before at a buffet in any resort. We were told that they had to look after many people and seemed surprised that there was a line up. The customer service person told us that "all old people like to eat at the same time" and made it sound as though it was the guests' problem. Wrong thing to say! Later in the week we did speak to her about this as something that we had not encountered before and that it needed improvement. She seemed receptive to our comments and made notes. It did not improve during our stay, nor did we expect it.

Our observations - there is not enough staff and the furniture in the buffet area is much too large. The tables are large, the arm chairs are much too large and do not fit under the tables when pushed in. Add to this, high chairs, strollers, people who don't push their chairs in when they get up and well, you get the idea. The servers have a harder time getting to the tables to replenish drinks and clean up. The furniture layout is not in straight grids, which would enable guests and servers to get around faster and easier.

Interestingly enough, there was no line up to get in for breakfast.

The beach is fabulous! It is many kilometres long and the beautiful turquoise colour of the water is captivating. At high tide it becomes quite narrow, resulting in high-density sunbathing. There is a bar and washroom available at the beach.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped. As this is a new resort, the landscaping isn't complete in some areas, but that doesn't matter. The pools are clean and well-maintained. Cushions are avaialble for the loungers - a nice touch.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are shows each night. The Michael Jackson impersonator was outstanding! The Spanish Dance show was terrific as well.

We didn't take part in other activities, but there were dance lessons every day at the pool and beach and water volleyball. You don't have to book time for the catamaran rides, which is a bonus.

We elected not to take any tours off the resort, preferring to take advantage of the good weather at the resort.

Other Comments:
The lobby bar had different musicians performing each evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Chilled champagne was available as well, making it a very enjoyable end to the day.

Overall, we had a great week. No matter where you go on vacation, you have to have a positive and flexible attitude and things generally do work out. Every time we return home, we say "what did we learn" and that helps us prepare for the next one. Life is too short to grumble and complain about every little thing that doesn't go the way you want it to.

Staff and Service :
The individual servers and staff are not the issue. Many of them are quite young and still training and learning. There are quite a few that worked previously at the other sections (Beach and Colonial) and their experience shows. There seems to be a lack of good organization and management to ensure a better flow of services, e.g. transferring luggage to rooms promptly, prompt attention to an issue in our room that needed our presence.
I understand "Cuban time" and have no problem with it; however, for the important things, they need to pick up the pace.

There does not seem to be a management presence around the resort. Perhaps they were disguised as the animacion team. In other resorts we have visited, one gets a sense of management making rounds constantly, keeping staff on their toes, and that was missing here.
The staff also do not wear name tags - strange practice, I thought. They do have name tags on the Beach side, however.

Tour Operator Issues:
The only other issue I have is not resort related, but with Sunwing, our tour operator. We had the late day departure from Toronto. On our return, we were scheduled to leave the resort at 3:45 p.m. with the flight leaving at 8:45 p.m., getting into Toronto at 12:15 a.m. I can handle that. However, our departure from the resort was delayed to 5:45 p.m.,to arrrive in TO at 2:15 a.m. We left the resort at 6:15 and our flight was further delayed and did not leave until 12:30 a.m., arriving in TO at 3:30 a.m. Apparently Sunwing does this quite frequently. This kind of delay and jerking around certainly does put a damper on a great week.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Good value for the price."

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Linda  on Mar 24, 2011  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
318 people found this review helpful

This is a very large resort with lots of walking. It is built in several sections with more under way. We travelled with some friends who were in a different section so a lot of time was spent travelling to hook up. The management could do with some training and service was almost non-existent but it seems that is the norm these days. We have been travelling to the Caribbean for more than 20 years and each trip the service seems to be worse. The food was pretty much the same as any other Cuban resort although I had read some resorts that it was much better. Typically there was always something to eat but by the end of the week it was pretty boring. We went to the Spanish & the Seafood restaurants which were both pretty good. The beach is beautiful and good for walking but quite shallow as the tide was high. The rooms were very clean and spacious and the bed was very comfortable which is unusual for Cuba. The little town down the way is pretty much a waste of time (and money if you go on Tuesday or Friday as there is a charge of 5 pesos to get in those days). It's very commercial and looks like something from some amusement park. Overall it was a great holiday but would not go there again and glad we didn't pay full price. By the way it's an hour and 40 minutes by bus to and from the airport. Something we usually try to avoid.

