Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria
3.883.883.883.883.88
3.88 based on 386 reviews
#8 of 24 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Cayo Santa Maria
Rated 4 stars
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First vacation as Solo traveller.

, Trois-Rivieres, QC
2020-06-20
Very nice hotel, great smiling employees happy to help you. Superb beach, very clean everywhere on the site. The vegetation is luxurious. Food is good, fresh delicious fish, everyone can find for their taste. Animation: great musicians in the lobby, nice shows at the theater.
For those who doesn't like the 1 hre 30 ride from airport, choose an early flight, the Reps on the bus are generally very interesting. [Details]
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The strong points
Services, cleanliness, beach, vegetation, animation.
The weak points
Nothing really.

So disappointing , Never again

, Digby, NS
2020-05-11
We visited Dhawa Cayo Santo Maria in Feb 2020. I was sceptical about returning to Cuba again this year after 2 other visits in the past , both with their share of problems. However after listening to many people rave about their wonderful visits to Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria, I thought ok we will give cuba a try again. The bus ride from the airport to the resort was 1.5 hrs long but seemed to go by quite quickly actually and it was interesting to pass through a few of the towns on our way and travel over the causeway. Upon arrival our check in was reasonably quick and a tropical beverage was offered. The Bell hops promptly took us by golf cart to our designated building and on our way stopped to explain some of the facilities that were available, the location of the pool, buffet, snack bar and beach. We were accompanied to our rooms only to discover the room had 2 -3/4 beds and not the king size we had requested when booking. Also the AC was not working properly and although staff tried to remedy the problem we were unable to control the temperature so as a result the AC was shut off and only the ceiling fan could be used. Rooms were otherwise clean but lacked a clock radio, a coffee maker, or a telephone but came equipped with a bathroom scale . The safe was easy to access and large enough to hold multiple electronics, passports, camera, phones and wallets. The in room fridge was stocked with only one large bottle of water, I can of pop and I can of beer on any given day. We still question why a room with 2 people only received one can of each. Our maid service was very good and she was very creative with her daily towel art. Unfortunately we never did know her name . The pool was beautiful and clean and enjoyed by our large party of 11. The pool restaurant offered a menu for breakfast and lunch but was limited in the selections offered.Service was hit or miss here and they often forgot orders, as well wait staff tried bargaining to sell you their tequila , rum etc. The beach was beautiful , gorgeous sand and lots of chairs and some areas for shade . Staff at the beach were helpful in finding us chairs to relax on . Beach service itself was disappointing, I asked one of the servers for a drink and he muttered something in Spanish and just left. I never did receive my drink . The 2 fellows that worked the beach bar were great, always friendly and made great drinks. The only downfall to the beach was lack of bathroom facilities. It was quite a walk to the restrooms and oneof our group actually got locked in her stall . Hobicats, paddle boats and kayaks were readily available for use which was certainly nice . Nightly entertainment in the theatre was above average but the theatre became extremely hot with lack of fans or AC. Know on to the food ! Omelettes were great and made to order and skillfully by Yuni in the mornings, and Rene did a great job grilling fresh fish at supper. However food in general was mediocre at best, often cold and certainly lacking of choice. The fresh fruit selection was next to nil and most days only wedges of unripened oranges and guava were available. Watermelon appeared to to be the next thing to rotten, papaya was only available 2 out of 7 days, no melon, no pineapple, no bananas. Canned fruit was available on a couple of occasions. The buffet area as a whole was disgusting!! Placemats, glasses, coffee mugs were often found to be dirty and flies were everywhere,you couldn't sit down to a meal that flies weren't on the table, in your drinks or on your person . Seat cushions in the buffet and in the lobby were stained , dirty and showed signs of mold. It was certainly questionable if a person really want to sit down on them . Staff were lacking in table service skills and often appeared overworked. Place settings were never complete and one was always asking for a fork , a spoon etc.Wait times for beverages in both the Buffett and lobby area was poor, waiting on average 15-25 mins for a drink no pina coladas for our first 2 days, no mint for mojitos , ran out of red wine. Pepper and ketchup were basically non existant and only surfaced when other guests had left what that brought .The juice selection was extremely poor and actually the worst I have ever seen . On most days it was unidentifiable. Or was watered down Tang or water with colouring and other days it was brown In colour that settled into sediment in the bottom of your glass. No mimosas were served, coffee was on a good day lukewarm and seldom refilled. No yogurt in cups or smoothies. Such a huge disappointment . The topper was on Valentines Day when the resort allows locals to come and spend the evening and the following day at the resort . Locals invaded the dining room, emptied out the buffet, wasted huge amounts of food and then took over the hotel in general . No places to sit in the lobby to listen to the entertainment which was ear deafening at best . It was told that 650-800 locals were at the hotel that day . So disappointing for the rest of the guests . Wait staff in the lobby were beyond exasperated trying to keep up to demands . Sorry this is such a long review but have been putting off writing it . I've tried to give Cuba a third chance but unfortunately this was a forgettable vacation for me . Sadly Never again will I visit this country . I will spend a little extra and have a vacation that I can truly say I loved . [Details]
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The strong points
Clean rooms, friendly staff on the most part. Beautiful grounds and flowers from the hard working gardeners . Elizabet our waitress in the lobby was wonderful. Beach was beautiful
The weak points
No bathroom facilities on the beach . Buffet area was dirty . Poorly trained servers and overworked staff Lack of beverages, wine , mint , beer Expensive wifi that barely worked

