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Reviewed 1 May 2018

We travelled April 5 - 12

This place is beautiful, approximately 1.5 hours away from the airport but the drive goes by surprisingly fast. The tour guides on the bus are talkative friendly and beer is plentiful at $5 CAD.

I'll talk about the food first because I know that's what everyone is concerned about when going to Cuba.

Food:
You don't come to Cuba for the food, plain and simple. I'm not saying it is terrible but it is not great compared to other spots.

Breakfast Buffet: We mainly settled on Eggs, toast and fruit. Really can't mess those up. No Bacon unfortunately and we did not find the service the best at the Buffett as far as someone getting us water, juice, tea or coffee. And we did tip but the service here def lacked.

Lunch(Snack bar at beach: Now this guy made it, I can't remember his name but he has glasses, always smiling, saying hello and makes some good chicken burgers and his chicken wings were top notch. Always had lots of toppings available as far as tomato, lettuce, onion, cheese. We were never let down grabbing lunch here.

Supper Buffet(Grand Memories): Sanctuary does not have a supper buffet, only an A la Carte. We hit the Sanctuary Buffett but did not find anything we really loved or wanted and we both of our stomachs were upset the next morning. We had each had a different type of pasta and contributed it to that but not 100%.

A La Cartes:

Mexican - We ate here twice, enjoyed the meals and service. We had Yarima as a server both times, she was fast, friendly and gave great service all around. The atmosphere is a little louder but we didn't mind as I do not really associate quite and romantic with Mexican food.

Italian - Also great food, quick service and a decent variety.

Pizza Oven(outside the Italian/Buffet and Grand Memories - This was awesome, we did this a couple times because we did not feel like committing to an A La Carte Time

Butlers: We had Jose and Ricardo, both were great, did everything they could to help us and set us up! Tip them because they work hard.

DRINKS:

Pool Bar : The people working here are great, remember your drinks and always smiling. We had some good days by the pool bar.

Beach Bar: Also two great workers, remember your drink, always smiling, laughing and carrying on with you.

Main Bar: They were good but seemed a little overworked at times and would forget to deliver your drinks to the sitting area outside and would sometimes have to be asked twice.

All and all though the drinks were always great, no complaints at the quality.

Pool -Was very clean, no issues at all.

Beach - has to be one of, if not the nicest beach I've ever been on. The water is very calm and crystal clear. There is some rocks to the ride you can snorkel, I saw some beautiful and cool fish, and guys were catching Baracudas off the rocks.
The only complaint about the beach is there is not enough huts for shade, I think they lost quite a few in the hurricane OCtober 2017. And if you want a hut, GOOD LUCK. We woke up one morning at 5am and went down, and 80% already had markings on them to indicate they were taken, and sometimes they'd sit there all day and people would come down at 4 or 5 and retrieve their towels. Quite annoying. People resorted to making a sort of make shift shade hut out of two beach chair/bed things which blocked the view for people in the huts.

The only down side of the beach is there was really no one coming down to take Drink orders as you usually see in most hotels.

Entertainment Team:
There was a guy(yasmany) and a girl, (lisi) who gave Foot Massages around the pool and even came down the beach to give us some. TIP THEM. It's hot and it's not just a quick 3 min massage.
Alexander - was around the pool, very entertaining and got the crowd going on certain days. he would sit and talk and remembered you. He was a great guy.

House Keeping:

Rooms were always spotless and she always made something on our bed, it was nice. Fridge always stocked.

Complaint:

We realized the last day when we got to the bus to go home, we forgot bathing suits on the deck(yes our fault we know), we had the tour guide on the bus call the hotel to be told nothing was there. So that was a disappointment that they went missing that fast. Now we left bathing suits out to dry every evening and had no problems, just sad that they magically disappeared when we weren't returning anymore.

