Melia Las Dunas Hotel, Cayo Santa Maria Cuba. 5 stars,
Start based on 43 reviews
- Destination: Cayo Santa Maria
- Address: Cayo Santa Maria, Caibarien
- Phone: (5342)350100
- Accept child:Yes
- $ No pricePer person
Description: Melia Las Dunas Hotel Cuba
The Meliá Las Dunas hotel is located in Santa María cay which is part of Jardines del Rey archipielago. A wide strip of white sand, crystal clear waters of blue turquoise color, wild green vegetation and a rich variety of endemic fauna makes this region, declared Reserve of Biosphere ranks as one of the most exotic areas of the whole Caribbean. This 5-star, All Inclusive vacation resort, the highest Sol Meliá category, is perfect for the wedding and honeymoon, family, events and incentive segments of the market. The property houses 925 rooms overlooking the ocean or the exuberant tropical gardens and swimming pool area, which have been elegantly decorated and furnished with modern comforts, personalized service. Location: Located beachfront, 55 km from Cabairen, 75 km from Remedios, 198 km from Trinidad, 177 km from Cienfuegos and 386 km from Havana. Cayo Santa Maria is connected to Cuba, the largest island of the national archipelago, by a 48 km causeway starching across the sea. There is a local airport for small and medium size aircrafts in Cayo Las Brujas, 10 km away and an international airport in the city of Santa Clara, 110 km from Cayo Santa Maria.
Mapa de Melia Las Dunas Hotel
Gazebos in the beach, lobby and boulevard, Multipurpose room fully equipped and located in a privileged area within the hotel, Varied gastronomic offer both day and night, with more than 5 options in restaurants, bars and cafeterias, Recreation boulevard with a central square, ideal for morning strolls, with a selection of live cultural offers every night. Romantic palapas situated in different areas of the hotel, Recreation areas and an indoor theater ideal for all types of activities, Large swimming pools situated in both areas of the hotel, with Jacuzzi, wadding area and one especially for children and families, Spacious rooms with balcony offering beautiful garden, swimming pool and ocean view, Its spacious lobby, renowned for its bright colors, mirrors of water and shady palapas, connects with a unique boulevard with a central square, The property offers guests two different ambiences, one for families and another for couples, joined by a charming boulevard fringed with gastronomic services and cultural attractions., Situated in a paradisiacal islet surrounded by white dunes and abundant endemic wildlife, with 10 km of fine-sand beaches, Elegant, refined, modern and fashionable ambience. Ideal for combining families and couples within the same environment, Located in Cayo Santa Maria, one of the keys in the Jardines del Rey archipelago and connected to the Cuban mainland by a 48 Km causeway. This feat of Cuban engineering was granted the Puente de Alcántara Ibero- American Award for its technical achievemen
24 hrs. emergency medical service, art Gallery, babysitting, beauty salon, bell boy, bikes, board games, buffet, business centre, car parking, car rental, conference rooms, cyber cafe, disabled facilities, discotheque, grill, gym, hotel shop, laundry & dry cleaning service 24 hrs., luggage storage, massage, money exchange, motorized water sports, multi-language staff, no smoking rooms, post office, Reception 24 hrs., room services 24 hrs., safety deposit box in room, satellite tv, sauna, scuba diving center, Solarium, spa service, swimming pool, taxis, tennis courts, theme Restaurants, tourism bureau, wi-fi wireless,
- 98 % of people enjoy this
“Terrible stay ”
My first trip to Cuba but i was not happy with our stay there i would not recommend anyone to go and stay here :( it was not clean and the food services where not good over all not a good place for any holidays
“Amazing beach ”
Visited the third week of August. My first trip to Cuba and hubby's second. He had been to the resort a few years ago and had suggested we go, but found it different this time. Other than an amazing beach with unbelievably clear water, we don't have a reason to go back. The resort was clean and staff were friendly but it did not meet or exceed our expectations in most areas. The kids club (which we rely on as we have only one child who gets bored being stuck with Mom/Dad) had great staff, but no kids seem to attend the week we were there so he had no reason to go. A disappointment for everyone :( The pools were very busy and extremely loud so we avoided them after one visit. There were no chairs free anyway. And why anyone would want to be at a noisy crowded pool when there is an awesome beach where we always found a cabana is beyond me. Only drawback on the beach is there are no washrooms remotely close and it's a long walk back to your room! We found the food mediocre. Note to staff - when you have no soya sauce perhaps take sushi off the menu that night. Teriyaki sauce is not a suitable replacement - especially for an Asian speciality restaurant. Very thankful for made to order omlettes in the morning :) We had upgraded our room to a suite and the extra space was nice. However the card by the bed said bed linens changed daily - they were not changed once during the stay. The upgraded towels that came with the room became a problem as they could not be exchanged except by leaving them in the room for the maid to switch. Not sure the upgrade was worth the cost. Live music was good, lip-synced singing for evening performances was not. But that is common at many resorts so not a big deal. Do not expect/rely on wifi service. Extremely unpredictable and can go down at any time - which leaves you unable to log out so your paid minutes are lost. Granted wifi at all in Cuba is new :) We actually considered switching resorts after two days, but that became more trouble than it was worth as I don't speak much Spanish :( So we finished the week at Las Dunas. Pueblo La Estrella is a short bus ride away and worth the visit. Casa De La Miel was great for their Canchanchara. Vendors change every two days, so don't expect to go back and get a better deal later - they won't be there! We went out for dinner our last evening (I really needed one good meal during the trip!) and were the only clients in the Japanese restaurant for the first 30 minutes..... a surreal experience. No one on the streets..... totally deserted. Maybe different in high season. Hubby and son found two completely deserted resorts when they took a long walk down the beach. A cabby told us those were only open in high season. BTW not just vehicles from the 50's anymore! But still many locals on horse. Perhaps if we'd visited the resort 15 years ago when we didn't have much experience traveling we would have found the resort amazing - as many reviews suggest. But the more we travel the more we can compare. Average is all it is - except for the beach. Overall, had an okay time and enjoyed a bit of geo-caching while there but won't be back. FYI if you take walkie-talkies/two-way radios (which are so handy at big resorts!) expect to be stopped coming in and out of the country to register them and confirm that you aren't leaving them.... and yes it is a long drive (about an hour) from the airport.
“Good beach, bland food, great service ”
First time in Cuba and enjoyed my stay. Five star resort... Maybe for Cuba, but not compared to Mexico. Beach was good, but they need a tractor to get rid of all the seaweed that is washed up. Look out for jellyfish... Great service from all. Food was nothing to write about. Make sure you get a clean room when you check in and everything works (shower, plumbing, etc). Had fun, but i'll try other resorts.