Dhawa Vacation

, Liverpool, HA
2020-03-22
Dhawa is one of the nicest, most beautiful resorts we have ever visited in Cuba!
The grounds were spectacular with gardeners constantly watering and looking after the upkeep.
We can not comment on the pool area as we are beach people.
The beach was awesome - deep with a sandy bottom - great for swimming.
Grill house/ Bar right on the beach which was wonderful.
Public washrooms always had toilet paper and soap as well were very clean.
The staff very pleasant and helpful.
Food for most part, best we've had in Cuba ( as long as you take into consideration the constant shortage of supplies.
Except for the day our usual maid was off, our room cleaned nicely daily ( her day off nothing was cleaned)
My biggest complaint was the lack of mix ( especially coke ) and the shortage of wine in the LOBBY BAR which was the main bar on the resort - we have NEVER experienced this before in any resort
They had absolutely no White Wine / Rose Wine for most of our 2 week stay and the last 4 days no Red Wine either
All that being said, we heard later that ANYTHING was available for a fee or large tip if you approached the “right” person - that did NOT go over well!! [Details]
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The strong points
Beautiful relatively new Resort/ Very friendly staff / very clean public areas eg: bathrooms
The weak points
Lack of availability of desired drinks/ mix in Lobby Bar In Buffet, the line ups for pasta and pizza were quite long ... half hour - 45 minute wait for service Service at tables in Buffet seemed disorganized at times - Not enough servers
Certified

Ok vacation

, Dieppe, NB
2020-03-01
Resort is a good size quiet et yet fun resort.very cleaned and well kept [Details]
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The strong points
Cleanliness and beautiful resort Quiet and yet fun Less busy at pool Good food at snack bar Good service at snack bar Nice beach although very small Good entertainment in lobby
The weak points
Cold same food daily Running out of this and that No red wine,no white wine No mint Language barrier Poor service Staff too serious and not friendly with the exception of reception No bathroom at the beach Same music at beach and animation
Certified

Great

, Bracebridge , ON
2020-02-01
Great layout , friendly staff , delicious breads beautifully landscaped, comfortable beds beach was stunning overall A [Details]
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The strong points
Beach and friendly staff
The weak points
Itchy bug bites long drive from airport
Certified

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria

, Winnipeg, MB
2020-01-26
Staff and other Cubans were friendly and helpful. Cuba is a safe environment. Very relaxing. [Details]
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The strong points
Entertainment was quite good. The room was clean and comfortable. The pool was clean and large.
The weak points
Smoking policy was weak and not enforced. People smoked on the beach, by the poll and in entertainment areas making it uncomfortable for non smokers. Unfortunately this is not unusual in Cuba. A la carte restaurants were poor.
Certified

Frank Dec 31 toJan 14

, London, ON
2020-01-21
hotel room was clean and well maintained.
area was beautiful
signage could be better e.g. more languages then Cuban
hours for meals at buffet should be posted
staff was great [Details]
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Certified

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

, Guelph, ON
2020-01-13
Very nice place. Very friendly staff. A feeling of being very safe, relatively clean all the time, All common areas are well cared for.The food was excellent for us being Pescatarian (Vegetarians who eat fish). There were good changes in the food the whole fourteen days we were there. [Details]
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The strong points
Safety in Cuba is super. Friendliness of all staff from gardeners to front desk, dining staff and supervisors is consistent across the board.
The weak points
It is hard to find a true 5 star resort in Cuba as a whole. - A la Carte for vegetarians is pathetic. -1,'45" travel to resort from airport is a little taxing. Excursions are always overpriced working with Cuba's currency
Certified

The Best Vacation Ever!