Overall if the price was right again I would definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Ryan Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2018

Dear guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about your experience with us. We are happy to see that overall you had a nice vacation.
We would to apologize for any inconvenience that you might had during your stay. We are very surprised to learn about what happened at the end of your stay, so we will review the situation with the right person and take the corrective actions needed.
We are also surprised about the situation at the beach, as it is prohibited to reserve the palapas with the towels and we have signs which indicate it all around the hotel.
We hope to have the opportunity to receive you again in the future.
Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed 30 April 2018

We had a great week of weather, sun for 98% of daylight hours. The beach is like others say, one of the nicest we have been too in 30 + trips to different locations south. The food is ok, not the greatest and not the worst, always something to satisfy the palate. Staff are the best and will do everything they can to help with your stay. We are not young and not old, so this resort was not our perfect spot, as we look for more activities on site and more lively at night, its goes quiet around 10:30 pm to promote a quiet setting for rest and relaxation. Also as great as the Butler service is, we really could have went without, again maybe if we had went alone as a couple or for strictly R & R may have benefited more from the service. For what we look for in a resort is more lively, and would have been happy with the grand memories part. So please dont take this the wrong way that the Sanctuary was close to bad, just not for us until we hit 65 years old, or look for a quiet lazy vacation. This spot will suit most peoples needs the majority of their vacations.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank newlondon2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2018

Dear guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience with us. We are happy to see that you had a nice week with us. As you mention Sanctuary guests have access to the other hotels, Memories Paraiso and Grand Memories, and all their amenities, so more options available to satisfy all the different needs. We are glad to hear you enjoyed this Sanctuary guests’ benefits and you found all the different options and amenities that satisfied you.
We hope to see you soon again.
Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed 30 April 2018

Don't the rumours you hear about the food in Cuba. The food at this resort is excellent. The staff are very friendly. The entertainment was superiour. The beaches and pools are second to none. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank candy321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2018

Dear Candy,
It is pleasant to receive such nice comments of your stay with us. The Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria team would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at our hotel.
We are happy to hear you enjoyed the food and the entertainment shows, as well as the beach and the pool. We are also proud to know you felt so welcome by our staff.
We hope to see you soon again.
Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed 30 April 2018

Had a great time here, the white sand beach with bar was awesome also the huge pool was great. We had a junior suite over looking the pool also with a view of the sea. Our room was very large, with tub and shower.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank 63ramjet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2018

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback with us.
We are glad to know you enjoyed our beautiful pool and one of the most amazing beaches in the world. We are also happy to hear you liked your junior suite with its fantastic pool & sea view.
We are looking forward to welcome you back soon.
Kind regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed 27 April 2018

Everything went well,but what surprised us the most was the cleanliness of the site which by the way is not by chance but by design since you see garbage and recycling bins along with ashtrays everywhereon site.Congrats to the management.
Competent and kind staff providing excellet service with a desire to please the customer
No buffet at night at the Sanctuary,but you have access to the buffet at the Grand Memories and the Paraiso (do not expect the same service at these buffets as you get at Sanctuary).However you have up to seven "à la carte" restaurants which are pretty good (should try the Emporium).The morning and lunch buffet is good with enough variety to satisfy you for a week, may be not for two weeks but we cannot complain.
The beach is great but is missing some palapas.Look for Leban who will help you get a good spot on the beach with a perpetual smile
The lobby is pretty small but does the job, and Dany Daniel the barman is simply great at providing accurate and fast service,however the toilet in the lobby needs to be redone soon.
Half the rooms are facing the ocean and are large and comfortable and our maid Ivone was very nice ant efficient
The butler service is nice since you do not have to wait in line each morning to reserve your "à la carte" restaurant.However like any other places where service is needed it all depends on the person assigned to help you. We had a young lady named Daily (pronounce Da-i-li) who is simply the true definition of what a butler should be,she was simply amazing at meeting any reasonable request.
We had a good time at the pool which was kept immaculate thanks to Lidsey who by the way can provide you with lounge chair cushions with a great smile. The entertainment at the pool was pretty good thanks to Aleksander and Jenny who are simply great people enjoying what they do and it shows
We would like to point out that although they were not our assigned butlers Sandy and Raoul helped us many times during our stay
There was'nt much missing for a perfect time.

Room Tip: Love bloc 59 on the trhird floor. Just one look and you see the pool and the ocean
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Erymela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Director General at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Dear Erymela,
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about your stay. We appreciate your compliments to our management team. We are happy to see that, overall, you enjoyed your stay with us. However we apologize for the inconvenience that you might had during your stay.
Thank you very much for choosing Sanctuary at Gran Memories Santa Maria.
We hope to see you soon in our little paradise.

Best regards,
General Manager

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