“Nice hotel, friendly staff ”
Hi there, I am a seasoned Cuba traveller, having visited all parts of Cuba with this being my 3rd visit to Cayo Santa Maria. Melia Las Dunas was only operating at half capacity during the week that we visited during Thanksgiving. Half of the resort was closed due to it being low season. Many of the restaurants and services were not operating. It was confusing daily to know where you could or couldn't eat because each day they closed or opened a new restaurant. For the most part the food was good, typical for Cuba. We did go to the all a la cartes which were in my opinion average. Nice feature to have these restaurants prebooked so that when you arrived you already knew what days you would be dining there and did not have to line up to make a reservation. Beach-nice white sand, crystal blue waters, but there was a lot of jellyfish in the water the week we were there. So many jellyfish that we had to stay out of the water many of the days. Also we found the beach to be narrow and we always seemed to be on a hill.......never seemed to be able to find flat ground. Pools-two large pools, one adult which looked really nice and it was definitely peaceful and quite. For our stay we were only able to use this pool for 1 day because they closed it. Other pool, family one was also a nice pool with a swim up bar and lots of activities going on. We enjoyed it just the same, just a different atmosphere here. Tough to get an afternoon nap in in this area. Rooms-Our room was clean and moderately decorated. We were one of the closest rooms to the beach, situated right beside the path to the beach. Although we were close you really could not see the beach from our room. I do recommend a second floor room since our room was ground floor and did have a musty smell to it. Also do not leave things outside on the patio, we did have a towel taken from there. Mini bar was stocked daily. Resort-very big resort, lots of walking. Shuttles do go by but they don't really seem to want to stop to pick you up. They are mostly service vehicles. If you are disabled in any way or require assistance, I do not recommend this resort as an option. The Melia Cayo Santa Maria is probably a better choice because it is nice and small. Staff-all of our wait staff were very friendly. The lobby bar area had excellent service. Front Desk Reception-Lots of people working behind the desk but sometimes see like they were pre-occupied and not so interested in serving you. Received 2 double beds at checkin, but requested a King, was told to come back the next day. Not sure why this continues to be an ongoing issue at resorts in Cuba but it is, so be persistent and get what you ask for upon your check in so that you are not inconvenienced the next day. LATE CHECKOUT-this for me is area of opportunity. Please fix the late check out process at this hotel. I inquired mid week about a late check out but was told I needed to come back and ask the day of my departure. When I went back the morning of my departure I was told I could have a late check out but I needed to give them 28 dollars cash. I asked for this to be added to my final room bill because I had spa services to pay for yet and was told it was not possible. For me......having the farthest room from the lobby, meant that I needed to go to my room and get my passport, so that I could walk back to the lobby, stand in line at the bank, then stand back inline at reception??? This process would have taken an extra hour or so out of my morning? I decided to go back to my room and enjoy my day and check out when I was ready. I was prepared to pay my 28 dollars at that time. I was of course locked out of my room at 12 pm(I did leave my patio open so I could get in because I suspected they would do this to me).......got back in my room around 3 pm, to have my phone ringing constantly. The front desk was calling for me to check out?? When I got to the front desk, they billed my credit card(which is what I requested them to do earlier), no questions asked. Not sure why this hotel management would want to put have their client frustrated on their last day at the resort?? Would I return-Yes, Overall we had a great trip to Cuba. I know what to expect when I travel to Cuba so I have very little expectations. Go with an open mind and enjoy all of what Cuba has to offer, whether is be food that may not be what you get at home, great smiles and friendly people, nice beaches, warm water and plenty of activities for everyone. I did enjoy Melia Cayo Santa Maria better as I felt the food was far superior. I also like the smaller size of the resort of Meila Cayo Santa Maria.
“Needs some TLC ”
As a travel agent I try to be as honest as I can in my reviews. I have been to the Melia Las Dunas many, many, many times and unfortunately this trip really disappointed me. I stayed in mid October so my apologies that this resort is a little late. Adult only areas all closed for low season. I understand the reason, but it would have been nice for the resort to report that information to the tour operators so we would have known prior to arrival. The rooms need some TLC for sure but I did see that a few of them were undergoing an overhaul. The food as well has fallen from grace and that was the one thing I really appreciated about this resort. The beer garden used to have many types of beer, but now only has Cuban brands... There were however some wonderful things about the resort. The staff are all friendly and accommodating. Then of coarse there is THE BEACH!! The best there is in all of Cuba. Would I go again? I would... but the resort needs to know that with so many properties up and coming, they need to keep up if they want to remain considered a 5* and right now I'm not sure they are... If pricing is similar, I'd look to Playa Cayo Santa Maria as a second option at least until this resort comes back up to standard.
“It definelty was not a 5 star resort”
The adult pool was closed so everyone had to gather around the kiddies pool, not enough beach chairs at times. Very limited activity at the pool. never heard any music , waiter was always looking for a tip when he brought you a drink...Disappointed for sure!!
Good resort and layout. Food was ok nothing special. Beaches are great. Rooms were ok but a/c did not cool the room. Had to change the room 3 times. The only drawback is the airport is 1:45 minutes away from the resort. Besides relaxation there is nothing really to do. Travelled July
“Had a wonderful stay ... BUTT”
I stayed here the week before Christmas last year and really enjoyed the stay. Food was the usual lower quality but I have come to expect that. The staff was great and because they had dropped the single supplement, it was an affordable getaway for singles. Met others who were there on this week for the same reason. I do have a concern tho that I am wondering about. While there I developed a "problem". I spoke with others because I recognized the symptoms - eyes cross and run like heck for the bathroom. I was like this for about 3 days and took something when I got home for it and it cleared up right away. Well now a year later I have been told that whatever I picked up is still in my system and is really creating chaos in my intestines. Has anyone else had a similar problem and have you found a medication that works? I have been prescribed several but nothing works so thought I would ask if anyone else can give me some feedback on this.
“Very good hotel but huge site... ”
Excellent vacation in this family hotel which has around 900 rooms, so it is quite huge! Very nice sandy beach but a bit overcrowded during holiday season. Food was particularly and suprisingly good for Cuba. If you want peanut butter and maple syrup, you forgot you're in Cuba! Beach restaurant has a very good grill and the four à la carte restaurants did their best but were average. Buffet is much better with lots of choices. Scubadiving center is a 15mn bus ride but shuttle is free to go there. Very nice and helpful staff. Coffee at the reception is amazingly good and is a pretty quiet place to read early in the morning when everyone still sleeps...:-) Overall a real 4 stars with clean and huge rooms but if you're looking for a small charming place, go somewhere else. Would come back if a deal price is offered!
“Always a great stay”
I have stayed here 4 times and each visits was better than the last. Friendly staff make the experience so pleasant. The lobby, rooms, and grounds are well kept, I would have no issues walking bare foot through the complex. My girlfriend was greeted with flowers each day by the gardener and the bartenders in the lobby bar always had a coffee ready for me in the mornings. I personally really enjoy change but going somewhere different and having a bit of routine makes the stay feel like a second home. Going off the resort is extremely hassle free and very pleasant. I would recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a bit of quiet and relaxation or time to reconnect with their loved one.
“Great vacation! ”
Melia Las Dunas is the first all-inclusive resort we've been to, and we will definitely return again with families. Overall this was a GREAT Cuba resort. 1) Resort / Room Check-in was very simple and quick, no issues. Requested for second floor rooms and got what we asked for. Lobby is clean and beautiful, marbled floors. Everything within walking distance, entire resort well-maintained. Few kitties here and there which were adorable & friendly. Room is standard - clean and comfortable. We spend most of our days on the beach so that's all I look for in a room. 2) Service Excellent, friendly, and welcoming. Our room is cleaned everyday, mini-fridge fully stocked with water & booze. Our maid was wonderful. Bartenders are attentive and everyone at the restaurant was super friendly. 3) Beach was the BEST part This has to be the nicest beach in the area. Very well maintained, plenty of chairs/shades. Clean, soft, white sand, simply beautiful. 4) Entertainment Nightly entertainment was a lot of fun. We arrived before NYE countdown and had a great party that night. Dancing outside each night, live music, fantastic dance performance. We were there as a couple for 7 days and was never bored. During the day we went on the catamaran (free), highly recommended. 5) Food Like what you expect from an all-inclusive. Food was very 'Cuba'. On NYE the entire table was filled with lobsters although they were overcooked (what a waste..). Loved the seafood corner, very fresh and tasty, you pick what you like and they cook it for you. At the end of our trip we dipped everything in their hot sauce due to the lack of taste.. MAKE SURE YOU EAT EVERYTHING WELL COOKED. We didn't have any problem with food poisoning until the very last day. Ordered a medium-rare steak from the a la carte restaurant (which is our own fault, HUGE mistake!!!) and got severe food poisoning the next day + high fever. Not the best way to end an otherwise wonderful vacation and can't really blame anyone else. Our flight was delayed due to weather on the last day and we ended up being trapped at the airport (with awful food poisoning) for over 12 hours. Got transported to another Melia resort in Varadero to sleep for 4 hours... and woke up early in the AM to the Varadero airport. Wasn't a pleasant ending to the trip but again that was nobody's fault. Despite the little episode at the end, we loved this resort. We spent most of our time on the beach/pool/around the resort. Don't expect luxurious Four Season rooms for the price you pay, keep that in mind and you'll have a fabulous time. (p.s. pictures will be updated ...)
