Melia Las Dunas Reviews

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Melia Las Dunas  

Cayo Santa María, Jardines del Rey. Caibarién, Villa Clara.

"Wasn't what they advertise. "
Posted by: Mike  on May 6, 2017
see all reviews

Melia Las Dunas Reviews
Melia Las Dunas Pictures and Information
Melia Las Dunas Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

#1
of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria

User rating 3.7

Based on 34 reviews

Melia Las Dunas Information


Located in an exotic tropical paradise of white sand beaches and shimmering turquoise sea, hotel Meliá Las Dunas is Cayo Santa Maria offers dazzling Five-Star luxury for families and couples. Designed to respond to even the most discerning tastes, the hotel’s restaurants offers ample choices in fine dining. Enjoy a visit to the ice cream parlor, beer garden and participate in the varied recreational activities for all the members of the family such as nautical sports and animation.

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Melia Las Dunas Reviews

Melia Las Dunas Review: 3.7 of 5 34 reviews
Excellent
  7
Very good
  17
Average
  5
Poor
  3
Terrible
  3
By Occasion...
Business (1)
Leisure (19)
Wedding (1)
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By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (8)
Solo Traveller (1)
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With Group (1)
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11 - 20 of 34

"Worst Vacacation"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Connie  on Apr 10, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
648 people found this review helpful

We were very disappointed for a 4 plus resort. The rooms and the area for eating were not clean. The second morning I went to open my napkin to find out it was used and dirty. We were always being asked to tip. There are not enough huts on the beach. In order to get one you would have to get up at 6 or earlier. The last morning we were at breakfast there was no clean silverware. I saw one of the guys behind the desk there pick up a dirty napkin and wipe off silverware that four guys that just sat down needed and gave them that. I was shocked. The entertainment is for families. There is no disco here.

Room Number:
5816

Room Block:
58-59

Arrival:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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"Vacation not long enough."

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Tammy  on Apr 9, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
655 people found this review helpful

I read many, many posts before I chose to go to Melia Las Dunas. And after being there I have only one thing to say about my experience . . . Dream. It was so perfect that it was like a dream. People, I suggest that you go there with an open heart and mind. There is no perfect place in this world. If I had to complain about anything on my trip, and I’m being honest, it was that I didn’t do enough (activities, sight-seeing). But this particular vacation was to just simply relax with little movement. Lol!

Room Number:
6912

Arrival:
Once we arrived at the airport, we converted our money into CUC’s. It was easy to locate our bus. From airport to getting on the bus was very well organized. Once on the bus, we received our envelope which contained our bracelets, room number and key cards and information about the resort and cocktail info for the second night. The ride to the resort was informative. Our “tour guide” informed us of the history of the towns we went through, culture, way of life, etc. The 90 minute ride did not seem long at all. The bus stopped on the causeway at one point and backed up so that we could watch 2 dolphins swim close to the shoreline. Our arrival at the resort was spectacular for me. The place is grand and beautiful! There were glasses of rum punch waiting for us, music and people dancing. Our luggage was unloaded and delivered to our rooms. We walked to our rooms and arrived 2 minutes before our luggage. Note that you can convert additional money at the lobby.
Note: in the envelope there is a little pamphlet. It contains the map of the resort, your room number, arrival and departure date. Do not lose it. I stress again . . . do not lose it. You will need it to get a blue pool towel. And you will need it again when you return it or to change it at the end of the day. Next time I’d bring a zip-lock bag for the pamphlet to keep it dry, etc.

Rooms:
Cool and clean. We turned our air conditioner off during the day to conserve energy. It was always turned back on for us near the end of the day. Don’t be surprized if you find a gecko in your room. They are harmless and you really don’t want to freak out about having one in your room, because the spray that they use in the room to chase it away (if you request it), will chase you away. Again, they are harmless. Welcome them. Some people in other blogs have complained that the rooms smell musty. Understand that it’s very humid in Cuba. It’s so humid that it took 2.5 days to dry 2 articles of clothing that I hand washed. I was very pleased with our rooms. They would also come by every day in the late afternoon or just before 5pm and restock your fridge with pop, water, wine, rum, etc.