, Niagara Falls, ON
2019-11-03
This was truly a wonderful experience; from our flight, food (great variety and very delicious) to staff (who are friendly and helpful), and amazing entertainment everything was amazing. This was our first visit and we will certainly return and would highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for a wonderful getaway. [Details]
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Certified

First time in Cuba with 2 years old son

, Maple, ON
2019-07-25
First of all I have my rate
Beach 5 star
Service 3.5-4 star
Food 3.5-3.7 star
We were arguing with wife about tipping In resorts, I'm ok with giving tips to have better service, especially it's only 2-3 pesos daylong. My wife said , if you spent all your money to go on vacation , and you don't have much money ,why you have to tip to have good service. Well don't know who is right. We have not so great look towels when we moved in , next day I gave 1 peso to guy who change towels and he changed ( but not supposed to). Then we have started gave tips and see how all changes ( all smiles, asking you if you need anything else. Don't want to say without tip won't happen all that. ). Unfortunately even in 5 star hotel you need to tip ( industry's request or something).
So tip her ( 7 days around 30-40 $ Canadian) and feel great. Again about food , I had what to eat , my wife had what to eat and even child had what to eat. I'm not disappointed. [Details]
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The strong points
Beach
The weak points
Bring mosquito repellents, even to use in outlet ( important)

Our overall experience of this hotel was good

, Prevost, QC
2019-04-08
Over all was pleasant we were very happy with hotel services in general our room was well cleaned daily and was comfortable the services all over the hotel were great.
The pool area we were unable to enjoy because of lack of chairs
Bar services were good people were friendly
Beach was also beautiful were able to enjoy [Details]
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The strong points
The hotel is well maintained always kept very clean and people were very helpful and friendly the food at the restaurants were decent
The weak points
Sometimes the dishes and glass served to customers were not cleaned properly
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-20
Nous sommes très heureux d'apprendre que votre séjour dans notre hôtel ait été satisfaisant et que vous avez apprécié nos services durant votre visite. Ce serait un véritable privilège pour notre équipe d'apprendre que vous nous offrirez une autre opportunité de vous accueillir dans un avenir proche. Avec nos sincères salutations, La direction

Not likely to go back to this resort

, Finch, ON
2019-04-08
Let me start by saying that I love Cuba and have been going there for the past 15 years, sometimes 2x a year. Overall this resort is beautiful and well kept with some very friendly staff for the most part. Where it lacks is in the food department. I know this is a common issue in Cuba at many resorts ( we did know going in that food was an issue here, but we hear that all the time). However, I haven't seen it this bad since we first starting coming back in 2004.

We arrived mid day on the 30th and grabbed lunch at the buffet which seemed to have a nice variety of fresh fruit/veg, hot and cold food and a few cooking stations. Lunch was lunch and the breakfast buffet was the standard as far as Cuba goes. In enters dinner and over the next 4 days the food selection at the buffet changed drastically. Did you know you can prepare hot dogs 50 different ways? That was the comment from some guests at the hotel. During this time there were no meat grilling stations at dinner, no fresh fish, very few fresh vegetables and what meat was there was over cooked. If it wasn't for the yummy bread, the cheese and deli meat I would have likely said I starved and had we been in a different area of Cuba would have likely sought out local off resort restaurants for our dinners. Things changed again the last 2 days of our trip, large fresh bouquets of flowers started to appear in the lobby and it seemed like we hit the gold mine in the food department. The amount of FRESH produce went through the roof, meats appeared at the grilling station and suddenly EVERYTHING got better. Then we found out a local Cuban Celeb was making rounds which would lead one to believe this was the reason for the influx of good food and was likely the case. So having said that the buffet wasn't the only place with food issues. The snack bar (24 hours) is known for its pizza and chicken nuggets, however they are only good during peak hours. Word of warning if you go after the lunch rush for either of these items your will be sorely disappointed. They will either be out of pizza or the chicken nuggets you get will have been left overs from lunch, dried out and cold. The little beach snack hut does have some great chicken breast sandwiches though as well as hot dogs (no surprise) and hamburgers. I can't tell if those were good though I only had the chicken. The other restaurants on the resort that you book were average and in one case (Italian) was not good at all including the service there.

All in all our group of 8 had a great time and felt that the resort was beautiful with great staff but are in agreement that the food issues at this resort drops it to a LOW Cuban 3 Star resort and will not be on our list of return visits.

Hope this helps anyone looking at staying here. [Details]
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The strong points
Very friendly staff for the most part, comfy beds, well kept grounds, good gym, 7 hours of free WiFi and nice beach area.
The weak points
THE FOOD or LACK OF and the public use washrooms, they were either disgusting or had no toilet paper despite a cleaning cart positioned at the doors.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We would like to apologize to you if your stay at our resort did not meet all your expectations. We would have loved to share your experience during the time of your stay and been able to restore your confidence in our product. It is truly regrettable that we could not fix any of your inconveniences during your visit and we are sorry about it. Kind regards, The management

Best place

, Dsl De Drummond, NB
2019-03-21
Best vacation yet! This resort is so clean,rooms are clean and very comfortable. Lots of hot water and pressure was great. Staff is very very friendly. Nice shows every evening! If you need to go somewhere you ask the front desk and someone will take you . If you have a problem there always there to help. At the end of our trip we discovered that at the pool if theres no more chairs you ask the staff and they will gladly go get some for you. Now that is exceptional service! Nice having a bank right there on the resort. I give it 5 stars plus. I would definitely return to this resort [Details]
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The strong points
wonderful staff always ready to help !
The weak points
The only place I found a problem was the beach.…..you can't get chairs there unless you go late afternoon. It's always full! If you really want to go at the beach and its full ask the staff to bring you at the salina. Beautiful beach also and its empty
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