“Nice Resort in Santa Clara ”
Just returned, traveled Nov 2 to Nov. 10 to Melia Las Dunas, Cayo Santa Maria. Flight was not very long from Toronto, landed at around 9:30pm, fairly fast customs processing, travel reps and buses waiting for passengers. Fairly long ride to hotel, 90min, can't see much in the dark. Room numbers and bracelets handed out prior to boarding the bus, which is so much more efficient. Took only a couple of minutes at the hotel per person to process your passport. Lots of shuttle buses to take you to the room and deliver your luggage to your room, really nice if you are on the 2nd floor. The hotel lobby is stunning with a very impressive avenue right down to the beach boardwalk with lots of restaurants on either side. The beach was quite narrow, better of course with the tide out. The first 2 days was quite windy, lots of big waves, not allowed in water and much seaweed on the beach. This was all cleaned up as the weather got better and was very nice, most people went to the beach. The adult section was closed as they were working on the 2 pools there which are very deep and would be great for those who can swim well. Although this part of the resort was closed, there was another big pool and children's pool. This was a very nice area, great grill for lunch, good service for drinks and getting a towel was never a problem. The buffet was just okay at any time, which they usually are anyway, the best croissants in the morning. Went to four of the restaurants that you had to make a reservation for. Mexican, Oriental, Italian and Romantica, all were very good if you don't want to overload on food like some of the people at the buffet. We just had a regular room, quite large, the maid could have paid more attention to cleaning up but always had new towels if we wanted them and the water/beer guy delivered every night around 6pm. No bugs in the room and don't leave your patio door open if you don't want mostiques in your room. Getting around easy, lots of maps as you are walking around and after a day it all makes sense, shuttle bus will pick you up if walking and they have room. The ice cream spot and the pina colda's at the lobby bar were delicious and a daily/evening event, only gained 2 lbs which I attribute to these items, not bad. Didn't do any day trips, only there for a week. Make sure you bring bug spray for pool/beach and night-time. I sprayed and only had a few bites, my friend did not and received quite a few. We left the resort for home about 5:30pm so got to see a bit of the causeway we traveled over, quite long, 45 km. Nice play to stay all in all, staff were very friendly and nice. You can tip yourself crazy or not, they appreciate it if you do. You were able to tip with Canadian money for the bus driver or if you wanted to buy a beer or soft drink on the bus or you can purchase some Cuban $ at the airport.
“keep coming back for more... ”
Hola, A regular to Melia Las Dunas and the Melia chain of hotels in Cayo Santa Maria. there isn't much to say other then we consider Melia Las Dunas our home away from home. why do we keep coming back? well we LOVE it!!! we have been travelling to Cuba now for over 12 years. And in particular love the Melia resorts. Over the years we have gotten to know a lot of our fellow regular travellers and the staff - most have become like family. We have seen the resorts (and countries) growth and change over the years - and it just keeps getting better each time. The hotel and staff are always SO welcoming!!! and service with a smile. Food: WOW has it changed over the years. lots to choose from (a far cry from that old phrase of 'food sucks' certainly does not apply here) some of the simple things like salt/pepper and spices in food and salad dressings are sparse. But it is important to remember we are on an island. Food and selection is always plentiful between all the restaurants. And important to remember should you have diet restrictions they are always more then happy to work with you. Also remember you are on a island and often some food restrictions (due to availability and weather) can sometimes pose some challenges, and once you understand this, you have a bigger and better understanding of just how far they have come and appreciate it. Beach: AMAZING!!! what else is there to say... plenty of water sports or chilling in a lounge chair. walk for miles in search sea shells. Sunsets like nothing else you can imagine. Lobby: the lobby bar is huge and amazing with plenty of seating area and tons of little areas to sneak away to read a book or have a little more private space, or a place of solitude in the morning for an early coffee (or specialty coffee) to start your day on the perfect note. And the evening it is an array of action (along side the event stage) with people out for the evening. and since adding the small dance area, usually with a live DJ pumping the dance music till the party moves to the centre circle for live Cuban entertainers and music till your hearts content. Rooms: clean and simply decorated in a traditional Spanish flavour. If you are looking for something ultra modern - it is not here yet. But clean just as well. Room service is available when you need it. TV (channels to suit all needs - but hey who's in there room watching TV, we're away on vacation. lol) coffee maker, stocked bar, and towels are plenty (need more - just ask) Pools: Las Dunas offers both a family side and an adult side. The family side pool (and child care centre) pas music pumping throughout the day to all the pool activities. while the adult side offers a quiet surrounding (scheduled yoga and meditation). Both offer swim up bars, pool side drink service and a poolside restaurant. We are planning on returning again in just a couple of weeks - We look forward to seeing many of our Melia friends and enjoying the sun and sand once again. Cannot wait to get there once again!!! your Faithful and True repeat Melia Las Dunas guests, The Craig's from Barrie, Ontario
“Great family va-k ”
Great trip - gorgeous beach but we found the resort too big for our needs. We went with Hola Sun and we're glad we did - flight was on time and staff were excellent. Deanna with Hola Sun is the rep to go to for your excursion bookings. Resort is a long way from the airport but if you feel like getting away from it all - you've found the right place. Cheers
“Really enjoyed ”
This resort. Was their 2 winters ago as an attendee at a wedding at a resort. So happy I stayed here. Simply loved the lobby and tea service/sandwiches ets. Best Martinis in Cuba and so far best food. Had a few issues with toilet paper when we first arrived but tha soon was resolved. Wonderful, accomodating staff and beautiful grounds as well as beach. I bit it a trek from the airport but for me it was well worth it.
“First Time at this Resort ”
We just returned from a two week vacation at the Las Dunas resort, (10-24 Oct). What a great resort, rooms, entertainment, beach, and the grounds, all very well kept and lovely. Even at low season all of the staff still provided great friendly service, nice variety of food. The activities (yoga, pilates and Tia chi) taught by Randy and Daniel, both were very professional, excellent instructors with great personalities. The grounds displayed the ongoing hard work of the gardeners, it shows. Of three other resorts that we have stayed at in Santa Maria this is the best. We will be returning in the near future.
“Great resort! ”
Just back from a week at Melia Las Dunas and loved every minute of it! We were a large group and we were treated very well! The staff whether in the lobby bar, beer garden or any of the other restaurants only aim to please! Most mornings it was cappuccino in the lobby & breakfast at the beer garden. Beautiful beaches & warm ocean water (we had a lot of jelly fish for a few days ... nature!). Absolutely no complaints about any of the food I was served. Lots to do if you feel like it ... yoga, acquabics, salsa dancing +++. Will be going back!!
“Total relaxation. ”
We spent the week of Oct 5-12, 2014. The resort is beautiful. We had rooms 4724, 4728 and 3915. We upgraded to suites and we were very happy. The 47 block is an excellent location for the beach and the pool. All rooms were within walking distance to the lobby. We gathered each evening at the lobby as we enjoyed listening to the music while having a drink prior to dinner. The piano bar is a great area to relax and enjoy. We were happy with our reservations at Romantico. It was a birthday celebration and the staff was wonderful. The resort is fortunate to have such wonderful employees. They work hard to make sure that you enjoy your vacation. We looked forward to meet with the staff as we entered the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Juliette was wonderful. Our mornings were spent at the beach and late afternoon we looked forward to spending time at the pool. ( adult side ). We had the pleasure of getting to know David while we were at the pool. He was so happy to teach aerobics and salsa lessons. This young man touched our hearts. David made sure that everyone was comfortable while they were there. He is wonderful asset to the resort. We will return.