Restaurants and Bars:
I don’t care what anybody says about the food, I loved it! Enough to have gained 10 pounds! I made a point to try anything and everything new. Some people stuck to the same foods that they would normally eat back home. I only had difficulties with the Sea Food A La Cart and the Steak House. I was expecting what we normally eat back home. The lobster served is similar to scampi. Everything my husband ordered, he loved! The steak house was not to my liking as their beef just simply tastes different than ours. However, on that note, there was beef cooked different ways at the buffets that I simply couldn’t get enough of!
Buffets were plentiful. We found that if we went later, the lines were shorter. If you want something cooked fresh in front of you, then you’ll have to wait for it. For example the pasta bar, fresh cooked chicken of fish, etc. Families with young children and teens usually arrived first, understandably. There were two buffet restaurants. One had dim lighting and natural air while the other was more family oriented, air conditioned, large area with a greater variety of food. I personally loved the food there but sat and dined on the other side with the natural air.
Breakfast was a favourite in our group of 4. Homemade waffles and omelettes and smoothies. Again, if you want the fresh made you will have to wait. Towards the end of the trip, our friend tried daily to perfect a napkin rose that the “waffle lady” made. She loved his attempts every morning. She even took him aside when the breakfast rush slowed and showed him how to make one step-by-step.
We ate lunch daily at the little restaurant by our pool called the “Guarani.” They have excellent Calzones and poutine if you need a taste of home. Their pizza is cheesier than any I’ve have ever order back home. Look for our favourite waitress “Ingrid”. Beautiful young lady. I preferred the Cuban sandwich whenever I was hungry enough to eat. Breakfast usually tied me over until supper.
The beach had a sandwich bar that served Cuban sandwiches which were awesome! Get them early before they run out of buns and you have to have them on bread. The 24 hour bar and snack shop “Manacas” is another good place to eat. Be sure to order a Blue-Lagoon drink. Awesome!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Loved our pool and the pool bar. Javier, Renee and Dianna are the best! The beach was beautiful to walk along. Tropical fish and trumpet fish like shinny things and were going after my beads on my bathing suit. I could get them to jump out of the water after them. Note: that if you are into snorkelling, they usually have day old bread in a bag on the counter at the beach restaurant where they serve Cuban sandwiches. I see kids using it to feed the fish while they snorkelled. Lots of jelly fish, but they were harmless. We were told that if they were that close to shore that they were dead. Seen only one crab and it was the size of a Canadian Toonie.
The grounds were beautiful. The gardens especially. There is a man who looks like he is hiding in the trees and garden near the lobby. Turns out it’s his workshop. There he will make the bouquets and decorations for wedding and table tops. Look close and you might find a blue snake.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are a lot of activities for the kids. There is a day care and an activity pool. Near the adult pool on the other side of the resort there is an activity area with bowling, Ping-Pong, archery, etc. There is a disco for teens, etc.
We went on the catamaran. That was the highlight of the trip for me. But a few smoking tourists, had no respect for the rules. Please, please, please follow the rules they give you. They do and so should you The crew were very engaging and hard working. Engaged with the dolphins, swam/snorkelled in the coral reef. Next time I’d bring my own snorkel set. They also served appetizers after snorkelling. The island that we explored until lunch was ready was beautiful. You choose your lunch when you book the trip. Chicken or lobster. Lobster tails are what we are used to back home and not the scampi type. We had the chicken – which was roasted and seasoned to perfection. The lobster looked wonderful. Have your video camera ready and point it at the water when they throw the scraps over the side of the boat before you leave. The fish that jump and fight for the scraps are huge! Please bring money to tip the dolphin keepers, and the crew. I wanted to take the crew home! You will too when you see how hard they work! We seen a pod of dolphins and jelly fish of all sizes as we sailed.
We attended the nightly shows on the resort at the main theater. A good variety. Entertainment for the kids prior and then the main show. We participated once during the day at the beach, but missed all of the other activities, only because we were sun worshippers.
There was what I call a pretend town up from the resort. You can take a cab or the bus from the resort. Note: if you get your pictures taken with the dolphins, you have to go to this “town” to pick them up. We did not know this. We were told to pick them up at the resort. This little “town” has restaurants and little shops. Nightly entertainment and I think a disco. During the day in the center of it there was a little market. This is the only place to buy souvenirs other than the boutique on the resort. What they have is very beautiful, but not a lot of variety. But then we may have arrived too late. Some people think the restaurants here are free. No they are not. Bring your money.