March break stay

, Toronto, ON
2019-03-19
The hotel itself was not bad though our room was partial ocean view and all we could see was a wall of the next building- don't waste your money for upgrades. We were in building 4 - not the best either - too close to the entrance and lobby.
The room was big and cleaned regularly- beds are comfortable and hot water always in the showered expected- not much variety but tasty.
The food was pretty much as we expected- not much variety but good quality. Ala cart restaurants very better then expected- tasty food, good presentation. Beach is not very long but wide and beautiful with crystal clean water. There is a shallow water beach just across the road in Sercotel.
The bar service at night was a big disappointment as well as coffee served for breakfast. We could not drink that coffee and had to wait in a very long line in the lobby bar to get our morning java!!! [Details]
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The strong points
Beach Comfortable rooms Ala carte dinners
The weak points
Bar service at night Coffee in the buffet restaurant
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Enjoyed our stay

, Quesnel, BC
2019-03-01
Over all was a pleasant stay. Only beefs are the resort is run down, in dire need of repairs and paint. And toilet paper in bathrooms in rooms and lobby, we had to buy our own and that was hard to find. [Details]
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The strong points
Beaches
The weak points
No toiletries in bathrooms. Many guests had accidents and were very upset not having toilet paper in bathrooms.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We would like to apologize to you if your stay at our resort did not meet all your expectations. We would have loved to share your experience during the time of your stay and been able to restore your confidence in our product. It is truly regrettable that we could not fix any of your inconveniences during your visit and we are sorry about it. Kind regards, The management

A very nice experience!!

, Mississauga, ON
2019-02-24
This is a very nice place to go!
The beach is very beautiful with crystal clear water and white sandy beach.
Very helpful and friendly staff always ready to help.
Food was actually not bad for Cuba. The only thing was missing is an afternoon snack including fruit and sweet around the swimming pool.
The entertainment group is incredibly professional. All 7 nights of our stay they had different shows each one better than others.

A very relaxing environment and fun at the same. There were two kids in our group and they enjoyed as much as others.

Customer service was very helpful when we wanted to change our room and stay at the same building that our friends were staying they helped us and even gave us an upgraded room without any extra charge because of availability.
All in all, a great experience and lots of fun [Details]
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The strong points
Beach, beach and the beach. Entertainment also was the highlight of this resort.
The weak points
Afternoon snack. No sweet and fruit in the afternoon to have with tea. We booked for a massage and they charge us for 50 minutes and just did 25 min and wasn't good at all. I was planning to book every day but I changed my mind.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Dhawa for New Years

, Newcastle, ON
2019-01-08
Resort grounds were beautiful and well maintained. Friendly staff, everyone greets you all day. Beach is was excellent and clean. Some good snorkeling out front but we also walked down to the next resort and there was even better snorkling there, where the pole sticks out of the water. Lots of great food at the buffet and 3 cook as you wait stations so you could get made to order dishes. Book your resturant dinners early so you get a good time. I found the portion sizes too small for me but you can always hit the buffet after if necessary. Pool area was great but we spent most of our time at the beach. Bring some Muskol for the early evening at the beach, around 4:30 the no seeums come out to bite. We tried peppermint oil but it didn't work. Room was nice but bathroom was not very clean. Best drinks at the lobby bar, need to try the spanish coffee! Great selection of cigars for sale as well. It is also the 2nd drop off spot coming from the airport so the ride back and forth is much shorter than having to stop at all the other resorts to pick up. If you want more peace and quiet, get a room that doesn't face to pool. Get your towels early as well, they run out quickly. [Details]
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The strong points
Beautiful beach and grounds. Great snorkling
The weak points
Bathrooms need to be cleaned, dirty grout, poor paint job, counters not wiped. I was in room 1103.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Excellent resort with wonderful staff and beach

, Toronto, ON
2018-12-26
First of all, the downsides. Cayo Santa Maria is 90 to 100 minutes from the airport, which is not a fun ride before or after a flight. Second, food in Cuba is underwhelming. That's it.
On to the positives. This resort is beautiful and very well maintained. Staff are ridiculously nice and friendly, whether it is the waiters, housekeeping, bell boy, reception and even the groundskeepers. The beach always has ample seating and the complimentary catamaran and paddle boat rides are tons of fun. Rooms are also well maintained and entertainment is good. Biggest tip: the lobby bar has the best non-alcoholic pina colada in the world. [Details]
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The strong points
Staff and service Nice rooms Beach Water activities Kids club
The weak points
Food Distance from airport
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Cuba, Dhawa Santa Maria