“LOVED IT!!! ”
My wife and I originally booked with Iberostar Ensenachos for week of Oct 11 2014. We were VERY disappointed with the Iberostar that we transferred to Melia Las Dunas on the 3rd day. Since I already wrote a disappointing review on the Iberostar, I will spare you the details here and concentrate on the positive review of MLD. Before we transferred, we took a cab from Iberostar to check out MLD. Well?..needless to say, we loved what we saw and went ahead with the transfer ASAP. The adult side of the resort was closed and we didn?t get a specific reason, but we didn?t care. The Grounds: 5* Wide open well-manicured grounds and we saw gardeners working all the time. All building blocks are numbered in large numbers and signs are everywhere (not like Ensenachos). The pathways are sufficiently lit to provide for enjoyable nightly walks. The Lobby: 5* This has to be the one of the largest lobby?s I?ve seen. There are plenty of seating areas to accommodate large groups and plenty to spare. The open concept allows for cool gently nightly breeze to flow throughout the extra-large lobby. The auditorium is also located just off the lobby and it is also open concept so you can watch the stage from the lobby bar area. Speaking of the bar, it is very large and in an L shape with lots of stools. There is nightly live entertainment in the lobby as well as the circle stage just past the lobby and into the ?main street? leading to the blocks and the beach. There is plenty of seating here as well. The ?main street? is the central hub to all the a la carts, beer garden, ice cream parlor, sports bar and beach grill. Food: 4* There are 2 large buffets just off the main lobby. One serves breakfast between 7-10 am while Dinner is served in the other from 7-10pm. Lunch is served in the large grill down the ?main street? near the bear garden and just before the pathway to the beach. This is a rather large buffet and the best part is the grill serving grilled meats and fresh fish and shrimp. We had lunch here every day and loved it?except for the last day as we waited too late for lunch and there were lineups for the fish. Make sure you pace your breakfast early enough (about 8am) to have lunch around 1pm. You can also get hamburgers at the beach right at the main walkway at the beach and there is also a snack bar near the pool. There is no cappuccino at the breakfast buffet, so get it to go from the lobby bar?.it is really good. Beach: 5* Ahhh?the beach?this is why we go to Cuba as you have some of the beach beaches here. The beach itself is not as wide as some of the beaches in Dominican or Mexico, but the sand in the water is soft and powdery. There were PLENTY of huts and loungers as the resort was not filled to capacity. The water was BEAUTIFUL with gently waves, turquois color. A couple of days were washed out due to an infestation of jellyfish. There were a few brave souls who went into the water and got stung including myself?but a little vinegar fixed it in 10 minutes. So, bring vinegar just in case. There are 2 beach bars to choose from...located at the pathways to the beach. I am not sure of another bar at the adult side as it was closed. Room: 4* The room was good and better than some of the 4* resorts we stayed at but not as good as the Iberostar Ensenachos. We had a king bed, regular size bathroom, safe, iron, fridge and TV with HBO. We also had a large balcony. Make sure you tip your house maid as they try really hard to clean your messy room and decorate with towels and curtains. The electrical outlets had stickers indicating they were 220V ready, but all my plugin appliances convert automatically anyway. I want to say a quick hello to some good friends we met here?Ian and Lourdes, Manuel and Maria from Hamilton, Jack and Luba from Thornhill, Daniel and ?Buddy? and Pascal and Karina from Montreal.
“wonderful vacation .. few hick ups ”
visited Oct 5-12. landscaping very beautiful, a la carte meals very good, staff super friendly, beach was very beautiful, pools are very nice and management always on site and very easy to find if you have any problems. i was super impressed with the management of this place ..the best in Cuba so far. as i said there was hick ups but they were all resolved. some hick ups...entertainment not the greatest but was told their regular entertainers were on holidays and based on other people reviews that entertainers were good than i must believe this to be true. rooms were ok but not what they should have been. i stayed in VIP and drawers were falling apart, sink flooded, coffee maker didn't work, lights are very dim so not very thrilled with that. we called desk and things were taken care of right away. somethings just happen like flooding of the sink. it happens its normal. but the cleaning staff knows if the room is falling apart or not and they should report to office if drawers are falling apart as soon as they know so the next guest has a good impression when coming in. plus they never replace our toilet paper. first resort Ive been to in Cuba where the toilets in the resort are better and have softer toilet paper than the room. so most were small hick ups except for the toilet paper..that's a big problem this resort to beautiful to skimp on the toilet paper. i really like this resort and will come again but will bring my own toilet paper next time :)
Went to Melia Las Dunas Oct. 4-11-20014. The drive to the resort is 90 mins but does not seem that long. The resort itself is beautiful, the beach is amazing. Even the pools are wonderful. We stayed on the adults side. The food for us was so so. Lots of varieties, but same thing almost every day. They need to change it up a bit, instead of maybe pasta at lunch and dinner, try something different. We ate at the beer garden, I did not like the hamburgers. Not for me. The staff were wonderful. So very nice and helpful.
“Thank you for a great vacation! ”
I just got home late Sunday night from a fantastic week at Melia Las Dunas! Not only are the grounds and beach beautiful, but the staff is amazing and there is always something for you to do. The day adventure on the Catamaran with snorkeling and dolphin interaction was a great experience. But for me the best experience came from the fantastic people we met. Not only other guests but the staff. I want to thank the entertainment team for their determination to make ALL guest feel special and a part of a real experience. They smile from morning until night - at young and old a like - they dance like professionals - they can sing -but most of all they care and it shows. Thank you to Meneses, Carlos, Walter, Liban and Gisela - sorry if I left anyone out. The "Washing Machine" will never be the same again! If I had to say there was a down side - it would be moving the dancing off site at 10:30, the resort should make more use of the on site disco. Although the bathrooms were always clean - sometimes short on toilet paper, but you learn quickly and take your own :). We are already planning our next trip - same time next year!
“Awesome vacation! ”
This was my 3rd time returning to Melia Las Dunas. I travelled with 3 of my great friends. I would like to thank the animation team who made our trip so special and memorable. An extra special thanks to CARLOS, YOE, LIVAN and MELESES. These guys work so hard and are really amazing. They were so funny and kind and because of them we will absolutely be back. Love them all !!!
“Beautiful paradise ”
Just got back from Melia Las Dunas omg what a beautiful place have been to Cuba 8x 's and this hotel has the most beautiful grounds and lobby so far entertainment was very good I love music playing in the lobby after dinner you can dance then go to the main show which was entertaining.. I always say you don't go to Cuba for the food but I can say the food here was very good lots of variety typically beef which can be a hit and miss for tenderness but was really good here chicken fish turkey pork all kinds of pasta cooked diff ways and create your own pasta mashed potatoes were really good fruits veggies as I said lots to choose from and the ice cream patio outside was so good ... they had Heineken beer for u beer lovers ... we were with 3 other couples rooms were clean no bugs in room/bed hot water for showers ... beach if you read all the reviews no one complains of the beach and I will say if you love to walk this is the one for you .. only 2 slight annoyances there should be a bathroom closer to the beach and misquitoes bring spray and they leave you alone as always some people are more prone to bites than others they do spray around 6 to keep them at bay no problems did not see any no seeums or sand fleas ... in all this was paradise ... we spoke to many people there and they felt the same go and enjoy :O) we stayed in block 18 quiet not far from pool or beach (middle of everything)
“Love Melia Las Dunas ”
I will only go to Melia Las Dunas! I have been there twice and going again to Melia LD in January 2015. Last January I made my friends to change their reservation from another hotel to Melia Las Dunas; and guess what, they are going with us again. Love the people there. I can?t truly say enough about the quality of service at Melia Las Dunas. They really do care about you! Rooms are very basic but very clean. The housekeeping was excellent. Beach.... gorgeous. The water was incredible. You can always find palapas; no, you don?t have to run first thing in the morning to reserve it. Love the lobby; best place for espresso; Food above average; certain food is not available everyday which presents a challenge for the food staff; they can only do with what they are given. We were always able to find things we love. Don?t forget to have a lunch at the beer garden (fish, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp on open air grill), so good! As I said before, love this place! Can?t wait until January!
