A little bit about ourselves, we are a family of 4 that have traveled almost 40 times to Cuba, with another 20 times across the Caribbean. Hotels ranged from between 3 to 5 stars. Since 2012 we have visited Cayo Santa Maria 15 times and this was our 7th time to Playa Cayo Santa Maria.
My wife and I stayed for 3 weeks while my adult sons stayed for 12 days. We traveled Dec 21, 2021- Jan 11, 2022. For 14 of the 21 days, we had summer-like weather, truly fantastic! Clear blue sky with no clouds and crystal blue ocean with no waves averaged 80 degrees.
This definitely helped us have an even better vacation.
Water was crystal blue and clear, and not at all murky. It was warm for a large portion of our stay. For the rest of the days, it was wavy but we still managed to enjoy splashing around the waves.
Check In 5*
As repeat guests, it was a breeze! We asked and received the exact rooms we wanted.
The room was perfect! We had a top-floor room with a wonderful view. They offered a free in-room safe and a min-bar that was stocked daily with soda, and water. The room-servers were polite and efficient, they left the room spotless and always made towel art that we got a kick out of.
The hotel is medium size so be prepared to walk, which we enjoy. The grounds are perfectly kept, the gardeners start early and finish mid-afternoon to ensure everything is perfect. The gardener on our section was Julio, a true delight to deal with. Our morning conversation was a treat! He helped us practice our Spanish and is a wonderful person. He made our stay much more welcoming.
The bartenders are some of the most pleasant around. Always smiling as they serve you. The quality of the drink is better than average. A couple of them had slushy machines with pre-made strawberry and lemon granitas or pina coladas which may not be authentic but you can't beat a cold drink in a warm climate.
The main buffet 4*- thanks to the staff, Ariel, Yandy and Yuliet!
Great breakfast with made-to-order egg, omelet, waffle, or pancake section. Some fresh fruits mostly papayas, pineapples, guava, or starfruit. Fresh (sweet) bread, many kinds of cheese, and other cold cuts. The coffee was solid at the buffet but the juices were not very good.
Lunch was solid. Once again the had made to order meat section with beef, very limited chicken and even less pork. A made-to-order fish section and a made-to-order pizza section. Lots of ice cream, cheeses, salads, cold cuts, and the rest of the trimmings, They would also have pre-made meals like stews and so on.
Dinner- pretty much exactly like the lunch menu except they had more specialty pre-made meals, lamb, roasted turkey, and so on. We always found something to eat and never left hungry. I'm a big fan of made-to-order stations, never have gone wrong with grilled chicken or pork.
My only complaint is the buffet would get busy as PCSM was the busiest hotel in the whole strip. Many Canadians and locals filled the place especially during the holiday period. This was a good thing as all the amenities were opened but involved waiting in line a bit.
Snack bar 3*
Served pressed sandwiches, hamburgers, fries, hotdogs, calamari, pizza and chicken fingers. It was fantastic the first 2 days when they had everything, but after that, they started running out of items, no calamari or chicken fingers for most of the trip. Some days they would have burgers and then for 2-3 days they did not have them.
Specialty restaurant 4 to 5*
The Romantic restaurant was our favourite! The beef sirloin, chicken with cheese or seafood medley were delicious. The Cuban soup and salads were also wonderful. What made it even more special was the staff. Thanks to Claudia Maria, Claudia, Dagebrto and the hostess Mildrey. We ate there often and they made it special every time.
The Italian was hit or miss depending on what you ordered. The lasagna was good.
The Cuban was good, especially the chips, soup, and chicken.
Lobby morning coffee- quick service. always served us with a smile. Emily and Jaydi were always pleasant.
Pools - were cleaned daily.
Entertainment - During the holidays they had foam parties on multiple days, it was crazy. Hundreds of people celebrating. It was nice being away from the lockdown in Quebec. There was also a beach party one night. Lisdania did a phenomenal job getting the party going. Next to the beer garden, there was a saxophone or singing group every night before the night entertainment.
There is no volleyball at the resort; we asked the entertainment manager to look into purchasing a ball. If you are going bring one! The court is behind the sandwich place at the beach, small but if we had a ball there were enough players to get a game going.
Internet- worked well and they gave you as much as you needed when you ran out. Worked well all around the resort and the rooms but not at the beach.
Staff- 5* What makes PCSM our favourite is the staff. It starts off with the Yailedis the customer service manager. She does everything to ensure you enjoy your trip. She is extremely competent and is a delight to deal with. She was the main reason why our stay was so perfect.
Nora is the restaurant reservation person. Her commitment to ensuring the guests enjoy their stay is outstanding. She did everything to make sure we had a great trip.