, Warman , SK
2018-12-03
Our experience was excellent! From the lobby to the grounds, the beach ,the staff and the rooms , all were great! (including the food!) [Details]
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Certified

Holiday vacation at Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria

, Grand Falls , NB
2018-11-26
Location is very good and has a lovely beach. The layout is fine and the grounds are very well kept. Easy access from all points. Has great pools for all desires. Welcome staff at reception was also very good. The buffet staff were also hard working. [Details]
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The strong points
Restaurant and bar staff all very friendly and of very much service. Each one seems to want to do better than their fellow workers. Especially Ana, Yailene, in the restaurants and at the bars all were great especially Arianni Santos Leon and the staff.
The weak points
Food at buffet was plentiful, but with some items not all desirable and lots of times Cold. No emphasis at buffet on non gluten items. Several items very good at grill station. Fruits...some good some not ripe. Needs attention.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Very bad... and we didn't expect anything.

, Beloeil, QC
2018-10-07
Hi! We are currently staying at the resort and would not recommend it, unless you don't mind eating canned fruits/veggies and being far from everything. We expected nothing really, food-wise... but this is just one of the worst thing I've ever seen in Cuba lol

After 4 days we finally got to change our towels... They didn't have clean towels since we got there.

But sincerely, if you haven't already booked, go elsewhere on Cayo Santa Maria. The only good thing is the room and the pool; only one big pool though but centered and clean. Room : Amazing view on the ocean side, and we didn't pay extra for that. Bloc 6, ask for ocean views, 2nd or 3rd floor ;) Their coffee is excellent. Some of the waiters and waitresses really do their best to give you the best service, but the resort is so quiet that half of the staff just gather and chat here and there... many items on the menus and other services aren't available.

I know you don't come to Cuba for the food, but come on... this is one of the worst Ive ever seen in Cuba.

The customer service desk where you book your a la carte restos seems to be only giving a good service or reservations to the guests they like... when they feel like it. When you start complaining, they give you a service. The service you oaid for in the first place lol

The beach is nice, big enough for us, not a shallow sea and many big waves this week but still very beautiful. It's still a wild, not going to last long bc they are buikding more hotels nearby.

There is another beach where the Secrotel property is, like a 10 min walk from Dhawa, and the water there is super calm and shallow but there are "meduses" and crabs in the sand so make sure to wear beach shoes ;)

Half of the excursions were not available, we don't support dolphinariums bc (documentary The Cove) so the choices are limited for us.

We decided to just go to Plaza Las Terrasas and enjoy the beach of Cayo Santa Maria (2cuc per person from Dhawa, around 15 km) and have food there instead ;) [Details]
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The strong points
Rooms, building 6 with ocean view
The weak points
Food, customer service
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We would like to apologize to you if your stay at our resort did not meet all your expectations. We would have loved to share your experience during the time of your stay and been able to restore your confidence in our product. It is truly regrettable that we could not fix any of your inconveniences during your visit and we are sorry about it. Kind regards, The management

Wonderful Stay

, Cambridge, ON
2018-09-30
A newer resort that is very well kept.
While our room was not ready upon check in we took that time to have a drink in the lobby and then have lunch.
Humburto was very welcoming in the lobby bar and looked after us very well all week.
In the Buffet Yoandry and Vladamir were very attentive all week.
Upon checking into our room we grabbed our swim suits and headed for the pool, where we met Teacher, a great guy, very helpful and a pleasure to talk to.
Our room was perfect, A/C worked very well, to the extent we had to get the duvets out of the cupboard. The shower in the bathroom was perfect, a rain shower head and always plenty of hot water. Yosmany always kept our room spotless and even supplied and extra towel when I asked him, and never had to ask again :-)
All the staff are so friendly, Lazaro in the Buffett/ pool bar.
Lobby bar Raul,Yordan,Dayana, Edelis, and Yunier to name just a few of the great team.
The entertainment was OK, typical Cuban show's, best night was the retro band.
Nice small resort so everything is easy to find, nice sandy beach with lots of shade.
At our time of staying only 3 blocks out of 12 were open, just not sure I would want to stay peak season as I think you would have long wait's in the buffet and bar
As it's a small resort I think it would be better as Adult only [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Great staff, clean and well kept. Easy for people of any age or ability to manoeuvre around the resort
The weak points
Brochure states 2 Adult only pools. Not sure what pools they were as it was not enforced, no umbrellas around the pool.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Beautiful resort

, Bradford, ON
2018-08-17
Stayed at the Dhawa for 10 days and what an amazing trip. Hotel very clean and kept well. Food was typical of Cuba, a la Carte was just buffet food in a prettier presentation. All employees were very helpful and kind. Entertainment team did a great job everyday trying to get the crowd ready to have fun. Beach was absolutely breathtaking and clean. Will definitely be back to this resort! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff very helpful. Beach was absolutely breathtaking!
The weak points
They need to work on keeping the bathrooms cleaner, the one in the lobby next to the bank, the bathroom near the beach towel stand need extra help. Changing the foods in the buffet once in a while would be good idea.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Linda@dhawa

