Archive for April, 2017

Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

This was my 3rd time going back to Playa Cayo Santa Maria, and I’m not the type that really wants to go back to the same hotel twice, but with this hotel I changed my mind. The first two times were so much fun and such a relaxing environment and great staff, and beautiful resort, good food, awesome restaurants, and fun entertainment, with the most pristine beach. The water is turquoise and warm and no waves, which is exactly what I want. Dealing with pain issues, I can not go somewhere where there are waves, so I’m always careful about choosing a hotel with a beach that is smooth as silk and the water is calm and inviting. I want to be able to float on the water and not get hit by a big wave, so this place had everything I was looking for. It may not be 5 star but for many reasons it will be 5 star in my heart. The staff is one of those reasons.

Although I took pictures with my compact camera and wish I could have brought my pro camera with me, but its just to heavy and due to my pain I can’t lift it for long so I didn’t bring it but managed to get some nice images with my canon compact camera. I pray that I get better and one day can bring my pro camera again on our trips, as I missed taking truly beautiful images, but I guess this will do for now.

I began by writing customer service and a lovely human being named Marta Maria Diaz replied and she was so delightful to talk to and she did everything she could to make our week there absolutely amazing. She booked restaurant reservations for us, and planned a birthday party for us and even got the resort to bring in a foam party company as I had never seen or been to one before and was so excited to experience. She went above and beyond her job and from the suite to the restaurants to the reservations and surprises everything was simply magnificent. She even managed to somehow get us invited to the managers brunch which was suppose to be for guests who have been there the most. There is a manager’s dinner as well for those that are returning guests as well. We ate lobster 3 times in our week stay because of Marta. My only regret is that I didn’t get a picture with Marta and I and I promise not to make this mistake again when travelling to another resort.

In fact I’m an avid traveller and I love travelling almost as much as photography so this is why I’m combining both and will blog about each destination and resort that I go to from now on. This way people will get a better idea of what to expect when travelling to the same hotels that I have.

I also find that taking a vacation helps with one’s whole outlook on life. My sister knows how much I have to deal with at home and the pain I go through on a daily basis, and she always encourages me to take a week vacation with her, to get away from everything and to just relax and restore ourselves. It does my body good as well as my spirit as daily life can get to be very demanding and can take its toll, especially when dealing with pain, so hubby takes care of the kiddos and we fly away to somewhere warm and relaxing.

While in Santa Maria, one must take advantage of the offers out there and try out an excursion or two and we enjoyed one so much that we went on it twice. This is the catamaran and dolphin interaction excursion. For roughly $100 you board a beautiful huge catamaran and cruise around Santa Maria and get to experience sea life and even interact with it. We not only went snorkelling (well I didn’t, my sister did, but I watched) and helped feed the fish (as I would throw her some food and she would give it to the fish) while swimming with them and had a marvelous time doing so, but then we went to the dolphin (Delfinario) and we actually got to touch and watch the dolphins perform as well as get up close to them as they did tricks for us. It was nothing short of spectacular. Not only were they cute and adorable and beautiful creatures, they were smart and warm and friendly and I could have played with them all day. It was so much fun that we went and booked a private interaction with the dolphins for the following day and we (my sister, as I was in too much pain) got to ride them and swim with them and feed them and talk to them and we kissed them and they kissed us back, and all this was captured for us on video as well as a couple of awesome collages to hang on my wall and make me smile each and every time I look at them.

As for food, buffet is ok, but the restaurants are what were really impressive to me. From Asian to Italian to Seafood and Steak, to the 24 hrs snack bar that had yummy shrimps and delicious margarita pizza. They also have a sweet little spot for all the ice cream you can eat, and at times someone would come and make cotton candy as well. I do wish they had a churro cart though, as I was expecting that from articles I had seen, and I love churros. For breakfast, I would always have crepes as they were so tasty, with a bit of honey and cinnamon on them and a bit of fruit, that’s all i needed but they have eggs and bacon and different meats and breads and cereal, you will not go hungry that’s for sure. Lunch buffet can be eaten near the main lobby but we always opted to eat at the beach restaurant, the fried fish was amazing and if you don’t like what they offer you can always grab a burger or hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich in the beach grills which are located right on the beach, so you can lounge in your chair and take in the beautiful view while eating a yummy lunch.

The drinks were also yummy and although I don’t really like alcohol, and drink virgin pina colodas mostly you could tell everyone was enjoying their “alcoholic” beverages. I’m also not a coffee fanatic but I heard nothing but great things when it came to the coffee.

They have a small shop in the lobby but they have a bigger market 10 mins away which you can take a double decker bus, or an old vintage taxi or even better the little train that comes by, any which way you take its definitely an adventure. The market place has many artisan sculptures and dresses and paintings and wooden objects as well as beautiful crochet dresses or tshirts or nice jewellery. Don’t forget to purchase some rum, can’t leave without purchasing some Cuban rum. If you are a smoker, then you know about cuban cigars, and there are many places you can purchase them from. I bought some from the hotel.

The spa was beautiful and tranquil and the massages were fantastic, and we were allowed to use the big jacuzzi pool everyday because we booked massages with them. Definitely a must while you are there.

I even liked our room, it was quaint, with a nice view of the ocean, but a little outdated and could use some touch ups like new sheets and a fresh coat of paint but its definitely liveable and worked just fine for us for a week. It was also cleaned everyday and the maids and the gardeners always work very hard so they must be commended for a job well done.

The entertainment staff is quite nice, they always have a small show, more like a dance as well as playing a couple of games at poolside in the afternoon around 3 or 4 pm. They try hard to entertain everyone every night and of course the Michael Jackson show is always a thrill (punn intended) but I wish they would mix things up some more as all three times they basically had the same shows. The entertainment staff also greets you in the mornings at times when you go for breakfast and they are always smiling and making everyone feel included. They even gather at the disco/cigar lounge at night and dance with the guests.

The only other negative thing and its not really negative although some might think it is, is the long 90 min drive from the airport to the resort. You can choose to get upset and grumble about this or you can choose to enjoy the scenery and the lovely tour guide that tells you all about the cities you are driving through and their history while drinking a cerveza. This way time flies and you find that it can be an enjoyable drive.

Our deepest gratitude to the staff at playa cayo santa Maria, we will definitely come back and I highly recommend this resort to anyone going to Cayo Santa Maria Cuba. You won’t be disappointed.