Sol Cayo Santa María Reviews

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Sol Cayo Santa María  

Cayo Santa Maria, Caiberien, 52610, Villa Clara
(Jardines del Rey)

"Nice vacation"
Posted by: Leon  on Feb 18, 2016
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Sol Cayo Santa María Reviews
Sol Cayo Santa María Pictures and Information
Sol Cayo Santa María Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria

User rating 4.0

Based on 24 reviews

Sol Cayo Santa María Information

This All-Inclusive property overlooks a whiter than white sand beach and blue-green sea.

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Sol Cayo Santa María Reviews

Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 4.0 of 5 24 reviews
Very good
By Occasion...
Business (1)
Leisure (19)
By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (5)
Solo Traveller (4)
With friend (2)
With Spouse/Partner (9)
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1 - 10 of 24

"Terriblemente pesima"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  LIZZANI  on Aug 27, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Aug, 2011 | Business | Family and Kids
476 people found this review helpful

El peor hotel que he visitado en mi vida.el ma sucio,el mas pobre,el mas desscuidado,abandonado.las baneras tapadas,aires acondicionados danados,toallas sucias y manchadas.mucha falta d piscina mas asquerosa del comida mas mala,la poca k aparecia,nunca habia agua para tomar.el servicio era pesimo,empezando por los empleados y terminando por el manager del hotel.gregorio coca.el hombre mas perro,odioso,grosero e inhumano k pueda haber en el trata bien,ni a los huespedes del hotel,pero menos a los un animal vestido de gay...el hotel se esta cayendo a pedazos y el solo se preocupa en explotar el personal d trabajo,no los deja ni tomar agua.les cobra cada plato k se rompe,cada cuchara k se pierde.ese hotel es la peor porkeria k he visto en mi hay palabras exactas para describirlo.........nunca se atrevan a una pesadilla.un daycare sin aire acondicionado,un gym cayendose a pedazos.el dinero mas mal gastado d mi vida. Al gerente para lo k esta bueno es para tirarselo al mar,pak se lo coman los tiburones.

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Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Monica  on Jan 18, 2015  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2015 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
576 people found this review helpful

My husband and I spent a week at this resort from Jan 2 2015. We were excited after reading all the reviews that were happy about their stay. But when we got there we were very unhappy. We paid for ocean view V.I.P and got a room that was facing all the brush, the sliding door was not easy to open, the tub was disgusting and the toilet didn't work. The resort wasn't very clean, the staff weren't very friendly and didn't speak much English, the Wi-Fi almost never worked. We were very happy that we did the excursions and rented a scooter so that we didn't have to spend much time at this resort. The beach of this resort also wasn't very nice.

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"Gorgeous Beach, but the room was lacking"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  lynn  on Apr 9, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
779 people found this review helpful

We love Cuba and will definitely be returning, but we will not be returning to Sol Cayo Santa Maria. If your sole reason for going to Cuba is for the beach then this is the place to stay, but be warned...the rooms are terrible. The grounds were lovely and the entertainment was lots of fun. The staff are very friendly for the most part...we did have the unfortunate experience of having a grumpy server one morning for breakfast, but aside from him everyone was great. Since we didn't spend a lot of time in the room it wasn't really that big a deal, but this is definitely not a 3 star resort...2 at best.

Room Block:

Good arrival...very efficient

The room was extremely shabby. The lamp shade was torn, the shower nozzle was broken, the bedskirt was filthy. The room needs a complete overhaul even a fresh coat of paint on the walls would be an improvement. The one thing it was though was very clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
It's Cuba...the food wasn't wonderful, but it wasn't awful either.

Absolutely gorgeous.

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"Upkeep Severely Lacking!"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  P & C  on Mar 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
394 people found this review helpful

We just returned from a week’s stay at the Sol Cayo Santa Maria & feel compelled to write this review. We also stayed at the Sol in 2006. We highly recommended it to others for its impeccable cleanliness, intimate quaintness, beautiful beach & excellent service. Unfortunately, we can no longer do so. Now, we would be hard pressed to give this resort 3 stars. We were very disappointed to see how much it has declined in 4 years.

