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Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Cayo Santa Maria

Cuba Couples Travel: What to do at the Melia Buenavista Cayo Santa Maria //

As travel restrictions are lifted on American travellers, Cuba is becoming more of a bucket list travel destination. With the lure of the forbidden, turquoise water and sugar white sandy beaches it’s no wonder the Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria is the perfect destination for Cuba couples travel.

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Hotel Poolside //

Cuba has long been a hotspot for Canadians during the winter months. The beauty of the beaches, hot weather, history and friendly Cuban people are what draw tourists to Cuba. The Cayo Santa Maria area is more laid back for family or couples travel at the Melia affiliated hotels. Located 90 minutes from the Santa Clara Airport, the Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria is at the top of the Melia hotel affiliations, an adult only luxury resort offering a smaller resort feel among a tropical setting.

Don’t let that fool you. The Melia Buenavista offers daily programs, excursion pick-ups, transportation to and from the other Melia affiliated resorts {Sol Cayo Santa Maria, Melia Cayo Santa Maria, and Melia Las Dunas} where you can enjoy all the amenities as a Melia Buenavista guest. You’ll even have your very own Butler at the Melia Buenavista so if you need anything, a romantic surprise to your room, reservations or otherwise, your Butler is there to help.

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Rooms

All Melia Buenavista rooms are junior suite accommodations in a maximum two-story buildings, making it easier for those who can’t do a lot of stairs. We had a view overlooking the quiet pool from our balcony and just a short walk to the main pool where daily activities take place and the poolside grill and bar can be enjoyed.

The rooms are spacious in a modern tropical style with a sectioned off sink, toilet, bath and shower areas. I wasn’t sure what to think about the outdoor shower but I realized quickly that it was my favourite way to relax and take in the fresh air and sounds of nature in a private outdoor setting.

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Hotel Junior Suite //
Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Hotel Junior Suite Bath //

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Pools

The Melia Buenavista offers two pools, one a little more quiet than the other with a wrap around waterway for swimming and an island in the middle for grabbing a little shade and reading a book. The main pool is where you can find daily activities like aqua-size, music, and bar service. Both have Cabana’s; if you are early enough in the day, you can reserve one.

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Hotel Quiet Pool //

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Hotel Main Pool //

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Food & Drinks

If you’ve heard anything about the food in Cuba, the food is average at best. I would say this hasn’t changed but as westerners we are accustomed to a different flavour palette than the Cuban culture. All products, including spices, condiments or mixes, are made and purchased in Cuba so if you’re looking for your favourite ketchup, you won’t find it in Cuba.

That said, you can either bring your own favourite spice to flavour your dishes or mix to compliment your drink….Canadians, Clamato comes to mind…or you can simply make due for the week your vacationing; it’s really about the location anyway. I found a few favourites, like fresh avocados; they were triple the size of the ones we buy and so full of deliciousness. The poolside grill burgers at the Melia Buenavista were also quite delicious.

As for drinks, Mimosa’s and these layered drinks called Cayo Santa Maria (or Cuban) Sunrise were two of my favourites.

Cuba Couples Travel: Food and Drinks a Cuban Sunrise //

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Buenavista Activities

As I mentioned, you can enjoy amenities at the affiliated Melia hotels, Sol Cayo Santa Maria, Melia Cayo Santa Maria, and Melia Las Dunas. If you are looking for a little more action, pool sports, games, salsa dancing or night life, enjoy yourself at one of the other hotels and return by transfer or Taxi when you’re done; Melia hotels make it easy.

We enjoyed the swim-up bar and pool games over at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and spent a couple of afternoons playing Marco Polo.

Cuba Couples Travel: Melia Cayo Santa Maria Water Polo //

Transferring between affiliated hotels is easy by the transfer bus or grab a taxi in a classic, like this Ford Model T. Yes, it is true that you will see these old-time classic cars all over Cuba, often used as Taxi’s and you can get one right to the door of your hotel.

Cuba Couples Travel: Cuba's Old Classic Cars //

Cuba Couples Travel: Cayo Santa Maria Beaches

Cuba is known for their beaches and the beaches do not disappoint. AS you can see by the 5 images below, each of the 3 featured beaches are just as stunning as the next. These beaches are located at the 3 Melia hotels, the top two at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria, the next two at Melia Las Dunas and the last at the Melia Buenavista for sunset, suiting as it is called Sunset Beach. As gorgeous as these pictures are, they really are more stunning in person.




 Cuba Couples Travel: Excursions

  1. Habana (Havana) Special – Although Cayo Santa Maria is a bit far from Havana, in peak season there is flight excursion package that shorten the time. We were unable to take the flight option but even though the bus was considerably long, we enjoyed the Havana tour and would highly recommend doing the excursion if you are looking for a tour rich in history. We left at around 4am and returned to the hotel about 1am with the bus travel approximately 5-6 hours each way. This sounds lengthy, it is, but in my opinion the value of the excursion was worth it.
  2. Jeep Safari – Each couple (requires one licensed driver) drives their own Suzuki Jeep through the town streets to the back country of Cuba, visiting 2 farms, a rooster farm and taking a short hike through the lush forest where you’ll learn about the flora and fauna of Cuba. This is a very culture rich tour which is what we loved about it. The people are very proud of what they have and eager to show tour-goers. You’ll be immersed in the eye-opening differences between Cuban culture and your own. This excursion takes from about 8am to 6pm.
  3. Sugar Tour
  4. Santa Clara Remedios
  5. Speed Boat
  6. Catamaran and Dolphins
  7. Dolphin Swim
  8. Fishing – One of the guests at the Buenavista we struck up conversation with said this area of Cuba has some of the best Bonefish fishing.


As the cold winter months go by, dreaming of Cuba couples travel is only natural. I found made it easy to search for the best deals with the options I was looking for; the best part was I knew I could reach out to an actual travel agent when I had questions. Cuba offers a lot of great selections for all budgets and for those looking for adult only Cuba couples travel, the Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria is a hidden gem.


  1. When you arrive in Cuba, make sure you do not lose the Visa you receive from your flight attendant on the plane; each traveller needs one. There are two sides with the exact same info, one to gain entry to the country and one to leave the country.
  2. Print out your health coverage and have handy when entering the country. This is a requirement for entry.
  3. Tourists use Cuban pesos  in Cuba and you can only get them in Cuba. You can exchange at the hotel or airport but make sure you exchange your Cuban pesos back before you leave the country as your bank back at home will not.
  4. Wifi is unreliable. It is completely run and authorized by the Cuba government. At the Melia Buenavista wifi is free however you have to sign for cards in 1-2 hour stints and login with a new passcode each time. This is okay except the wifi is still unreliable with sketchy service; mornings seemed to be the best time to access online. I also found basic email checking or social media was okay during this time but any uploads of images or video were practically impossible. At the other Melia hotels wifi comes at a cost but the cost is budget friendly.
  5. Bring mosquito spray. Although the resorts spray for bugs, and it seems to do a really good job, you’ll need it on excursions.
  6. has some great articles on Cuba:


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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

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