, Montréal, QC
2018-05-13
all employees from the manager to the men giving beach chairs and gardeners smile and go the extra mile to make your stay as pleasant as possible [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
very clean staff food is good beach and shade enough for everybody
The weak points
at 11pm all waiters and waitresses go home and barmen stuck with many thirsty customers and serve everything in plastique glasses
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Beautiful beach

, Toronto, ON
2018-03-29
White sand beach, long, with plenty of space both in full sun or under picturesque umbrellas. Quiet and relaxing hotel, clean, exactly what I was looking for. Snorkeling was great right off the beach. Courteous and friendly staff, at times slow, but once I adjusted to "Cuban time", it was fine. My only complaint is about the lack of vegetarian options at the hot buffet. Sadly all bean and lentil dishes were made with meat. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Sunrise on the beach, swimming, snorkeling
The weak points
Few vegetarian food options
Certified

A great stay!

, Toronto, ON
2018-03-23
This was my first time to an all-inclusive, and I really LOVED it! I was in complete shock with the food - so much variety, made in front of me, and so ABSOLUTELY delicious. I preferred the daily buffet to the a-la-carte. I probably gained 5 pounds :P
Firstly, the rooms were ridiculously clean and lovely. They really spent a good time cleaning and stocking everything. They even had a rain shower which was pretty sweet.
The pool was pretty good. It was really just one big pool so everyone was together all the time. Make sure you save a spot for yourself by 8am! Else you'll have to lie on the ground.
The beach was nice but so windy! After 4 hours you can't stand it anymore and head to the pool. However, what was super fun was you could use the catamarans whenever you wanted :)
I went with my sister, and we found that sometimes the servers ignored us for a good few minutes which was really rude and frustrating.
The grounds were VERY well kept and beautiful to look at. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Amazing food, clean rooms, overall friendly staff, snorkeling was pretty good.
The weak points
Very windy beaches, servers rude at times.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Great Stay at Dhawa Santa Maria

, Ottawa, ON
2018-03-13
First time in Cuba although I have traveled lots before and I was skeptical but I was glad I went. Cuba and Dhawa exceeded my expectations. I traveled with my 15 year old daughter.
Arrival
Upon arrival you are greeted by the friendly bell hops who take your luggage off the bus.
Check in was quick. In about 15 mins we had our room keys. They brought us a cocktail while we checked in. We got to the hotel around 1:30 and our room was ready. Bell hop took us and our luggage in the carts right to our rooms.
Rooms
We were in building number 5 which is around the middle as there were 11 buildings. We had an premium oceanfront room that faces the ocean but the beach is off to one side so you cannot see if from most rooms. Room was large and clean. The beds were looked new but were very firm and I found it to be uncomfortable. They use the long pillows that stretch across the entire bed so that isn't the greatest but not a big deal.
Tv was small flat screen that got 3 panish channels and 2 English channels. I don't go to watch tv anyway.
Large area outside bathroom area with sink and counter space. Hotel provided full size shampoo, body wash and lotion. Hair dryer in that area also.
Housekeeping generally left something on bed made out of towels like a swan etc. They did a great job. We always leave little gifts for them.
Electronic safe in room that worked great and large enough to hold several things. Mini fridge always had a large bottle of water, two cans of pop and two beer. Not a lot but when there is always a bar open why do you need more. I cannot really comment about the AC as we had a cool and windy week and only had one day we used it but it seemed to work well. No musty smells as you sometimes get from them.
Food
We ate most meals at buffet. Breakfast you could have eggs or omelette made how you liked it. There was a smoothy bar where you could tell the person working what you wanted in it. Variety of breads, cereals and other cooked foods. Lunch and dinner they had several ready to eat foods, seafood station where they cooked what you wanted, a pasta station and a station where you could get pork, beef or chicken. Food can be repetitive in buffet for sure but you can always find something to eat. It is not going to be the same as it is at home and if you expect that then don't travel. There was not a lot of fresh fruit but it may not have been in season and they also said the hurricane had ruined the banana crop. Very large variety of tasty desserts. Dining room staff were always friendly and there were always lots of them.
Snack Bar
There is a snack bar beside the pool that serves chicken fingers, burgers, fries etc. Food here was also good.
We ate at both the Italian and the French Restaurants. Food was very good at both. My only complaint is the desserts were something I had at buffet but no big deal. It was easy to reserve the restaurants but I suggest you book them the first day you come as the earlier time slots fill up quickly.
Bars
Bar staff were very friendly and it never took long to get drink even when it was busy. There are several bars and 2 stay open 24 hours. Lobby bar is also a coffee bar where you can get a variety of coffee's. We didn't bring cups with us but I would suggest you do as they use small plastic disposable cups that don't hold much. Almost all drinks were poured and I prefer mixed drink but the drinks were still okay.
Beach
Beach is beautiful but we didn't spend much time there because most of the week we were there was very windy. Staff are great to help you find a spot and set up beach chairs. Beach is about 3/4 km long. Not super long but a lot longer than some beaches I have been on. There is a bar and snack bar at beginning of beach but it is a long walk if you are at the end of the beach. There is a server that comes around also. Closest bathroom is up at the resort so that is a bit inconvenient.
Grounds
Very well maintained gardens through out the resort. Every day you saw many people tending to them. Only a few areas you could tell that there had been damage from the hurricane.
Pool
Pool area is large with three separate pools joining as one. Lots of chairs but they do get reserved early in the morning. Music could be a bit loud at one end where the entertainment but not obnoxious as some people put it. If you sat at the opposite end it wasn't loud at all. Typical silly games around the pool with the entertainment and dance classes etc.
Towels were large and in good shape.
Only complaint about the pool is they never opened the swim up bar even on the really nice days.
We did not use the wifi so cannot comment on that. We did exchange money at the little bank and it can take a while but we only did it once. We took the double decker bus into town for 2 peso's. Bus ride took almost an hour because it stops at every resort to pick people up. We only stayed at market about an hour but that's all you really need anyway. We took a taxi back instead of taking the bus and it was 15 peso's.
It's true what you read about the pesticide truck it stinks! It goes around the resort blowing out a cloud of smoke every evening and it smells like gas. I am sure there must be another way.
Entertainment
Every evening they had entertainment in the lobby during meal hours and then the entertainment started in the theatre at 9:30. We didn't go to the entertainment every night but the nights we did go the entertainment was okay. Similar shows each night. Dancers with incredible costumes but like I said a lot the same.
One thing I didn't like was almost every place in the hotel there is smoking. As a non smoker it would be nice if they could limit smoking to certain areas.
Like I said this was my first time to Cuba but I would go back. Dhawa is clean, safe, well maintained and the staff were all friendly. I did not encounter one rude staff member. They spoke fairly good English too.
Thank you Dhawa for an incredible vacation. Dhawa is rated at a 4 1/2 star and I would say that is pretty accurate. Not perfect but they do a great job. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach, Staff
The weak points
Smoking, Truck that fumigates for bugs
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Many strong points; Room for improvement