If you need to communicate with people back home, there are phones which are very expensive and computer cards that you can purchase. Please don’t get frustrated with the computers. It’s like dial-up and very, very slow at times. Other times, it was fast. I found that using Facebook was the one sure way of getting in touch with everyone. It was obvious as I looked around the computer room that everyone else felt the same. It was fun to watch a group of teens who became friends at the resort and then add each other on their Facebook’s. We used the computer once per day just before we went to dinner for 10-15 minutes.

Other Comments:
I have only 2 complaints. Number 1 complaint was the Tourists! They littered the beach, the walkways on the resort, the lobby. I mean how difficult is it to throw your cup in the garbage. If you are going to hang out at the beach or the pool then why not invest in a Bubba Keg, or another container to keep your beverages in. Save the environment. Cups and straws littered all over no thanks to lazy tourists. So tourist, don’t complain about this please. Clean up after yourself. The staff can only do so much, but we really have to do our part. Especially along the beach!
My 2nd complaint was that my holiday was not long enough! I will be going back again, but this time with my children.

Staff:
Make sure, make sure, make sure you attend the Air Canada briefing! Our representative Roberto was the best! The staff of Melia Las Dunas were the best. There isn’t a single person that I could complain about. From the time I landed to when I left. They were helpful, polite, engaging, understanding, and caring. It was hard to leave, because we developed a friendship with some of the staff.

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"Beach is paradise!"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Carleen  on Mar 23, 2011  >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
537 people found this review helpful

Overall a lovely resort for a family to enjoy a vacation with one of the most beautiful beaches in the Carribean.

Room Number:
23

Room Block:
70

Arrival:
Our March break package was through Air Canada vacations. Arrived after 7:00 pm on Saturday; easily cleared through Cuban customs/security and escorted to buses. Received room key on bus,map of resort (which you will need!) info on excursions and our bags were taken directly to room when we arrived. Bus ride is quite long - 1.5 hours and it was in the dark so not a lot to see - much better on way back. Also, resort is very huge so trying to find room complex in dark was challenging - but one of the golf cart drivers stopped and asked if we had just arrived and gave us a lift to our room. We then went to the Beer Garden for a bite to eat (was ok - just hamburger and fries) and listened to a Cuban band. The weather was cool at night and wished all week that I had brought more sweaters.

Rooms:
We had to take two rooms since my oldest is over 16; the rooms were very large for the two of us, and kept very clean. The beds are quite firm but slept very well. Our balcony had no view - most rooms don't. We were by the adult/leisure pool - it was a very quiet area, very relaxing. The woman cleaning our room was lovely - I left her a tip and some small gifts (magazines, lipstick, nail polish, toothpaste, toothbrushes, medicines) every day and in return my room was spotless. She also came to personally thank me for the gifts. Our beer fridge(s) were stocked regularly - we tipped the gentleman who delivered water,beer, etc and as a result even had wine delivered to our room. Air Canada also gave each of its guests a bottle of rum. The bathroom is very large and the shower/tub is large - water always warm and good pressure. There's also a clothesline to hang up wet bathing suits.

Restaurants and Bars:
Ok - agree that Cuban food is not outstanding (other than my favourite rice and beans). But you can make do. Buffet food is buffet food - those who are critical should try to feed 2000 guests a day. But, there is a lot of choice - so you can get fresh omlettes, fruit, eggs the way you want, fresh crepes, waffles, fresh orange juice, -and stay away from the warming trade. For lunch we would go to the pool snack bar for pizza or ham and cheese sandwiches (always good) or to Los Caribes where they served fabulous roast chicken and rice and beans or you could get pork or chicken grilled. It's the fresh stuff like trying to get a good salad that is a challenge. With Air Canada we could go to 4 a la carte restaurants - we chose to go to three and did the buffet three times. At the buffet you could get fresh grilled fish at any point and it was very good. My kids really liked the food so the fact they were happy meant we were all happy. For the a la carte we went to the pizza restaurant (really nice small intimate restaurant and they served wood oven baked pizza), the sea food restaurant were we had lobster (the lobster bisque was excellent) and the mediterranean where the shrimp appetizer could rival any upscale restaurant. You can also purchase a better bottle of wine than the house wine - and the prices weren't bad, ranging between 14 to 20 pesos for a good bottle of wine from Spain or Australia.