“Wonderful as always! ”
This was our third time to the Las Dunas. This time we had a gang of 12 with us. Flight: This was the second time we flew Cubana and I have not heard good things about it but our flights have left and arrived on time, a nice snack was served and the flight attendants were very friendly and helpful. Planes had more legroom (since it i a national carrier) than Sunwing or Transat. 90 minutes is quite a ways to the hotel, especially at night. I hear that they are going to build a causeway to Cayo Coco and the time will be 1/2 that it is now. I love it in the daylight too. You can get a bit of Cuban culture on the way. Check-in: Quick and easy. At first I was not thrilled that we were not assigned the room I requested via e-mail, but when they explained the adult side of the pool was closed for maintenance and they had given me exactly the same room but upgraded us to a suite on the other side needless to say I was very happy. Rooms: Suite are beautiful but the regular rooms were nice too. A bottle of rum and beach towels were in the room for repeat guests. I have to mention our housekeeper and I forget her name but she cleaned 3411 and 3412 the week of October 19-26. She was so sweet and helpful. The room was always spotless and not only did she make the towels cute she did the whole room. A very special thanks to her. Patio on the first floor and balcony on the second but watch for mosquito's. Food: Unless you are so picky you exist on water and bread you will love the food. Nice al la cartes and the buffet is all 5 star. Hotel: Beautiful. For what you pay this place is a dream. Water everywhere, draped lounge area and a gorgeous lobby and bar. Staff: As usually never say enough about the staff in Cuba and especially at Melia hotels. All are fun loving, professional and thoughtful. The buffet staff are a hoot! Gifts: People bring soap and that is nice but what about ear buds, Mp3 players, laptops you are going to recycle, tablets, any electronics. Wait until they really go on sale and bring them down. Because of the embargo they are hard to get here. Also toys for the kids. Barbies are a huge hit. The Beach. One of the best in the world...heaven on earth. Misc. We have been here 3 times which is unusual for us (been to Cuba 30 times) but we love it so much we come back every other year. ***Take a trip off the property and see what the real Cuba is like. Santa Clara is one of the most if not most historical city. The revolution was won here and Che Guevara's tomb and monument are here. It is a very emotional place to visit. Enjoy and any questions: email@example.com
“Melia Las Dunas - Perfect Getaway ”
I was 100% satisfied with this last minute vacation. This was my 6th visit to Cuba, and definitely the best quality and experience with respect to accommodations. My expectations are "less" than in other countries, of course. Every visit to Cuba has been good but this was the best. Rooms, very basic but very clean. I was in a standard room, no VIP, no upgrade. Clean. Tidy. The housekeeping was excellent, Quick, no waiting, done early in the day, courteous etc. Food - definitely above average, and the a la cartes were great! Honestly in Cuba in the past I've booked a la cartes early, expecting to need at least bland buffet food after the experience, but at the Melia Las Dunas the A La Cartes were great! Flavourful, selection, good service. Beach....the beach was gorgeous but it was covered in seaweed (which the MANY repeat visitors to the resort I met promised it was a one off due to a cold front that had blown in a few days before...) they were cleaning it up when we left. The water was phenomenal, the beach was still beautiful despite the seaweed piles. In photos it wasn't great but being there it really was still wonderful and lots of sand. FYI past visits were Varadero which I did like very much but older now, food not as good, where I've stayed at Breezes (years ago), Melia Peninsula, and Barcelo Sol Y Mar (years ago). All good but Santa Maria Melia LD way better. I've also stayed at Cayo Guillermo (?) Melia as well. Did NO day tours, wouldn't. Stayed on resort. Had a SPA day, wonderful! Wifi available for cost in the lobby / bar areas. Inexpensive but also patchy service. My rating is if you get a reasonable deal (I got a phenomenal deal and I have the best travel agent ever, Breakaway Travel Oshawa) it rates as EXCELLENT. If paying a busier time of year rate I'd pay up to $1100-$1200 but higher than that I would consider another country.
“First Time in Cuba - Beautiful Beach ”
We stayed at this hotel Sept 27- Oct 4th, 2014. I will preface this by saying I had never been to Cuba before this trip and was very hesitant. We decided to book this hotel because of how beautiful the beaches were, and previous reviews which were all mostly positive. We were not disappointed. This is low season for the Caribbean, so we expected the hotel to be at about 50% capacity. We realized however when we arrived, that the hotel was maybe closer to 25% occupancy. This meant that some of the restaurants, buffets, and other smaller activities were not operating, but this was fine by us - we were there for the beach! Rooms: We were put in building 27 which is near the family pool and the boardwalk to the beach. This location was probably the best at the resort because it was close to everything. The room décor is typical for the islands, nothing to write home about but entirely fine for our week long stay. The maids came everyday after we left our room - we usually tipped and left small gifts. We always had fresh towels and toilet paper. The minibar was restocked every day around 5pm and we were able to get pop, water, and even rum one day. TIP: Make sure you put the drain plugs in every night before you go to bed, or you might end up with a roach or other bug crawling up your drain (as is standard in these tropical climates). Food: Okay - we knew the food in Cuba wouldn't be good. There was always something to eat however - I had a lot of pasta, and a few very good seafood/ rice dishes. We actually elected to skip breakfast everyday as I wasn't overly impressed by it. We ended up eating lunch at the open-air buffet by the beach for lunch everyday and they had great food and great service. There was always something to eat, and I am a very picky eater. We happened to be able to meet the Executive Chef for Melia one evening while on our way back from dinner. He was able to shed some light on the challenges of food service in Cuba. What most people do not know is that the chefs on-site are all French trained, and are very skilled, however they can only do with what they are given. There are often food shortages, and certain kinds of food (ie: meat, seafood, veggies) are not available everyday which presents a challenge for the food staff. So other than the lack of choices, the food presentation, and efficiency of the buffets and restaurants was great. Service: Service was probably better than any hotel we have been to. The staff were all extremely proficient in English, and often French, sometimes Dutch. Most are well educated and really enjoy what they do. We tipped often and people were very thankful for that. We had zero issues while we were there! Wait staff would save a table for us every night in the buffet, and the main bar staff would provide us with whatever we needed (drinks, cigars, water etc). I would also imagine this hotel at full capacity may not have heeded the same results, so I would recommend to go in the low season if you could. Beach/ Pool - Pool was nice, there were maybe a maximum of 20 people in the pool all day. There was never a need to reserve a chair as they were all available. The beach was a little busier, but not by much. Tons of shaded areas and chairs available everyday. There were also 3 beach bars as well which would always serve you right away. The ocean had lots of large jellyfish for the first 3-4 days, and then for the last 3 days there were none. This is par for the course at this time of year, so be aware of this should you travel in the late summer months. For our fellow Canadians - this hotel runs on the same electrical system as we do at home, so your plugs will fit. HOWEVER it is in 220 v- make sure you appliances are compatible with convertible voltage. The plugs will say '110v-240v' right on them in small print- things like your phone charger, or camera charger are usually already equipped with this. Overall - I would book this hotel 100% again, but I would do so in the low season - great price and great service.
“Wonderful Vacation ”
We have just returned from 9 days at Las Dunas. We have traveled to many resorts in Cuba, this has to be one of the best ever. The food at the a-la-cartes was terrific. We let them know that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and they arranged for us to have breakfast in bed, we were also invited to the Gala Dinner. We were there over Halloween & they put on an amazing night for everyone to enjoy. The staff were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. Donna & Jeni in the restaurants were so sweet to us. Will defiantly return here.
“The only place in Cayo Santa Maria”
Firstly I want to mention Westjet and their staff, always a pleasure to fly with them and they make for a fun flight. Our travel to the resort was quite a bit faster as we had a smaller more personal bus, 20 seats, and by far the best tour guide we have had on all of our trips to Cuba. 15 trips under our belts and counting to various locations,Cayo Santa Maria is our top spot for a true getaway from it all. Having stayed at several resorts on the islands, Melia Las Dunas has by far surpassed our expectations. We were well greeted at the front desk and whisked away to our rooms with bags being handled by very friendly and help-full staff. I truly can?t say enough about the quality of service at Melia Las Dunas, professional and personal as a standard. The grounds are meticulously kept, and given the size of the property this is quite impressive. FOOD: Oriental restaurant was incredible. By far our favourite dinner, not to take away from the other Al La Carte restaurants which were very well put together and presented. BEER GARDEN: Do not miss lunch! Amazing hot coal a la minute fish, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp on open air grill. Sympathies to the Chef manning this station, did I mention its 38C ? LOBBY: Prestine and clean. Attentive and friendly. Simply the best spot for an espresso after breakfast or a cocktail after dinner. atmosphere is always inviting. Bilbao makes the lobby worth a stay. BEACH: White powder sand and chair service daily. The coast is gradually sloped suiting all ages and ranges of swimmers. SERVICE: Rooms clean organized daily and fridge service. I really can?t say anything negative about Melia Las Dunas. What I can say is as a collective my family have booked 12 stays at Melia Las Dunas in the past 2 years. With my Mother travelling in less than a month, and my partner and I in January. It is the only Resort our family will stay in. EMPLOYEES: You are all doing an incredible job! Thank you so much for the warm welcomes and incredible service.. we will see you again soon. TRAVELLERS: We would be happy to answer any questions or inquirers about the Island, resort, travel or anything.
“Loved This Place! ”
Second time going here and nothing has changed in the last 3 years. Paid for cheapest room which is one minute from the beach, and 10 minute walk to main building. Halfway to the main building is a little bar where I'd go each day and talk baseball with the locals who worked there. The beach is beautiful, several nice water features in the hotel, many restaurants with good food and a large lobby bar with a nice ocean breeze passing through. I'll be going again and I recommend this as a place to stay.
We visited Melia Las Dunas from Oct 10 to 17th and we loved the resort. It is a beautiful place. The beach was the best. This was my 3rd trip to Cuba with my daughter, neice and sisters and this was the best place we have been too. The food was good, the grounds are very well kept. Everyone was friendly. The grounds are really beautiful and well kept. The gardeners always greeted you with a smile and made some flowers and crickets out of leaves for my neice who is 5. The entertainment was good. The magician was really good. We would definately come back in the future. We walked to the Pueblo Dunas for some shopping. We wanted to go bowling but it wasnt opened the day we went. We did take a bus ride to the Estralla Dunas and went bowling there.