Bob & Linda, Lowbanks

Arrived sometime after midnight and had to stay up till after 2:00 am waiting for our luggage to be delivered to our room. Our friends waited until 3:00 am. We had to go to the desk to inquire and were informed it was on it's way.

Great room with king bed which was firm but very comfortable. Lots of room, clean with fridge re-stocked every day.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet very monotonous and grill hours a bit unpredictable Spanich & Seafood restaurants good. Dress code in effect so men must wear long pants but girls/women can wear anything they want including barely there shorts!

Pools are large but one was a bit cloudy.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Very remote so nothing to do offsite unless you take an excursion which we did not do. Been there, done that and it's usually not worth it.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Nice beach but no shade and nothing to do."

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  David  on Apr 2, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
302 people found this review helpful

First - there are two Barcelo resorts along this strip. We were at the Caribe. The Colonial is a km away.

There is insufficient shade both around the pool and along the beach for the 1200 people staying here. If you care about your skin health, you have to fight to get one of the few umbrellas on the beach (by arriving in the dead of night to tie some belongings to a chaise). Otherwise, you're relegated to playing musical chairs around the pool while the sun moves across the sky.

Food - good variety and pretty good quality. Never could find tender chicken and tender beef was irregular but other than that, things were good. Trays of food were often left empty and it took a while for them to be refilled.

Rooms - this is a nearly new resort and the buildings were great. Our A/C didn't work and there was a broken door handle when we arrived. Neither were attended to during our stay. The minibar was restocked each day at no cost.

Pool - 2 big pools. Both were lovely and clean & warm.

Service - at the beginning, the food servers were few and far between. We often waited a long time for water/coffee/wine. There were many tables filled with dirty dishes that the servers simply didn't have time to clear away. This seemed to improve towards the latter stages of our stay. Bar service was slow but steady. Rooms were very slow to be cleaned...we may have been at the end of a run but it often was 5 pm before our rooms were done. Main desk - for the most part, the folks here spoke the best English but were the least friendly. Information was given only if you pressed for details.

Beach - lovely soft sand that extended sufficiently for a one hour walk in 1 direction. There are places where the sand is cloggy and tough to walk on and there is one place where rock needed clambering over. Water was beautiful/clear/blue-green and shallow for some distance out.

A La CArte restaurants - there are 2. The lineup to sign for these is incredible and frankly the food isn't worth the wait. We had a good and a bad experience and for the most part waited a very long time for things to happen when at the restaurant. try to book a table for 4 and take somebody with you becuz at least that way you'll have somehting to do while you wait.

Entertainment was pretty good. 2 nights there was a professional dance/singing group there and they put on a great show.

Room Number:

Room Block:

Came at 11:15 pm after a 2 hour bus ride from Santa Clara. Waited 1.5 hours for luggage to be delivered. This happened becuz the porters insisted they delivered as a service. (just a device to get a tip) We made 2 phone calls and certainly didn't do any tipping!!

Got lost very quickly. There was no map provided and the area is big and we were vaguely waved to "follow that path". 10 minutes later, we finally found out where we were supposed to go

See previous description

Restaurants and Bars:
described previously

described previously

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Next to NIL. There is a small village set up for tourists right next door. It is called El Pueblo. They charge between 5 - 10 pesos just to walk on to the property. Don't bother. There's nothing to see and little was open when we were there. This would be akin to paying $5 - $10 to walk into the Eaton Centre early on a Sunday morning when all the shops are closed. Why people would patronize any restaurants here when they are staying at an all-inclusive is beyond me....but Cubans think differently.

Sunwing offers various excursions which for the most part are highly priced. We have done a number of activities in different places in Cuba which were fun and reasonably priced and not a long way from the resort. Here, you are at least 1+ hours from anything.

There are few other activities on site. A tennis court was seen to be used once. The minisoccer field and shuffleboard court were not used.

Other Comments:
I have never seen so much tipping as was going on. Not only does it establish an expectation on the part of the help, but it doesn't mean they don't serve you any better just becuz you tip.

Why the bar guy gets a peso for pouring a small beer and you guve the same to the waitress who pours water, wine, clears your plate, gets you coffee beyond me.

The service is generally slow. The folks are friendly but don't really get it when it comes to providing good service. Only a few actually demonstrated effort.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"This week was amazing and fun."

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Linda Guido and family and friends  on May 7, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
294 people found this review helpful

There is nothing to complain about this resort. The staff all around the resort were helpful courteous and most kind. From the night we arrived until the night we left it was a blast. Definitly would return. The beach is gorgeous pool clean great amusment all day long from dancing to playing sports you can be kept busy every minute of the day. The shows at night were very entertaining as well.