The lobby bar is very busy - it's hard to get the attention of the bartenders and they really are working for their tips. The cappucino is the best though - don't get it in the buffet restaurant, treat yourself, give a peso for a tip and enjoy a really good cappucino.

Found the pool bartenders a lot less friendly than at the lobby bar.

Also there is an ice cream stand where you can get ice cream all day - the mint and chocolate were particularly good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools are very large - lots of chairs to sit on, plenty of shade. Biggest problem is the pools are extremely cold - frigid temperature in fact and they never warmed up, no matter how hot it got during the day. The ocean, by comparison was cold at the beginning of our stay but warmed up considerably. The beach is just heaven - you can walk over 12 kilometres uninterrupted - and the colour of the water, sound of the waves, just exquisite. One of the nicest beaches ever - and unlike Mexico and the Dominican, no one is bugging you to buy something, or to go to a time share, or anything like that. Yes, people do get out and stake their towels on the chairs, but I found there was no problem getting a chair that was a little further down the beach. The biggest issue would be how far you had to go to get to a washroom.

The grounds/gardens are lovely throughout the resort. The gardeners work on them full time. We gave our bartender one of our bottles of rum that we didnt' finish - no one thinks to tip them.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were less activities at the resort than I've experienced at other locations in the Carribean. However, it was also nice not to having someone yelling "animation,animation" all the time. My boys would go to the activity pool and my husband and I would stay at the leisure pool - they also said there was less activity at this resort, but they would go to the sports club and play volleyball, and they made a lot of friends which kept them quite busy.

We did the catamaran trip and would highly recommend it - snorkeling, plus some leisure time on a coral beach, a lobster lunch and dolphin encounter, all in all a great day. Please note, this is not swimming with dolphins and the dolphins are penned up during the day which upsets me somewhat - however, you do get to pet them, take pictures, get splashed by them, and the trainer says they are let out at night; they come back in the day for food.

There are shows every night if you are into that - we really enjoyed the Cuban house band - even bought there CD.

Other Comments:
This resort is very large; that to me is its biggest drawback. There are 900 rooms so two to four people in a room, that's a lot - and a lot of walking. The golf carts are helpful especially for seniors who might find it hard getting around - and you do have to walk someways to get to the beach (but it's worth it once you are there).

There are a lot of Quebecers - and I hate seeing all the reviews complaining about them as they are just as entitled to vacation as anyone else. I didn't find any of them to be rude, nor the smoking to be excessive.

However, this being March break, the hotel was full to capacity - so that did mean long waits - at the restaurants, at the bars, and just in general there were a lot of people. My preference is for a smaller resort - but that is why I enjoyed getting out and walking the beach so much as it was one way of getting quite a bit of solitude.

I'd recommend you tip the staff - you don't have to give a lot (some people were giving 20 pesos) but just a little to show appreciation. These people don't have a lot - no one lives like the tourists on vacation. Also, you need 25 pesos per person to leave the country - departure tax - and it must be pesos. There is a bank on the resort to change your money. And we also paid the extra money to sit at the airport lounge (only through AC Vacations) when we departed - as the wait was quite long (3 hours). You can get drinks and snacks in the lounge and watch CNN - which is how we found out about Libya being bombed - hence back to reality, vacation over.

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"Just Okay"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Deborah  on Mar 12, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
454 people found this review helpful


Room Number:
23

Room Block:
59

Arrival:
Feb. 25th 2011. This hotel is an hour and a half from Santa Clara airport. We paid extra to travel to the resort by taxi cab - BIG mistake! I swear the taxi driver thought he was in the Indy 500 which left us (in the back seat) holding on for dear life instead of enjoying the scenery.