• Great beach! Soft white sand, not crowded. Very soft sand - makes walking tricky, but can walk for hours
• Small setting – never feel crowded
• Still some great staff who are friendly, polite, & attentive – one particular manager took extra attention to see that things were rectified – she was not able make a significant difference despite her efforts
• Nice piano bar to spend time in evenings – a variety of entertainment
• Great nautical staff! Very friendly. Excellent free catamaran rides.
• Very good Italian restaurant
• Rm 5705 was very private with great view
• Wonderful catamaran day excursion – great snorkelling, very relaxing, friendly & attentive crew, good lunch, interaction with dolphins

• Arrived to room where the A/C didn’t work, nor the TV, & there was no water. To give credit to staff, these were dealt with quickly & efficiently. However, extra towels we asked for were not delivered until the next day after another phone call & speaking to the chamber maid personally.
• The water that was supposed to be put in the room daily only arrived without us asking for it 3 out of 7 days.
• A/C broke down a 2nd time.
• Cleanliness of resort a big problem. Rooms had dirty floors, patio doors & window. Actually the windows & floors throughout the resort needed a good cleaning.
• Some towels were very thin, having seen better days.
• The bath mat was never replaced, even when thrown on the floor.
• The counter was only washed after we asked for it to be done.
• The bathtub had rust stains & very old hardware.
• The shower curtain had mould & mildew starting in the hem.
• Painted items (pergolas, railings, lattices, etc.) needed refreshing in a bad way.
• Pool dirty around the edges
• The public washroom areas were disgraceful – no toilet seats, broken door locks, no soap, dirty floors, toilet paper in place of paper towel. A bar employee was observed using the toilet, squeezing a pimple, not washing his hands and walking away.
• Sandwiches made on filthy grills in pool bar.
• Service was hit and miss. While some staff are still excellent, others blatantly ignored us or served us initially & then never checked again. One day, the person who delivered the water to our room helped himself to the 2 pesos left for the chambermaid.
• Food was often lukewarm or cold. Limited selection of food. Certain utensils seemed to be in short supply.

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"Could be the start of something special!"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Bob  on Oct 13, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
815 people found this review helpful

We enjoyed our selves very much at this resort. Found it to be the right size . Not too big ,not too small.
Food was as good as could be expected The service, as per all the resorts we've stayed at in Cuba, Very good! , A good variety of liquor.
No complaints other than the lack of Palapas on the beach.
We will return!

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"Only a 3 1/2 Star"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  David  on May 11, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
691 people found this review helpful

This was our 8th trip to Cuba, but the first to CSM. We always go 4 Star and have always been delighted with the resort we chose.

I always use Debbie’s Carribean to choose my Cuban vacation. I usually dismiss the totally negative reports, as some people are never happy with anything. As regarding Sol, they were actually right. I’ll break down the resort into departments and give you my honest opinions on them.

Cuban Customs were much more investigative than I have experienced in the past. Agents seemed to be selecting people at random from the lines and questioning them before they entered the "booth". My wife was questioned quite extensively, even though this was our 8th trip to Cuba. They are also taking your photo on entry and exit.
Note: On departure, you are now not allowed any liquids, including alchohol on your carry-on baggage, as applies when leaving a North american airport. all liquids must be in checked baggage. Your duty free alchohol is now sealed in a security bag on purchase.

Rooms: Clean enough to start, but in bad repair. The safe was broken when we checked in, and we waited ages for a technician who simply pushed the broken parts together. The air con only had once speed, “blast” so we wanted to use the ceiling fan, which didn’t work. Customer Service told us “they are all broken, we don’t fix them anymore”!
After that we struggled with heavy closet doors which were jammed in their tracks and a TV which flickered on and off the whole time.
It must have been an architect with a sense of humor who designed all of the rooms with a picture window in the bathroom! I rather enjoyed showering looking out at the jungle, but it might have been a bit different in the suites where the windows face the public walkways. Gotta hope that blind doesn’t pop up, Girls!

Housekeeping: Despite the fact we tipped well, it was hit and miss whether the bathroom was cleaned or not. Finally had to leave a note on the mirror to Please Clean the Bathroom, which actually worked. Yes, the towel elephant and swans are cute, but I’d rather have a clean toilet than a towel heart; and why the hell would you use a soiled wet towel to make one in the first place? Yuk!

