As you may have seen in my post a couple days ago Cayo Santa Maria – My Vacation, I recently enjoyed a beautiful vacation at the end of February. I wanted to go into more detail about the amazing resort we stayed in, called Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
This five-star, all inclusive resort is part of a line of resorts on the Santa Clara Keys, just off the mainland of Cuba (90 minute drive from the airport). Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria is extremely affordable, and has 793 rooms, including 24 suites and 1 master suite. My boyfriend and I had a standard room with a garden view. We loved the privacy of our room, our building was quiet and appeared to be newly renovated. I loved the bright paint colours they chose for the walls in each building. So bright and fun!
This hotel has 5 or 6 pools, ranging from a giant party pool with a swim-up bar, to a few more quiet, relaxing pools for sun-bathing, taking a nice dip, or reading a good book. All of the pools and surrounding garden areas were stunning and kept immaculate by the staff.
Many of the services and pools seemed to close up around 6pm, but there were two 24 hour bars and a 24 hour snack bar. The lobby was popping at all hours if you felt like partying, as well as the cigar bar (that kind of seemed more like a little dance hall). The live entertainment took place in the theatre every night around 9pm, which was a great way to spend the evening after dinner.
This resort is also known for their amazing spa services. David and I decided not to bother with the spa, only because we couldn’t pass up any time in the sunshine. We were treating ourselves with a gorgeous vacation, so we didn’t feel the need to treat ourselves within that too.
One thing that could have been better at Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria was the food. Of course, you have probably heard that anywhere you stay in Cuba, the food isn’t great. The servers were very kind and accommodating, and they did have a lot to choose from. The food tasted pretty good, but after about 5 days it did upset my stomach a little bit. Nothing too crazy, but worth noting if you plan on staying in this area. I will say that the À La Carte Restaurants at the resort were much better than the all-inclusive buffet.
The coffee bar was AMAZING! I never typically drink black coffee, but their Americanos were delicious without needing to add anything. I also tried their cappuccinos, and again, SO GOOD!
You have to use bottled water for everything, including brushing your teeth, but that has nothing to do with the hotel, just the living situation in Cuba. We didn’t mind this so much, as they provided a huge bottle of water every single day that we could use.
That being said, we did not go to Cuba to eat, we went for the sunshine and the beach! For this, Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria definitely surpassed my expectations! We were very lucky that the weather was sunny and plus 30 degrees every single day. Even though the pools were so nice, we didn’t spend much time at the pool because we spent most of our stay at the BEAUTIFUL beach!
We haven’t done a lot of traveling yet, but from speaking to other people who have frequented many resorts in different countries, they said this was the most beautiful beach they had ever seen! That didn’t surprise me at all because it was absolutely breath-taking.
The sand was so soft, fine and white, and the ocean was that surreal clear blue that you imagine when you think of a beach paradise. Honestly I couldn’t have dreamt up a nicer beach if I tried. If you are looking for a resort specifically that has a 5-star beach, I highly recommend this one!
When on the beach, there were kayaks and mini catamarans you could use at anytime, free of charge. So many non-motorized activities are included in your stay which were so much fun! Back at the pool area, they had a hut filled with games, cards and sporting equipment you could use anytime! We had a blast.
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria also has a long list of excursions organized by the hotel that are safe and pretty affordable. There is an excursion for everyone to enjoy. David and I chose the 6 hour catamaran excursion that included snorkelling in the deep blue and going to see the dolphin show at the dolphin aquarium. It was one of my favourite days of our vacation.
When asked if we will return to this resort in the future, I would say definitely. I do want to travel to other countries and see the world a bit more before I return to a place I’ve already been, but if returning to that part of Cuba I would 100% go back to Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria. I would recommend it to families, couples, groups of friends, honestly anyone!
If you like mojitos (our go-to drink), you MUST try them here- you will not be disappointed. The fresh mint and Cuban rum couldn’t be better anywhere else.
That concludes my review of the wonderful resort, Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria in Villa Clara, Cuba! If you have any questions, please feel free to write them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them for you.
All in all, I would give this resort a 4.5/5, and recommend it to anyone wanting to stay in Cuba!