“Trip of a Lifetime - Melia Las Dunas ”
This was my first trip to Cuba, first all inclusive trip and definitely not my last! I travelled with one friend to Melia Las Dunas, Santa Maria, where we had the trip of a lifetime. The resort was gorgeous. Our room was beautiful, spacious and clean. There was an ample amount and great selection of food available either at the Buffet, A La Carte restaurants, Snack Bar or Beer Garden. There was entertainment every night at the Theatre and plenty of excursion options if you were looking to adventure. We went on the Catamaran excursion, which was amazing. You stop to explore an island, swim with Dolphins, eat a lobster lunch and snorkel in the ocean. Everything on this excursion was very well organized and executed perfectly. Overall, I think the highlight of the trip for both of us were two of the employees that we met at the activities pool. David and Randy were two of the most enthusiastic and professional staff members, who always had us busy with fun activities. We enjoyed dance lessons, aqua aerobics, yoga, meditation and Pilates because of them. The classes they led were always entertaining and great exercise. Their positivity really rubbed off on us and enhanced our trip greatly. They really went out of their way to make sure we had a great experience. We definitely hope to return next year!
“Another amazing visit to Melia Las Dunas ”
First of all, I will mention that this is now my 70th all inclusive resort vacation including 9 trips to Cuba. I have stayed in 3 - 5 star hotels. FIRST IMPRESSION: I went on the trip with my girlfriend October 24-31st. This was a repeat visit to Melia Las Dunas which we normally don?t do, except when we really love a resort. We knew what to expect, but this time, we were upgraded to a superior room because we were repeat guests. This resort gives an amazing first impression ? the lobby is gorgeous. One thing to definitely mention is this is a very large resort. People who do not like walking should not go here. My girlfriend and I love big resorts, but it might not be for everyone. THE STAFF were extremely friendly, which is what we found at the neighbouring Melia Cayo Santa Maria resort last year. They all seem to go out of their way to make things great for the guests. THE BEACH is one of the best Caribbean beaches that we have seen. It changes a bit depending on the season that you go. It was wider than the time that we went in July. Parts of it are easy to walk on while some parts were much more difficult. The water was incredible, ranging from wavy to absolutely calm, depending on the day, but always clear. THE POOLS: The gardens around the entire resort are incredible. There is a family side and an adult side offering two different atmospheres. This time we were located on the family side because the adult pool was being renovated, but it was still enjoyable. We always found chairs in the shade, but this was off season. There was always a waiter who would regularly walk around and ask the guests if they wanted a drink. He was a friendly guy and remembered exactly what drink each guest ordered! THE ROOM: We both thought that the room was very nice and clean. The king size bed was a little too firm for our liking, but everyone has their own preferences. The room had a flat screen TV, along with a nice bathroom area. The only issue that we had was that it was impossible to have a truly hot shower or bath ? it was barely lukewarm. The pressure was quite good however. THE FOOD: The food was generally very good with good selection, even though this was low season with far fewer guests. The a-la-cartes ranged from good to excellent. Our favourites were the Romantico and the Oriental. We also had the Italian which was our least favourite. We were invited to a special VIP repeat guests dinner which was very nice with a special menu and entertainment. We met Manuel Rios the General Manager of the resort who was a very nice man and wanted to know our thoughts about the resort. The choices at lunch were also quite varied ? there was the buffet, beach restaurant, pool snack bar and the beer garden to choose from and all were great. The pizza and sandwiches at the snack bar were our favourites. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment/shows were the usual type that most all-inclusives have. We really enjoyed the magic show one night. IMPROVEMENTS/SUGGESTIONS: In our opinion, this is still one of our favourite resorts. It is difficult to think of improvements, because we like this resort so much. We can honestly say that we would go back to this resort again. It would be nice, however, if something could be done about the hot water in the rooms ? we missed our hot showers. Please feel free to send me a message if you need any more information.
“Repeat Visit ”
Just returned from a visit to one of our favourite resorts in Cuba. ( 10 Oct - 24 Oct ) Even though it was low season the hotel staff performed with their usual friendliness and efficiency. As repeat guests we have the advantage have having many friends there already but I'm sure you will make many friends very quickly as the Cuban people are warm, funny and friendly by nature. Being low season the management is using the lull in business to carry out repairs on the adult pool side ensuring a safe environment for their patrons. It's a great place to meet people of all nationalities especially in the superb lobby bar where once again the staff are exceedingly good at their job. Be sure to try the A la Carte restaurants. My personal favourite is the " Romantico ". The buffet, beach grill and beer garden provide plenty of alternatives for food and drink. The barbecued food at the beach grill is excellent with chicken, burgers, fresh fish etc, etc. The resort is quite large so if you have a problem walking any distance there are always golf carts circling to pick up anyone who is struggling or may have had just one to many beverages. Before I finish I have to mention the management team of Manuel, Guillermo and Jorge who are always visible and approachable and I know from experience that they will do their utmost to resolve any problems you may have and make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. One thing to remember in Cuba : " Good morning ", Bonjour ", " Buongiorno ", Goede morgen ", " Guten Morgen " etc are all foreign languages. The word you should be looking to use is : " HOLA " Enjoy your visit.
“Back from my 2nd home... the Melia Las Dunas :-) ”
Returned last Friday from a 2 week stay at the Las Dunas. What a wonderful place! Again, the staff, hotel, food and overall ambiance was fantastic! Loved every moment of my 2 week stay, even if there were a lot of jelly fish in the ocean. That is certainly note the hotel's fault. Mother nature has its own way of dealing with things. As far as the staff is concerned, the service in the lobby bar (Jireni, Kenia, Lily, Jeissy, Yutmila, Jesus, Sarah), pool bar (Yasseiny, Claudia, Javier), Italian (Nally, Donna, Elizabeth) & Oriental restaurants, Beer Garden (Yenni, Osleidy, Oscar, Neddi), Rancheon (Riccardo) and pool snack bar (Leon, Raddel) is simply amazing. They go out of their way to remember what you drink and eat and to ask you if you want refills whenever you are done. All that is a great smile, even if they work hard and long hours. What a great team! As for the Romantico, we were disappointed when we first arrived. Our Saturday Oct. 11 dinner was hot (air conditioning was broken) and the service and food below average. Luckily, after speaking with the chef and director, we saw a significant improvement when we returned a few days later. Of course, being served by great people like Nally and Elizabeth certainly makes a difference. They are very professional and attentative to your needs. Bravo! For the rooms, wow! It shows the hotel management is constantly revamping and renovating to ensure the hotel keeps high standards. Our room had been reburbished. The shower, plumbing, sink, paint and furniture was redone. Plus... new air condition unit that is silent and performant. Really nice! Plus, we had once of the best camareras, Kenia. She took very good care of us. Loved the little towel decorations she left on my bed every day. Really nice! The hotel premises are constantly maintained. Since last May (last time I was at the hotel), I saw significant changes in the shrubs, flowers and trees. The gardeners are doing a fantastic job!! I also liked seeing the small gardens they planted to replenish the greenery. They also cleared out the mini forests surrounding the hotel rooms. It leaves a lot more light for people staying on the ground level. It also shows the new head chef, Ivan, is overseeing the various kitchens. You can see him early in the morning right into the evening going from one place to the other. It shows. The quality of the food has improved and is becoming more consistent from one time to the next. That is quite an accomplishment! Then there is the new Director, Manuel, Assistant Director, Guillermo and Food/Beverage Manager, George. You see them eating in the same places we go, asking for feedback/comments on what we appreciate and what can be improved. They are also very respectful towards the staff. You often see them giving handshakes and a tap on the back. This helps to keep people motivated and consequently, provide good service. I certainly hope that continues. It is nice to see their hard work appreciated! Overall, another fantastic vacation! Amazing how many times I hear people warn me to avoid Cuba... food is bad, etc. Well, I would like to challenge them to try the Melia Las Dunas. It may be true that the variety is less than Mexico and Domenican Republic, especially in low season. That needs to be balanced against the fact the people are really friendly, service is amazing, you feel very secure (a lot of security guards and excellent medical facilities & care), and the hotel is clean and well managed. Not to be forgotten... the price is really good. You get to go twice to this place instead of once in the other Caribbean locations. A great holiday, once again! Can't wait to go back next Spring! Johanne :-)