, Halifax, NS
2018-02-28
We visited a week in February. This is a newer hotel (opened 2017) and a division of Banyan Tree resorts from Asia. 90 min from airport. Airport was slow so be patient! Tip: put a colourful ribbon or tag on your bag. The day we arrived they had unloaded and scattered the bags throughout the baggage area-100's of them with all the tourists looking for them. I found mine much faster with the ribbon on it.
11 buildings, smaller resort, easy to walk around (500 rooms).
We upgraded to Premium Oceanfront directly through hotel beforehand (20 CUC/day). Rooms are spacious, modern amenities. Rainfall shower head and a small hand held shower head (bidet). Good A/C. No face cloths.
We liked that it was a smaller resort and easy to find everything. You get to know the staff. The staff were really amazing and helpful. Top notch.
Buildings 5-6-7 are central to everything. 8-9 closest to beach, 4 to lobby. 5-6 for pool. But it really doesn't take long to get anywhere.
My first impression was how nice the grounds were-very green since all the rain from Irma. The prettiest flowers I've seen in Cuba and lots of butterflies. The resort is very well maintained. Clean grounds and washrooms.

Beach: 900m (small) crescent shaped, more coral at the East end where an Adult only Dhawa is being built. (Note : our resort had mostly adults the week we were there.) Shell lovers paradise. Lots of intact and broken up colourful seashells and coral. It was easier to walk by the waters edge. Bring beach shoes or wear sandals if you have very tender soles. I was ok walking barefoot.
The beach can get windy some days. Bring clips for your towel chairs. Lots of palapas for shade (individual and a low row on flat roofed ones). Only was filled up one day. They did run out of chairs one day. Plastic white chairs-not that comfortable. Beach staff was terrific running for chairs or taking drink orders and delivering to you. There is a food hut right by the bar that made great chicken sandwiches. The washrooms were a short walk back by the beach grill (adjacent to Seafood a la carte) and clean!
Change your towels at pool from
9-5 daily (break 12:30-1:30). They ran out a few days closer to 5.

I've been to Cuba 5 times. The food unfortunately had hits and misses (buffet not as good as other 4.5 stars I've visited in CSM or Varadero-some dishes were cold most days-rice, fries, protein, veggies overdone and cold). The cook to order omelettes, crepes, pizza, pasta, grill were always busy. The bread was very good and I enjoyed fresh Parmesan and blue cheese. I did find something to eat each day, but I did miss not having the buffet quality I was used to for Cuba.
No bananas due to Irma but the grapefruit was very good and they made smoothies with fresh and canned fruits.