Restaurants and Bars:
Food: This is where we start to go downhill. I know it is said Cuban food is bland, but in all of our other visits this was not the case. It seemed that any food that was pre-cooked was totally overcooked; vegetables were mushy and meats and fish were usually hard and dry. If you stay with the fresh grill, you will get properly cooked meat and fish. Pasta and Pizza is available freshly made, and fruits are plentiful when in season. We were always able to have a decent meal, but never saw shrimp or crab! Deserts were on the sweet side, with mostly icing and sugary items.
The best part was the Champagne on Ice for morning Mimosa’s and a lunchtime toast!
You may or may not get used to the plentiful Mockingbirds in the Buffet restaurant who freely share the salad and bread bar with the guests, with little apparent intervention from staff.

A La Carte: Sol advertises two of these, but one was closed and under renovations, which we were told by Customer Service would be completed by our second week. It seems Cuban renovations consist of a gutted building with workers sleeping in the shade during the day. Nothing changed in the two weeks. There were two other facilities which could have functioned well as a replacement, but these were not used.
We went to the Italian a La Carte twice, as we couldn’t believe it could be that bad more than once, but it was. Ambiance and service is fine, but the entrees were inedible. The fish we had the first time was so overcooked it was like compressed wood fibre, and the beef the second time was so tough it should have been put through a blender.

Beach: The beach is consistently beautiful in it’s entire length, so use this to pick your location, but not the resort itself. Sand drops quickly at the waterline, so you are very soon in deeper water; if you are not a swimmer you will be staying very close to shore.
There is a “reef” at the far western end, but it is flat and featureless with almost no fish or coral, as it receives the full force of the ocean waves. The only fish I found were a few small reef fish along the rocks at the western end of Sol’s beach. Definitely not a reef-diving destination. However, the Catamaran excursion takes you to an actual reef in more protected waters.
Pool: Large and warm. Cleaned frequently and the tiles didn’t feel slimy underfoot.

Safety: If this resort were in North America it would be and Injury Lawyer’s heaven. Numerous holes to trip in, a rotting plank on the walkway by the Piano bar that my wife (95LBs) almost went through. A heavier person will likely break through for a drop of 3 feet! Missing grids along the pool that someone will eventually fall through and suffer serious injury. Numerous small ledges and steps that are very easy to miss in the dark. You have to watch your feet all the time around this resort.

Grounds: I got the distinct feeling that Sol had been abandoned for about ten years, and had only recently re-opened. Some units are so overgrown with jungle they look like a newly discovered archaeology site. Much of the shrubbery is dead or dying and in very poor condition. The few gardeners I saw spent endless hours raking leaves from patches of grass and sand, while ignoring piles of palm fronds and garbage which sat for days in the public areas.
There are a number of water features and ponds in and around the front lobby; must have been nice in days past, but they are now fetid pools of murky algae and debris. Perhaps one of the gardeners could put on some boots and remove the accumulation of garbage in these ponds which has obviously been there for months if not years. How can management walk past this mess and not have someone assigned to cleaning them out?

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Take the double decker bus to the Pueblo a la Estrella, where there is a large, clean tourist shopping area to buy the typical Cuban handicrafts and souvenirs. Walk up the "cathedral" tower for a nice view of the island. There are several restaurants and bars there and it it the place the party set go at night for the disco's and bars there.
There is a second Pueblo very close to Sol, the one with the Pirate Ship Bar. It can be reached with an easy walk through the Melia resort next door.

Animacion try and organize games and activities, but their success is dependent upon the number of guests who want to participate.

Staff / Management:
Hotel Staff: The reviews on the staff were very complementary and played a major factor in choosing this hotel. And yes they were great, and we made several very good friends among the servers. But this in itself was not enough.

Management: There Is??? Saw various white shirts walking between offices, but never once saw a manager interacting with the guests. This was totally different from the other resorts we have been at where the managers were very visible and accessible to us. I guess they are tired of complaints and it’s easier to just stay out of sight.

If you stayed with me this far, congratulations, but I really wanted to do a comprehensive report. We had a good time, and enjoyed ourselves; most of these deficiencies could be rectified with very little capital expenditure, simply by better management and allocation of resources. It might even deserve a Four Star rating.

