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The Melia Buenavista is a welcome addition to the existing all-inclusive beach resorts in the northern Cayes. Whereas most Cuban all-inclusive resorts have several hundred rooms and are family-friendly, the Buenavista only has just over 100 rooms in total and is exclusively for adults aged 18 and over, making it a relaxing option. Guest accommodation is in a series of low-rise bungalows set in well-maintained gardens, and guests can easily stroll to any of the three secluded, white-sand beaches.

All Melia resorts on Cuba's beaches benefit from foreign investment and management, ensuring a higher standard of service and accommodation than some of the alternatives. However, it's important to understand that this is only a good resort by Cuban standards – the service and food are still not quite up to international standards.

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Audley Travel specialist Corina

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Cuba specialists on 01993 838 685

Rooms

Accommodation comprises a series of spacious and well-equipped Junior Suites and Suites which feature views of either the gardens, the pool or the ocean. All are elegantly furnished and feature a king size bed or twin beds, an LCD satellite TV, a safe and a minibar. Added amenities that set the Melia apart from many other beach offerings in Cuba include coffee machines, whirlpool baths and outdoor showers. Junior Suites offer 62 square metres of living space, are tastefully decorated and offer plenty of natural light. The Suite options are more spacious at 106 square metres, featuring a separate living area and furnished terraces.

Location

Situated at the end of the islet, the Melia enjoys a particularly peaceful location. There are several beaches in the area and very little development, save a handful of other all-inclusive resorts. A very small pueblo can be found nearby, which amounts to a couple of souvenir shops, but the emphasis is very much on relaxation and enjoying the beach.

Food and Drink

Guests at the Melia will find three modern restaurants on site, with all meals served à la carte. The menus, which are changed daily, offer a good choice of international food. As with all resorts in the area, all meals are included here (there are no local restaurants on Cayo Santa Maria), and although service can be slow, the dining experience in general is good by Cuban standards. There are three bars at the resort, one conveniently located by the swimming pool, one by the beach and one in the lobby which doubles as a piano bar.

Families

This is an adults-only property.

Facilities and Activities

There are two separate swimming pools at the hotel - one with various activities and music creating a lively atmosphere, and the other ideal for pure relaxation. There's also beach service in season, as well as a gym, tennis court and club house where snorkeling, kayaking and diving can be arranged. The on site spa offers a variety of treatments and features a hydro-massage tub, sauna and steam room.

Our opinion

The Melia is one of our favourite options for relaxation in Cuba due to the quality of its rooms, its generally peaceful feel and the choice of excellent beaches within easy reach.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.