Coffee was great-speciality coffee from the lobby were popular.
The lobby bar was L shaped and kind of broken up in its design and got very busy and smoky as the resort got busier (there are open air areas). They had a roaming cart for flaming coffee one night. We went to the sports bar (Havana Club) to get a draw no quicker if needed.
Tip: it is true they have a loud and smelly diesel truck that fumigates around the resort (lobby area) between 7:30-8:30 at night. Some people moved or covered their face. The cloud dissipated quickly.

The pool bar had great staff -very busy there- and the cocktails were good there! (Mojitos (had mint most days), piña coladas, rum drinks). Had Buccaneero on tap most days except 1st and last day. Had Cristal cans one day. Shortage of Cristal all week. Only had 1 can in room fridge all week, rest was Buccaneero.
The snack bar and beach grill was very convenient instead of going back to the buffet for lunch. The chicken tenders and pizza at the snack bar were great. And they made good sundaes!
The pool design was very nice and lit up at night (pretty).

There was entertainment in the lobby (piano music earlier then a cellist and guitar player ~8ish to 9:30 before the show in the theatre). They were very talented and played modern music.
The shows in the theatre were pretty good! Dancers and musicians were talented. We also went to the pool show at night and the beach party.
Tip: bring an insulated travel mug for cold or hot drinks. The bars will also fill them with bottled water so I brought one for each. You get 1 large bottle per day in room. People were writing their names on them-good idea!

The gift shop is small- mostly Havana Club rum. No Ron Santiago to Cuba or Ron Cubay (my favorites). They had these at airport. Some cigars. There was also a lady selling jewelry outside the shop. 5$ earrings and necklaces were quite nice for the price.

We had mostly Buccaneero beer there. Cristal beer was in shortage most days either in cans or on tap. They did sell cans in the store for 1CUC if you really need it.

It was easy to get money from the bank (by the travel rep areas). Bring your passport. Open 12 hrs a day with 2 breaks.
tip: You can exchange bigger bills for smaller denominations from tip jars at the pool bar and lobby bar, snack bar, etc. Exchange was about 75$ CUC for 100CDN. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff-very friendly Grounds-beautifully manicured Rooms-modern and spacious Coffee/Speciailty coffee-lobby Mojitos and piña coladas -pool
The weak points
Buffet-lots of dishes were cold Smoky lobby Lagoon smell some days Fumigation by lobby at night Lack of different entertainment in lobby at night
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Awesome snorkling experience

, Toronto, ON
2017-08-16
The staff are very friendly. The food was good - typical Cuban cuisine, as the Cubans are not wasteful by nature. Snorkeling was awesome! The tropical fish are very curious and sociable. It's adorably addicting when they like to stay close to you and be part of the action attraction. The bigger fish may look intimidating but are really 'gentle giants' so no need to fear them. The coral reefs are spectacular! You spot urchins, octopus, mellow white barracudas (not the aggressive black ones), corals the size of a yoga balance ball which you can easy touch with your toes, fish clusters that envelope an entire coral.
You can take a Panoramic Bus for 2 CUC pp each way to Pueblo Las Terrazas. It's 20km away but has the gorgeous turquoise white beach you associate with Cuba. Be prepared that the bus may not always take you directly. Sometimes the bus "breaks down" in Plaza La Estrella market, so you have to catch another bus an hour later to go the remainder of the way and pay again as the driver doesn't always provide a receipt of payment.
I gave the beach a 4 based on it being more ideal for snorkeling than swimming due to the extensive coral reefs and green vegetation.
I didn't purchase a wifi card so I can't comment on it. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
snorkeling; staff; rooms; a la carte restaurants
The weak points
white sand beach too small for my liking
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review and the kind comments in relation to your visit at our resort. We are very happy to learn that your experience at our resort was a good one and that you enjoyed your stay so much. It would be for our team a sincere privilege to learn that you will offer us another opportunity to host you in a near future. Kind regards, The management

Must read

, Tillsonburg, ON
2017-08-05
So to start this resort is very well maintained its clean and the people are great. Our stay here was 7 days 5 of them sick many other guests at resort all got sick same day as us after talking to them at airport some had to go to hospital seems some one in kitchen was not doing there job correctly so it's hard to rate this resort if did not get sick would rate 5 but since kitchen staff failed and spent 5 days in a room vomiting and runs I would rate 3 also I do not drink and I know some people blame on to much alcohol it was not the case [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beach is beautiful and very nice people
The weak points
Food cannot trust to eat and your so far away from any excursions
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-19
Thank you for your review. We would like to apologize to you if your stay at our resort did not meet all your expectations. We would have loved to share your experience during the time of your stay and been able to restore your confidence in our product. It is truly regrettable that we could not fix any of your inconveniences during your visit and we are sorry about it. Kind regards, The management
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