Melia Cuba is a division of the giant Spanish hotel management company that operates some 26 hotels across Cuba and over a thousand worldwide. Melia was the first foreign hotel management company to do business in Cuba, back in the 1980s with the Sol Palmeras in Varadero, and remains the largest such company on the island.
The majority of the hotels it manages are located on Cuba’s beaches and, without exception, all these hotels operate on an All Inclusive basis. Worldwide, Melia operates under a number of brands although in Cuba it features just 3 of these – Sol, Melia & Paradisus.
The Sol brand features its best value hotels and is geared very much towards the family market. The Melia brand offers a slightly more upmarket, expensive product and some of the hotels operating in Cuba under this brand do so on an Adult Only basis. Finally, the Paradisus brand represents the company’s most luxurious hotels of which there are just 3 in Cuba – the Paradisus Princesa & Paradisus Varadero, both in Varadero, and the Paradisus Rio de Oro in Guardalavaca.
Away from the beach, the company currently operates just 3 other hotels although there is talk of more following soon. In Havana, somewhat outside the city’s historic centre, the company has the more business orientated and styled Melia Habana & Melia Cohiba in its stable while, at the other end of the island, in Cuba’s second largest city, the hotel also operates the Melia Santiago.
Recent years have also seen 2 further developments from Melia Cuba. The first is the Royal Service concept, which takes the guest experience to an even higher level than before in terms of rooms, dining and individual service. At some hotels, there is a dedicated Royal Service area within an existing hotel while, at the Melia Buenavista on Cayo Santa Maria, the entire hotel operates to the Royal Service concept.
More recently, Melia Cuba has also been rolling out The Level. Featured mainly in its urban hotels, and similar to the Club concept found elsewhere, guests booked under The Level can expect superior rooms on featured hotel’s top floors together with a far greater degree of personal service.
In terms of the best and worst, well, the Paradisus Rio de Oro is almost certainly the No 1 beach hotel in Cuba while the Sol Cayo Coco is really beginning to show its age now.