Rooms:
Standard with fridge and king or two 3/4 beds. Our toilet had problems flushing and the air conditioner was sporadic (power saving I think).
Fridge got stocked every other day with beer, water and soft drinks.
There is no clock in the rooms so bring a travel clock if you need an alarm for when you go home - don't count on a wake up call from the front desk!!

Restaurants and Bars:
Several a la carte restaurants but not much better than the buffets. The ambiance is much nicer though and your meals are served to you.
There's a beer garden near the boulevard heading to the beach. It's open 24 hours and serves hot dogs, hamburgers and fried chicken.
Lobby bar is the place where you can order specialty coffees - cappuccinos are to die for!!!
The lobby is the place to be before and after dinner. There's live entertainment there most evenings and people just sit and mill about and drink.
The food is just okay - nothing great but you won't go hungry.
Ice cream is very good - try some out at the ice cream parlor on the boulevard! You'll love it.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is by far the best part of this resort. It's natural beauty will captivate you in a heart beat. Turquoise waters with white powdery sand. No palm trees though but lots of palapas to give shade.
Be careful in the water on calm days - we saw a 3 foot barracuda in the water as well as several jelly fish. That didn't seem to deter people from swimming though - it did me!!!
The pools are lovely. Lots of chairs and shaded areas for the faint of heart! The only problem is that the washrooms never seem to have toilet paper or soap! Given the problems that could arise as a result of this - nothing was done about it. We went and talked to the manager and told him it was unacceptable to have public washrooms lacking in soap and toilet paper and he just said he'd look into it. We were there 2 weeks and nothing was done. We carried hand sanitizer and toilet paper around with us the entire time.
Grounds are nice but more could be done to pick up garbage!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Not much happening there. We didn't visit the family side of the resort so maybe they had something going on over there but it was pretty quiet on the adult side.
Excursions can be purchased at the tour desk - we stayed put.

Other Comments:
Staff are very friendly but there are too few for the size of this property. I think a lot more could be done (washroom cleanliness for example) if there were more staff employed.

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"Une semaine de rêve !"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  MICHELINE  on Feb 20, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) FRANCE
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Wedding | Family and Kids
466 people found this review helpful

La première chose qui m'a impressionnée fut l'accueil. De l'aéroport jusqu'à l'hôtel, puis à l'hôtel même. Le personnel était tellement accueillant, toujours souriant, prêt à répondre à la moindre demande. Un décor tel que sur les photos du site. Le site est très vaste, mais les petites voitures avec chauffeurs sont toujours à disposition. L'organisation du mariage de mon neveu fut impeccable de A à Z. Les activités proposées, à la hauteur de nos espérances. Les buffets, les restaurants, les bars, les piscines tout était fait pour le confort et la satisfaction des clients. Et bien sûr la mer turquoise, le sable blanc, je vous le dis, comme sur les photos. J'ai surtout apprécié la gentillesse du personnel, j'y reviens, mais pour moi c'est essentiel. Si on a un super hôtel et que le personnel est désagréable, ça gâche tout.
J'ai aimé le principe des chambres regroupées par 16, entourées de verdure, à quelques mètres de la piscine. On n'a jamais été gênés par le bruit ou par les voisins.

Room Number:
16

Room Block:
03

Arrival:
L'arrivée tardive en soirée et le site immense, nous a un peu perturbés. Mais dès que le jour s'est levé ça allait mieux. Il ne faut pas hésiter à demander une voiturette pour se rendre à la chambre avec les bagages. Mais ça, nous ne le savions pas.

Rooms:
La femme de chambre absolument charmante. Propreté impeccable. La bouteille de rhum tous les matins sur la table basse.

Restaurants and Bars:
J'ai préféré les buffets aux restaurants à la carte.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Piscine nettoyée tous les matins.

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"Nice stay "

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Merita  on Feb 7, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
426 people found this review helpful

The resort is very nice. It's huge , but you can find your way around as there are signs everywhere. They can improve the lighting at night, altghough is very safe to walk everywhere.
Entertanimet is very good. We had three days of bad weather, but they kept us entertained with lot's of different activities.
The food is good and lot's of variety.
The rooms in the ground floors are very damp and the smell is too strong. The cleaning is not up to the standards. Bathroom needed lots of attention. Fan doesn't work and all the steam goes into the room. We asked other couples who were in the ground floor and they all had complains about the damp.
The bartendenders are not friendly and nice. If you don't tip them , they complety ignore you and serves others who come after you.
The beach is spectacular. White sandy beach and the water is cristal clear.