“Excellent vacation and best place in Cuba!!! ”
My wife and I just came back from Melia Las Dunas -- we stayed there from October 17 to October 24 and celebrated her birthday and a past due anniversary while we were there (will get to the details on what the hotel did about this later in the review). We would both go there in a heartbeat and we're planning to return with our in-laws / friends at a later date. Here's the breakdown which I hope helps all of you. INITIAL COMMENTS: We were here during low-season so the adults-only side of the resort was closed for maintanence, etc. The facitilites on that side were closed, and some restaurants, but none of this took anything away from this beautiful resort. Would definitely go back in October again! TRIP TO THE HOTEL/RESORT: After landing in Santa Clara, you will board a very nice tour-bus that has comfy seats, A/C, and a tour-guide. If you want, you can buy beer/cold drinks before boarding the bus at several vendors at the airport (they were located on the way to the buses). You drive through 3 diff. towns and it's really neat to see the Cuban culture + countryside. Then you cross a 48km causeway over the ocean to travel to Cayo Santa Maria (a key-island off the north coast of Cuba). Very beautiful to see! It's about 1.5hrs - 1hr 45mins to get to the resort, but it goes by quickly. My wife and I did excurisions when we went to Cayo Coco just to see the Cuban countryside + towns -- this bus ride to the hotel eliminated any urge to do any other excursions as we got to see all of this on our way to Melia Las Dunas. CHECK-IN / RECEPTION / INITIAL ROOM: We arrived several hours before check-in, yet they had our room ready for us! Check-in was standard + easy + fast. We did request a 2nd floor room via itravel2000.com and also emailed the hotel. However, we got a first floor room. It was room 2311. This room was TERRIBLE! It smelt musky, it was first floor. it didn't seem to be well-kept. The lighting was not great in the bathroom. We went back to reception and asked if we can have a better room - a room that's 2nd floor, etc. They said no problem, they can give us a room in the 2nd floor, OR, we can pay about $105 CUC ($115 CAD) for an upgraded room - SUPERIOR SUITE - for our entire stay (7 days). THIS UPGRADE WAS WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY (see below for description). NOTE - upgrading to this room via Sunwing was approx $280.00 per person! The reception staff even said that they can show us the rooms first before we make any sort of switch. Since we were tired from travelling, we said to just upgrade us. We were so happy that we did! THE ROOM: Again, our initial room 2311 was not good at all! I mean, we weren't there for the room, but a first impression by walking into that room really gave us a big scare about the rest of our stay at the resort. As mentioned above, we upgraded at the front desk/reception to the Superior Room. AGAIN, THIS WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY! We got moved to room 3427 (Bungalow 34, room 27 [second floor]). This Room was a lot larger! It was a suite-setup, with a walk-in closet that gives you enough room to keep your luggages in, unpacked, etc. There's a nice king sized bed which was comfy! A/C was cold (I don't think the thermostat worked -- i think there was only "ON" and "OFF" no matter what temperature you set it at, it was always ON!). This is a good thing as I like the cold for sleeping! If not, just ask for more blankets and I'm sure you'll get them upon request. The shower had great pressure! Room has an HD LED flatscreen TV, a mini-bar fridge stocked daily with 2 beers, 2 pops, and a large bottle of water (more upon request -- just ask the guy when they come around and they'll give you whatever you need). The room was VERY CLEAN and TIDY + well kept. This felt like a vacation-room! Nice decorations, etc. Ohh, and a balcony that faces the beach! NO BUGS at all in this room! I found one ant by the balcony screen door which I probably let in. Our maid always gave us towel-art EVERYDAY and she was very friendly and did an AMAZING JOB EVERYDAY! THANK YOU! THE FOOD (Buffets + Snackbars + 24hr Restaurant): There's 24hrs of food service here! Since we were here during low-season, some restaurants were closed. However, we didn't mind as EVERYTHING we ate was really good! My wife was scared to go back to Cuba as last time we went to Cayo Coco and she came back starving -- she didn't like the food, it didn't sit well, etc. At Melia Las Dunas, the food and service with the food was EXCELLENT! Tipping did NOT determine the quality of service as you ALWAYS GOT great service regardless of whether or not you tipped them. The buffets were AMAZING! CHICKEN was great - tasted great, cooked well (no matter how it was cooked, etc.) and the PORK -- WOW! Best pork-chops ever there! BEEF -- it's tough ... but tasty. I don't understand how people could write anything bad about the food here as it's really that impressive! The pizza there was really good, and I can go on and on. For lunch, we had a choice of going to the outdoor grill-buffet which was really good too, or to a snackbar that serves grilled sandwiches and calzones (by the pool), or the 24hr restaurant called the "Beer Garden" which is setup like a sportsbar. They serve sandwiches and hamburgers. I LOVED their bacon-cheeseburger + chicken sandwiches. Didn't try anything else as they were that good! There's also a sandwich grill right AT THE BEACH! This was a GREAT IDEA as it allowed you to soak up the sun + be a beach-bum for hours longer! At other resorts, we would always worry about the time as we would miss lunch as the only option was a lunch buffet open for a certain time -- Melia Las Dunas -- you guys did a great job with allowing us to enjoy even more of our well earned vacation time! THANKS! Ohh and the BREAKFAST BUFFET --> soo good too! There's everything here that you could ask for from fresh juices, yogurt, cereals, breads, a crepe station, shake station, griddle station for eggs/omelets, etc. Out of all of the resorts we've been to, Melia Las Dunas -- you get RANK #1 for buffet food + quality + selection! THANKS! THE FOOD (A-La-Carte): We tried the Asian restaurant, Italian, then the Romantic. Asian restaurant was amazing! Chicken terriyaki tasted really good as well as the shrimp tempura appetizers! Italian restaurant was ok .... nothing fancy but ok. Romantic restaurant had a piano player there. The menu was predominantly seafood. This was our least favorite restaurant. Not too many choices here either. Seemed to be more of a 'presentation' restaurant than a 'food driven' restaurant. Not bad though, but we could do without it. We tried to book the Asian restaurant again but just never got around to it. THE STAFF: BEST SERVICE EVER! Everyone there tries very hard to make you happy and serve you with excellence! Whether you tip them or not, they treat you the same - with pride, respect, and best practices! Animation Crew --> really awesome! Since we were here during low-season -- the adults only pool was closed. The animation staff tried to get you involved in their games, etc. but also respected if you just wanted to lay around and not participate. They worked really hard and did an amazing job throughout our stay! EVENING ENTERTAINMENT The Nightly Shows; Our first night was a comedy show --- BEST SHOW EVER!!! We couldn't stop laughing + talking about it for days! That host was awesome too! There was a magic show with some crazy juggling acts / dance acts which saved the show as we're not too impressed by 'magic' --- performed well or not, it's all props. There was also a show that involved the audience -- very funny + enteraining. The rest of the shows were dance-performances. All of the dancers were amazing --- HOWEVER, too much dance! I think during our 7day stay, there was 4 dance shows. If you love watching this, then you'll be entertained, but we felt that we just needed more variety. Music: EVERY NIGHT -- there's a live band then a DJ that plays outside in the main square off the lobby --- this was a GREAT idea! It got people dancing, even just as they walked by to get to the lobby! If it was raining or a risk for rain that night, they moved the entertainment indoors to the lobby or the sportsbar area. If you're a night-partier, you'll love this resort as there's always something going on at night! Also, off the resort, there's a fake-town/market that hosts nightly disco parties at their town-square hosted for all of the resorts on the island/area ($1 peso to get there and $1 peso back or $3 pesos via taxi). We never went to this but if this is your thing, that option is there which is neat as you would be partying with the other resorts. BARS / DRINKS: Lobby bar --> BEST SERVICE + BEST CAPPUCCINO ever! ALWAYS got quick service + acknowledged! Again, they appreciate being tipped, but didn't treat you better or worse if you didn't tip/didn't give too much etc. The lobby bar staff = EXCELLENT! There's always people going around too asking if you want any other drinks, etc. Beach Bar / Pool Bar -- again same service! GREAT + great selection! TIP --> no sweetner here so if you take sweetner, bring it with you and enjoy! =) SPECIAL OCCASIONS: The resort and I organized a special b-day dinner for my wife! They brought out a b-day cake and champagne during one of our dinners! The cake was also lit on fire =) Really cool -- and it tasted really good! Also, I coordinated with Alejandro at Guest Services -- to ask if I can do anything else special. He walked me through everything and was very helpful. I ordered flowers to be delivered to our room