If low cost is your only condition, then go to Sol. But I wish we had spent a bit more money and gone to either of the two Melia resorts right next door. Walk over to them and it is like a portal to another world or lush gardens, flowering shrubs and clean fountains.

We will return to CSM on a future trip, but no way will we go back to Sol!


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"When you need to get away and unwind...."

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Barbara  on Nov 25, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
928 people found this review helpful

Room Number:

Sunwing as always was great - customs was the easiest I've ever done - a nicely-narrated ride to the hotel. We were given our info on the bus, and check in was very quick. We were so glad to be there and have a drink that we missed the golf carts to take us to our room, but be sure to ask for a golf cart if you want to save your energy!

Biggest rooms I've ever been in 14 trips to Cuba, HUGE bathroom, and always kept very clean. Great maid service, although I never met the maid, and the Ancient Cuban Art of Towel Origami is alive and well at SCSM. The bathroom had a strange window placement - the shower wall is a giant glass window - but there is a pull-down blind.

Safe was no charge, TV had many channels in Spanish, English, Chinese, German and of course, CNN.

Restaurants and Bars:
We mostly stuck to the buffet which was quite good. You could have custom omelettes and crepes in the morning, custom cooked beef, pork, chicken, seafood at lunch and dinner, as well as a hot table featuring a roast pork, beef wellington or fish (just one of each per day). Always lots of fresh fruit, a selection of cold cuts, cheeses, olives, guava slices at both lunch and dinner. The staff were very friendly and on the ball - after a day or so, they knew our preferences and our glasses were always filled. We ate at the Italian La Fontanella one night, and it is very good. Another night was the Cuban dinner which is in an outdoor setting, so wear bugspray at night. We liked the lobby bar with its wide selection of drinks (Havana Club 7 Yr Old and Crema de Catalan were my favourites). The Piano bar is beautiful. For lunch, we enjoyed La Picua, the bar/grill at the beach. Great burgers, and grilled fish, and the staff are great. La Picua had the very best cafe con leche I've ever had

Pool even had bar service which was a real surprise - nothing nicer than being brought a Cubata while you lounge in the pool.

Beach is stunning, clean, long, and the colours of the water are breathtaking. Unfortunately, the week we were there it was very rough so we only got one day, and then spent the rest of our time in the round quiet pool. I found the pool to be clean and the water was unheated so it was great to cool down in. Towels are from the Animacion/ping pong area and you have to hand in your "letter" from check in, so they can tally the towels. There is a very shallow kiddie pool on the other side of the pool bar.

Grounds were spectacularly well kept and constantly being trimmed/mowed/improved upon. Elsewhere I had read a negative review about holes in walkways, and those were being repaired daily.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Did not see much Animacion but would not have noticed anyways, I was there to vegetate and float. Nightly shows until 10:30 pm, and then the music is on until 11:00 (I was near the stage so I heard it), but afterward it is quite quiet. I did not find it to be a huge party resort although really that depends on the guests.

We booked a taxi and did a tour to Santa Clara to see the Che Monument and Mausoleum (which was CLOSED ON MONDAY so be aware of that), then we had a great lunch at Restaurant Buganvila, one block away from the central parque; HUGE meal for about 10 CUC pp, and we could not finish it all. Very clean place, clean bathroom and clean kitchen. They even threw in a free bottle of wine.

We had earlier gone to Las Estrellas, a Disney-fied version of Old Cuba, and I had bought cigars at the LCDH. When in Santa CLara, the LCDH had things for half the price. Punch Minis in a tin were 11.60 at Estrellas and were 4.70 in Santa Clara.

Other Comments:
Be sure to visit Remedios which has a church started in 1555 - very beautiful church and a lovely little town to wander about in. Caibarien is the closet town to CSM, across the 50 km causeway, and that is where most of the staff come from, although some come from Santa Clara as well. Having made the journey in an air-conditioned car, we could only imagine the commute in a worker's bus. Even though it is an all-inclusive, hopefully guests will be motivated to tip for good service (which we had in spades), as they do work long shifts.

Many thanks to Carlos the Sunwing Rep who was very helpful with information about the area, and to all the great staff who always had a friendly Hola!

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"Comfortable second home!"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  eeeefarm  on Jan 23, 2010  >  12 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Solo
369 people found this review helpful

Female, solo travel, my fifth visit to this resort.