Room Number:
3916 and 3911

Room Block:
39

Arrival:
Everything was extremely well organized. no need to wait for check in. The room keys are waiting for you on your arrival.

Rooms:
Need attention

Restaurants and Bars:
very good

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
excellent

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The best resort for activities so far

Other Comments:
I am not sure if I will go back. The staff not very friendly and most of vacationers are french speaking from Quebec.

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"great vacation"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Louise  on Dec 31, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
436 people found this review helpful

We had a great stay at this hotel. For us it was our seventh times over there. Always a pleasure to go back home and to see our friend. For us we are visiting our Cuban family over there. The hotel is nice, the staff over there is always smiling and trying to help you make the most of your stay over there. The restaurants a la carte are good. Specially the Italian one who is our favorite. The entertainment at the central place is a must for real Cuban music and for dancing . The beach is great for long walk.. Because we have found a place were we are well treated and we've never been deceived. We would really recommend this place to all of our friend and family. In fact we are planning to get married over there next year for our 25th anniversary.

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"Muy lindo el hotel melia las dunas"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sra. Noelia Cao  on Dec 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) ARGENTINA
Visited on: Dec, 2010
384 people found this review helpful

Hola hace un mes volvimos de Cuba, nos encanto este hotel, hermosa la playa, la arena blanca, el paraiso realmente, se los aconsejo para que vayan a visitarlo no se van a arrepentir, a nosotros nos encanto siempre la buena predisposicion de la gente se desviven por atenderte, no existe un no, volveremos porque nos encanto.

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"Disappointing weather but fabulous resort!"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Micheline  on Mar 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
352 people found this review helpful

My husband and I visited the Melia las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba from February 16th to 23rd 2010. Weather was quite cool, windy and overcast for our stay. We had one and half day of warm, sunny weather. Apparently it was like this over most of Cuba for this week.

Your Arrival:
We finally flew with Transat on a airbus 310, although from the time we booked our trip in October to the time we left in February, they changed flight times and airlines four times and added a stop in Varadero. We had paid for specific seats with more leg room and ended up not getting these seats because of the changes. I am still waiting to be reimbursed by Canjet for the seat reservations. Arrival at Santa Clara airport went well, we went through immigration/customs quickly and only waited a few minutes for our bags. The ride to the resort was 90 minutes in an air-conditionned bus and was interesting although it was dark. The ride back upon return was much more interesting as it was daylight.

Rooms:
We had an upper level room in building 49 with a garden view and near one of the beach boardwalks. The room was lovely, clean, well decorated. The king sized bed was very comfortable and the maid did a great job every day. The only negative aspect was lack of soundproofing. You can hear everything. And I mention this mainly because I was coughing (had a cold) for the first few days and was worried about bothering my neighbors (who slammed their doors constantly, spoke loudly all the time and did not seem to care what time it was...makes you wonder why I even cared about bothering them). You can hear people coming and going and conversations very clearly as well. If you have civilized and consciencious neighbors, this is not an issue. But when travelling, some people are just completely obtuse I guess.

Restaurants and Bars:
Both buffets were great. Lots of choice, variety, plenty of fresh fruit, different meats and vegetables, custom pizzas made to your liking as well as pasta, marinated and grilled meats, shrimp, sushi, desserts, salads! You can always find something good to eat. We loved the fresh orange juice, croissants and the coffee in the morning. Amazing staff. Kudos to Alain (buffet and pool snack bar) and Lester (Seafood restaurant).

We only tried two à la carte restaurants because we wanted to spend more time with our waiter Alain at the buffet. The Seafood restaurant was excellent and we were treated like royalty. The Los Siboneyes Grill was not very good, but this is mainly due to our selections because we heard that the red snapper was excellent. Service was not very good at the Grill for some reason. It must have been an "off" night for them? We wanted to buy a better bottle of wine but they had NOTHING left but the regular Spanish wine that they serve everywhere and is bottled in Cuba. It was fine. Service was fantastic everywhere else we tried.