while we were out for dinner. It did cost extra -- he said it would be about $30-$50 CUC depending on availablity as he had to order it from the nearest town. I left him /w $50 to do his thing and also to tip him well. He said that there would be a big display of flowers in our room, and the staff would decortate our room for a nice romantic night upon coming in after dinner/going out for the night. When we came back to our room for the night, there was an amazing display of flowers on our table! Something that would cost a fortune here in Canada. The bed was littered /w flowers, chocholates, a special b-day note from the hotel to my wife. The tub was full + hot and also full of flowers + bubble bath. The TV was left on on the music station, and they tidied up the room a bit too and just made it look amazing! My wife was in shock and thought she was in the wrong room =) THANK YOU ALEJANDRO and MELIA LAS DUNAS for making my wife feel very special on her b-day! In addition to this, the next day, Alejandro called me and said that he has $10 CUC to give back to me as it did not cost him the $50 that I gave him! I tried to tip him with it but he refused and gave it back! So I paid $40 CUC extra for this special surprise -- doing this in Canada and again, the flowers alone would've been well over $150-$250 so I'm very happy with this! THANKS AGAIN! THE BEACH / POOL:; BEST BEACH EVER! Most beautiful beach I've ever seen + been to! It's literally shallow for 500m or more... with turquoise water and CLEAR as ever! There were some jellyfish there but not too many. We saw a lot of fish + starfish -- so if you're a snorkeller -- bring your equipment -- so clear and warm water! I would go back to this resort for the beach alone! The Pool --> very nice and huge! Always a spot to find and things going on throughout the day. No complaints -- only compliments here! GYM --> yes, my wife and I got some workouts in while we were here and the gym was pretty nice and well equipped. Good cardio section --> Some treadmills, yoga mats, a rowing machine, steppers, 2 spin bikes, and a few other kinds of exercise bikes. Decent quality equipment too - nothing fancy, but it's also not low-grade equipment either -- I believe the brand they had there was Techno-Gym. Weight room was very well equipped -- all plates are rubber plates (perfect!) -- several different benches and a good mix of machine + free-weight stations + equipment. There's a full cable machine too. The weight room and the cardio room have A/C in it, and a TV. There's also a cold-water dispenser there and a bathroom. We got some really good workouts in while we were here so if you're someone who likes to keep your routine going while away ... you can definiately do so while you're here. The hours are 7am-7pm -- plenty of time. EXCURSIONS --> didn't do any as we didn't need to! The beach is to die for here and the pool! Sorry no review for this section. We did however buy the Airport VIP on our departure (see below). AIRPORT VIP --> Well worth it! $25 CUC for a private VIP lounge room /w TVs, comfy couches, A/C, all you can eat food (grilled sandwiches which were really good) and drinks (pop, bottled water that you can bring onto the plane, beer, wine, coffee, cappucinos which were really good too), seperate bathrooms that were clean. WELL WORTH IT! OVERALL --> our BEST stay at any resort! We've paid a lot of money at other resorts before, but were most happy with Melia Las Dunas. The only negatives were that the nighly entertainment shows could be rev-amped (too much dance shows lol) ... and room 2311 --- I hope the other standard rooms aren't like that -- Everything else was positive and quite an experience! I wish we were still there!!! Definitely feel relaxed + rejuvinated! Thank you Melia Las Dunas!!!! EXCELLENT JOB! Can't beat this place for the price we paid either! We will definitely be back the next time we stay in Cuba and will recommend this place in a heartbeat!
“Worth going back to ”
We found this all inclusive hotel to be a highly enjoyable and safe vacation. It has a beautiful setting with a great beach, and carefully manicured grounds. The staff is friendly and very helpfull. Great value
“Love this place :D”
Have been here twice once just me and my husband and second time with another couple. Both were extremely enjoyable. The beach, long, white, spacious and clean !!! :) The food is as good as Cuba gets The rooms big and clean. The best part of the resort is that its laid out like a butterfly to the left is family and entertainment ( loud and geared to kids ), family rooms, kids pool, etc right is just a mirror of the other side but Adults only, rooms on that side are adults only pool is adults only (still some music and that but just tamer without kids) its like the best of both worlds all your amenities are located in the middle of the resort - with the exception of a couple restaurants. wonderful place !!!!!
“Visit #5 coming up!!!!! ”
We have now booked our 5th trip to the Las Dunas. This resort has become our new best friend. We love the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff, the beautiful landscaping, the amazing beachfront, and the feeling of calm and security that envelopes us when we arrive! There is a great choice of restaurants to satisfy us whether we are looking for a light snack, or a full gourmet dinner. La Romantica and the Italian a la cartes are our favourites, and you cannot miss the fantastic bar b q at the seafood restaurant at lunch time. There is always a great choice of fresh caught seafood, cooked to your liking by very capable and inventive chefs! Sometime the selection of fresh produce is not what we are used to at home, but we can always put together a great salad with what is offered. We have travelled with family members (grandkids aged 9, 11 and 12) and we were very comfortable with letting them wander in the resort without an adult at their side. The staff were always very friendly to them and always make us feel like returning friends when we arrive! Any minor glitches that we have ever had have always been quickly attended to by the management. Would have no problem recommending this resort to anyone!
“2nd Visit to Las Dunas - will be back for a 3rd. ”
We went to Melia Las Dunas for a week arriving on October 11th. (Family of 2 adults, 5 yr old, and a 2 yr old) The flight comes into nearby Santa Clara and the bus is 90 minutes from the resort, but it is an interesting drive with lots of Cuba to see. As before the resort is beautiful with enthusiastic and friendly staff. The food is the best that I have had in Cuba to date and while not everything was to my taste, even those dishes seemed well made. The pools are excellent for kids and the beach is fantastic. We quite enjoyed the other activities such as archery, pool, and Ping-Pong at the resort as a way to change up the daily activities. The main bar is very well stocked with a wide variety of spirits and liqueurs. The night entertainment is great for some past sunset dancing and entertainment. In particular my family loved the ice cream shop, able to walk down the main strip and get some lovely freshly made ice cream with many tropical flavours. The buffet restaurants have a wide selection of cooked dishes, fresh breads, cold cuts, cheese selections, freshly made juices, and made-before you dishes. We quite enjoyed each visit to the restaurants. The internet in Cuba is slow and expensive; however, they upgraded since March 2014 to have wifi now available in the lobby -- excellent because you can now use your own devices if you choose. Overall, we really enjoyed our 2nd visit to Melia Las Dunas and will be back for another visit in the future.
“Melia Las Dunas - Oct 10th to 17th, 2014 ”
What a wonderful vacation. This was my 9th time at Melia Las Dunas and I must say that I enjoyed my vacation as much as the first time. The employees of the hotel are what make the difference in this wonderful resort. The gardens are lush and the various colors of flowers as well as vegetation make the setting superb. My room was clean and the bed very comfortable. The nightly activities were absolutely fantastic. We were a group of 12 people, many returning customers and everyone had a great time. My only negative comment for my whole week is the Romantico restaurant. The quality of service is not as good as everywhere else on the site and this is mostly due to the attitude of the wine server (too bad because most of the other employees are wonderful) and the food is also not as good as would be expected. Too bad as the ambiance in this restaurant is lovely. I would also have appreciated more live cuban bands during the meals as I personally enjoy listening to them. I found there weren't as many this year as the previous years, although perhaps this is due to the fact this is curently low tourist season for them. All in all a great vacation. The people that work at Melia Las Dunas make your stay a memorable one. If you want to be treated like royalty, at a resort with a great beach, lovely grounds and clean environment, this is the place to go. Will go back for sure. :)
Very Very Very Nice
The Meliá Las Dunas hotel is located in Santa María cay which is part of Jardines del Rey archipielago. A wide strip of white sand, crystal clear waters of blue turquoise color, wild green vegetation and a rich variety of endemic fauna makes this region, declared Reserve of Biosphere ranks as one of the most exotic areas of the whole Caribbean. This 5-star, All Inclusive vacation resort, the highest Sol Meliá category, is perfect for the wedding and honeymoon, family, events and incentive segments of the market. The property houses 925 rooms overlooking the ocean or the exuberant tropical gardens and swimming pool area, which have been elegantly decorated and furnished with modern comforts, personalized service.
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