Your Arrival:
I travelled with Air Canada Vacations. Routine evening arrival. Transfer to resort went smoothly. Quick check in and bellboy conveyed my checked luggage to my room almost immediately.

I stayed in 1702, which is in the area I had requested. My fifth visit to this resort, so it really is a "second home" to me. The room was clean and comfortable. My only complaint was that the shower is difficult to adjust to my liking, but I just used it as a hand shower and that was fine.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet restaurant had lots of variety and the staff were efficient and helpful. I ate three times at the Italian restaurant and once at the Cuban. Food varied from excellent to adequate, depending on what I ordered. The Italian restaurant overcooked the fish. At the Cuban, it was perfect.

The Piano Bar remains my favourite. Service is always good and I enjoy the entertainment very much. I had Spanish coffee here quite a few times.

Los Flamencos bar was my choice for lunch most days. Great pizza! The service was also very good.

The beach as always was fabulous. At the moment Sol has the best area of beach....nice and wide, even at high tide. I don't swim in the pools, but they are kept in pristine condition and I like to sit and read beside the quiet, shady pool. The grounds are well kept and they are busy cutting back some of the more exuberant foliage around the habitations. Gives a better view, but less privacy.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I spent my days beach walking, sailing, and snorkelling. I didn't bother with excursions off the resort. Had a great week with several memorable sails and a couple of very good snorkelling sessions at the west end of the beach in front of the small island

Internet is available during the day. Not fast, but adequate to send a few emails.

Other Comments:
Sol was the first resort I visited in Cuba, and remains my favourite. I return to either Sol or Melia next door every year, and I am never disappointed. The staff are excellent and make me feel welcome. This place is just so comfortable and relaxing, which keeps me coming back. That, and the wonderful beach! I'll be returning next December.


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"Excelllent Value"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Marina  on Mar 18, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
365 people found this review helpful

Great flight,clear weather the whole flight, seats a little tight, we flew with Skyservice, no complaints, it's only a 3 1/2 hour flight. Everything went smooth and arrival was on time. We were on the busses on our way to Santa Maria in less then an hour.

Your Arrival:
There were only 6 of us going to the Sol Club, check in was quick, we found our rooms got changed and were at the pool bar within 1/2 hour of arriving.

We had a nice room in one of the single buildings close to the beach restaurant walkway, very private balcony surrounded by shrubs, could hear the ocean but not see it from our room.
Room was spacious and clean, as was bathroom, loved the big picture window in the shower. Room safe was included no extra cost. Missed having a coffee maker in the room, but we knew there was none when we booked.

Restaurants and Bars:
Had dinner at the Italian restaurant, we really enjoyed it the food was good. Also ate at the Cuban restaurant, found it excellent, service and food.
Buffet was also very good, lots of choices, one really never has to go hungry.
The lobby bar was the best for drinks, as in being consistant with them, at the pool bar they changed as they changed bartenders, everyone seemed to have a different version and some we not very good. Drinks at the piano bar were also good.

Pool was very clean but a bit on the fresh side, felt good once you got in. Beach was beautiful, the week before we were there, they must have had a good storm, because the walk way from the beach restaurant to the beach was washed away as was most of the sand on that side, one had to walk more towards the Melia to find the wide beach sand for sitting on loungers.Never had a problem getting a lounge at either the pool or the beach, always lots available.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on the Catamaran tour, was alot of fun, had a beautiful day lots of sun and hot hot hot, which made being on a boat really enjoyable. Fun group of people and nice tour guides made for 6 hours of enjoyment:-)

Other Comments:
All in all we had a great week at the Sol Club Santa Maria, would definitly return, the staff was very friendly, the service was great, very enjoyable week!

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"it was great"

Sol Cayo Santa María
User Rating:  Sol Cayo Santa María Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  neil  on Oct 30, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
788 people found this review helpful

Sunwing flight was on time. Check in through customs in cuba was no problem. The bus ride was great and the road there are really good.Check in at the hotel was fast. The rooms are very clean and the staff totally helpful. We did not do the special dinners because the buffet had everything we wanted.The hotel is a little old but they are cleaning everything up verry nicely. It was a great holiday for my wife and I. We would go back tomorrow.

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