Room Block:

We arrived at 2:00am April 26th 2011. Staff was pleasent even at this time.

Rooms were clean and kept clean mini bar alwys filled

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent service in everyway no complaints

beach is gorgeous and you can walk forever. Pool was clean alwys. Would be nice to have some shade available.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities were fun and constant. Weel organized and staff very friendly.

Other Comments:
I would recommend this resort to anyone that loves to have fun and enjoy a beautiful beach. And friendy staff.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Very relaxing holiday"

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Randy  on Jul 15, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
284 people found this review helpful

We enjoyed our 2 weeks at the new Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria Caribe Tropical resort. Overall the weather was primarily sunny. Having stayed at nearby Santa Maria resorts many times recently,we were prepared for the possible conditions at the Barcelo. The staff as usual was very pleasant. In particular, waiters Madelysis & Carlos were very pleasant and on top of their areas. The morning cooking staff workers Barbara and Addel were eager to please. It was good to see Humberto again in charge of the main bar. But when it came to the best pool bartender, you had to be waited on by Rafael at the CSM Barcelo Colonial resort ..... by far the most pleasant Barcelo worker on Santa Maria! We enjoyed the a la carte dinners at the Italian, Mediterranean and Gormet dinning rooms.
Of course the mosquitoes were bad especially at sun down. If you don't bring bug killer and long slacks, you are really going to be a tasty treat.

The rooms are new and fully equipped and nicely furnished. The gardens are well cared for by the many gardeners and exhibit a variety of tropical plants. This year we were there during the white/yellow butterfly mating season. Hundreds of butterflies were on the move. Quite the sight! The Barcelo property is huge. It extends for kilometers in all directions. Although the hotel was only 35% full, there were always lineups at the grill areas for lunch and supper. Much of the resort is closed off during the low season.There are definitely shortages of beach palapas and shady areas at the pool. Nonetheless, this is one of the cleanest and sandiest beaches in all of Cuba. Most of the tourists were from Ontario, Quebec and Britain. There were many children at the resort in July.

Room Number:

Room Block:
bungalow 32

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Very nice resort but not sure if i would stay here again"

Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló)
User Rating:  Husa Cayo Santa María (Formerly Barceló) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  mitchell  on Jul 18, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2011 | Leisure | With Group
279 people found this review helpful

We arrived at resort just after noon and our rooms were guy greeted us as we arrived at our room which was nice.
the beach was absolutely awesome.had no problem finding shade seats at all times of the day at pool and beach.
sunscreen is hard to find so make sure you take lots.
food was good not as much of a choice as i have seen at other barcelo resorts but in all very tasty.
there is a little plaza near by that we visited everyday vary nice but we found that a lot of it to be closed awesome spot to go to at night or day if there were some sort of entertainment.this was a bit disappointing but checking out the venders was still fun.
the plaza has a very bad lack of toilet paper in washrooms so if you go there carry some in your pocket as back-up lol
aside from beach and pool found not much to do but overall had a good time would visit cuba again but probably not barcelo unless at changes alot
we stayed at caribe and tropical side was not completed yet should open in november maybe this will liven up things a bit.
also take a travel mug with you the pool and beach bars ran out of cups on a daily basis.a few little things here and there but overall a very clean and beautiful resort with a super staff

Room Number:

Room Block:
bungalo 35

very smooth arrival bus ride seemed long but got room keys right away which was very nice

very clean and well kept everyday

Restaurants and Bars:
two buffet restaurants same food every day but it was very good
ran out of a lot of stuff daily but there was lots of other things to choose from
found that most pork cooked for you on the grill not always cooked all the way through this is something to watch for

awesome clean and very well kept very impressive
on the boardwalk going to beach noticed a lot of people tossed there cups on the ground wasn't impressed with that too much but that is visitors not the resort

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
not much to do other than swim off resort areas closed alot and the pool activities board showed a full day of activities that never really happened as scheduled but when they did do stuff it was entertaining

Other Comments:
did the deep sea fishing it was very nice the books show a price of 260.00 this is for the boat with a minimum of four people not per person for four hours very much worth the money

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

Home Hotels Vacation Packages Destinations Forums Write a Review
About Debbie | Contact Debbie | Advertise | Site Map | More Links | Disclaimer
Facebook Twitter Youtube