Sandwiches at the pool snack bar and Beer Garden were always delicious and hit the spot.

The beach grill was amazing. Whole grilled fish, creole chicken and a great buffet where you can build your own hamburger.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Two large pools that are lovely but we aren't pool people when we travel to the ocean. Still a nice relaxing spot for the end of the day. One pool is for families and has entertainment and a kiddie area, the other is for adults and is more quiet and relaxing.

The beach is gorgeous. White sand, not a rock or a pebble in sight. Turquoise water. It was very windy for most of our stay but we had one afternoon and one day of sunny warm weather with calm water. An entire week of this would have been heaven! You can walk up and down the beach for a long time, there are some more deserted sections to see. Bathrooms are far from the beach area so when you have to go you have to give yourself the time to walk to the beach snack bar (that is not on the beach at all) or back to your room, depending on where you are located. We had a good 10 minute walk (to and back) to our room to go to the bathroom when on the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Many activities are offered although we only visited the nearby villages. You can take a tour of Santa Clara and Trinidad, among other places. You can even arrange to have dinner with a Cuban family through your guide. There are catamaran excursions, deep sea fishing, jeep excursions, etc.

You can't rent scooters, too dangerous, apparently. We usually rent scooters at other resorts in Cuba and explore. Never had any problems. You can rent jeeps or cars and bicycles. There is a sort of mini village with shops about 8 km away, easy bike ride.

Other Comments:
This is a fabulous resort. It is relatively new (2006) and so in good shape. It is a bit large for our taste (nearly 1000 rooms), we prefer smaller resorts but if you love to walk and explore, it is great! We would walk over to a new section that is under construction and give baseball caps, money and other gifts to the construction workers who don't get as much attention as the hotel staff. They were quite happy.

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"OOOOO la la"

Melia Las Dunas
User Rating:  Melia Las Dunas Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Rhonda  on Feb 4, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
302 people found this review helpful

My husband and I traveled for one week with 16 year old son .We have previously been to varadero- paradisus , costa rica- fiesta premier(now the hilton) Dominican republic -at the grande palladium punta cana and although there are many places yet to see this resort is one to return to soon .

Your Arrival:
The air port was well organized, they had us up on buses in no time at all and well on our way. The bus ride was like a tour if you can make sure your trip on the bus is in the light it is very informative. It took about 90 minutes but sure didn't feel like that as there was a running commentary about that part of Cuba and Cuban culture, It took you thru nice farmland also plenty of old cars on the way and while going thru the towns they took you right thru the streets and slowed right down to look in the houses and shops. Very interesting. On the bus room keys and bracelets and check in info was passed out.

Rooms:
Upon arrival we went to our assigned room ours, was in the 72 building with as asked for a room next door for our son. Our room was fine we didn't get the king size bed but 2 singles pushed together would have been OK. My sons room was extremely stale smelling (although this is expected in a humid climate) upon investigating the air conditioner did not work. Called the front desk and went to eat, and did stop at the desk where they told us that was being looked into. After eating went back to the room to investigate and discovered the air conditioner still did not work. Called the desk and they were expecting our call. They apologized and said it was impossible to fix and that they were very sorry but they needed to move us both ......so sorry but we have a very nice room for you on the beach we were moved quickly to the 46 building which is probably the best building of the resort.

Restaurants and Bars:
Always could find plenty of great food, remember Cuba cooks with lots of olive oil our systems aren't really used to for some an adjustment time is needed. Take pepto-bismol or Imodium. Definitely try the calamari at the beer garden. OOO the beach barbecue had lobster for like 4 hours straight never ran out my son said that the chicken was great too. We did the romantico restaurant and the steak house also great

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
beautiful beaches and yes you need to get a chair I did always see chairs at the pool but never did have time to sit there.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
went on the catamaran tour son went scuba diving, both were wonderful We saw the jet ski tour it looked really good. but we just didn't have time.

Other Comments:
This is a great resort always plenty to do. The bands under the stars after supper were so nice, there they also tried to get you to dance which many did. The only down points were there is no bathroom by the beach. closest were at the pools or for us our room but we were lucky. The staff spoke English very well along with their Spanish and french so language was never a barrier.

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