The Royalton Cayo Santa María, a five star hotel located in the keys off Cuba’s north-central coast, was chosen as Best All Inclusive in the world in the Travelers’ Choice Awards 2014, conducted every year by the popular travel website TripAdvisor, based on opinions and reviews from millions of users all over the globe.
The resort, already voted best in the Caribbean in the 2013 edition, now occupies first place among the 25 most popular hotels on the planet, followed by the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, Mexico; the Kurumba Maldives, Maldives; and the Le Blanc Spa Resort and Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera, both in Mexico.
In the category of All-In Luxury and managed by the Canadian chain Blue Diamond, the Royalton Cayo Santa María is a hotel exclusively for over adults over 18, which boasts luxurious, intimate rooms with ocean views.
Number 20 in the global ranking is another Cuban hotel, the Meliá Cayo Coco, in Jardines del Rey, to the north of Ciego de Ávila province.
Users of TripAdvisor highlighted the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria’s excellent services, personal and meticulous attention, and the beauty of the location. “It is a hotel where you receive what you imagined; I am coming back next year to repeat this comfortable and pleasurable experience. I can’t think of a more beautiful place to relax,” stated a user on the site.
The Travelers’ Choice Awards recognize a total of 100 establishments all over the world, with winners being determined through the votes, ratings and reviews submitted by millions of travelers in various categories, which include hotels, destinations, beaches, islands, attractions and favorite restaurants.
Three years after its arrival to Cuba, Blue Diamond is the third largest chain operating on the island, managing six establishments and 4,000 rooms under the brands Royalton and Memories, only superseded by Spanish companies Meliá (26 hotels) and Iberostar (13).
Among the country’s formats for foreign investment, Cuba is promoting administration and hotel management contracts, in which the Cuban entity –proprietor of the facilities – collaborates with foreign management companies which operate hotels under their brand names on the basis of a five year extendable contract.
The Caribbean nation recently presented its portfolio of opportunities designed to encourage the flow of foreign capital into the tourism sector, which includes 33 projects geared toward establishing these types of contracts, and through which international administrators may now also invest in renovating hotel facilities – a variant approved under Cuba’s new Foreign Investment Law.