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“back 11th time met hurricane sandy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra. de Guardalavaca | Playa Esmeralda, Guardalavaca, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Redditch, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“back 11th time met hurricane sandy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

booked 3 weeks 9th - 30th october, back to see all our friends again, had not met hurricane sandy before !!!!!!!!. do not want to see him again, but what an experiance. lots of damage to hotel & beach. but what a team Manuel has got round him. Liszandro - Lena and all the stall, I have to take my hat of to all of them, we have never seen such organization after such a disaster.
all the staff need more than 5* rating, no body would expect to get this sort of efficiency after what had happened. with a few hours they had got the kitchen up and running so hot food was avaliable to every one, elecricity and water took a few hour longer, once again many thanks to all the staff that looked after all the guests when they did not know how their own familys where coping or if they had a home to go back to.

MANUEL KEEP THIS TEAM TOGETHER, YOU HAVE A PERFECT TEAM.

All our love to all
Linda John
Mares 4007

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FrancisRopero, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear holidaylover501. Thank you for coming back again and again, what an experience we had together... Now we are even stronger as a team and this is one of my main goals to keep them together. I am sure you will come back soon, so see you soon. Manuel Vazquez
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4,122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We arrived on the 27th october, 2 days after Sandy and it was incredible to see all the staff working very very hard to clean the resort and rebuilt the damages. It was really amazing seeing everybody working more then 16 hours a day and still smiling to customers. A fantastic work team ! Congratulations to all of you ! Nothing has been missing during this week even the sun was there mostly of the time. The room was really clean, the food and restaurant a la carte were fantastic. We have never mist of anything during our stay. It was our fourth visit to the SRLM and for sure not the last one. A special thank you to Yaneicys at the reception desk who made, like as usual, our vacation fabulous and coming back home with fabulous memories. Her partner Arnaldo his also a fantastic man always smiling...thank you Arnaldo :) Good work everyone, you are a fantastic team and keep on smiling.... why not !

Nicole and Jean Pierre

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnold,nottingham England, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

we went here end of may 2012 myself, hubby little boy bradley, our eldest daughter, her hubby,our middle daughter and her partner!!! also my sister her partner and my brother and our two best friends who sandra and andrew who talked us into going!!!they have been a few times so we decided to give it a go for our 25th wedding annerirvasry ...and what a fantastic holiday!! both our daughters was trying for a baby and they both came back pregnant!!! whoop!! the hotel was lovely and clean!! the food was amazing,...plenty of choice..fresh salad..king prawns and if you give them a tip they will peel them for ya!!..fresh pasta..fresh fish and kerbabs...the list goes on!!! the beach is to die for (paradise).... our room was a bit dated but they are being done up !!! the maids work hard to keep it clean!! we all swam with dolphins...truly amazing...it cost us about £100 per person and worth every penny!! the lads went deep sea fishing they said it was amazing it cost about £35 per person for just over half a day they all said it was well worth it!!! we also went horse riding what a laugh that was ....works out about £6.00 per person with a free drink!! will deffo do that again!!!! the twenty four hour bar is a must fresh pizza cooked to order!!! the cocktails are amazing in all the bars!!! nothing is too much trouble!! i will say if you smoke buy them on the plane as u can only get cuben fags...which are ok , but after smoking them for two weeks ya ready for ya lambets !!! we hired a horse and cart to go to the market....a market in front of the beach... everyone of us said it was our best ever holiday...and we have been all over barbados,spain,greece,turkey, to name a few!!!....this holiday just seems to tick all the boxs!!! the staff cant do enough for ya helpful and friendly!!! pavlow in piano bar a true gent!!! if i could think of anything negitive it would be in the mares bar near the lifts they need more staff as ya seem to wait ages to be served!!! and that can get on ya nervous ...but like us lot we went to the piano bar instead!!!! we all came back half a stone heavier!!! and me my hubby and our little boy bradley have booked to go back end of may next year for two weeks!!! can i request a room in the mares ?? we would love to see them rooms!!!!...if anyone is thinking of booking...go on book it you wont be disappointed and if you are there end of may next year we will see you there!!! 6 months and counting!!!
special thanks to all the staff for making our holiday perfect!!! see you all next may!!! 29th may for two weeks whooop x thanks again jane paddy and bradley x

Room Tip: ask to stay in the mares.... sea veiw...truly amazing!!!!!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FrancisRopero, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear janefowkes. Thank you for your visit last May, we hope you come back again with the new family members. All the best. Manuel Vazquez
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South Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We went to Sol Rio de Luna y Myres in 3rd week of April of 2012. This is our first time to Cuba. We have heard some unpleasant stories about the food issues from our friends. This is why; we always tried to avoid Cuba as much as we could. But, the more restrictions you have, the more you are inclined towards it because that’s our human nature. So we thought, we would give it a shot, look up on tripadvisor for a resort with better tasting food and talk my friends and co-worker. Based on several recommendations, we finally booked the trip.

And friends, I am telling you, we didn’t make a mistake. It was well worth our visit and good value for money. We booked through Noulitours and stayed at the Luna section. Basically Luna and Myres are two resorts joined together. Myres is the livelier part and Luna is the quiet part. We travelled with our 6 year old and 1 year old. So it was a perfect section for us for night time. But if you want to party in louder atmosphere and want to enjoy the free beach Lunch from Noilitours, stay at Myres section. But they are so close to each other (50 feet), you absolutely don’t need to unless you want!

The Beach:

We have heard about Cuban beaches being awesome. WE saw and concur with everyone. The beach is spectacular!!! Beautiful white sand and the best part is this >1km long white sandy beach is all private! No other resorts around!! So I would give 5 out of 5 to this beach!! They even had a 2 beach cafes so if you plan, you can have BBQ for lunch at the beach if you are too lazy to go to 24 hour Galeleo café of Buffet.

The Resort:

We heard it was built in 1980s and it was never even renovated after that due to economic reasons. But Cubans surely know how to maintain their asset. Really nicely maintained and clean! I have seen newer resorts in dirty, smelly and horrible conditions. Think about your Grandfather’s Grand Torino being kept in immaculate condition. The feeling is the same!

The people:

We heard Cubans are friendly! We felt it and dealt it. The people are absolutely nice. They really down to earth and even though they are in poverty, they will not beg in front of you. So, you actually feel like giving them. And you should see the gratefulness in their eyes. After seeing their condition, I feel blessed to be living where I am!

The Food

if you are a middle class family from Canada and UK, please don’t complain about the food! Of course you don’t eat from 5 or 7 star hotel every day at home. The food is tasty and really clean as we eat here. I don’t eat pork/ham/bacon, so my options were limited but I still enjoyed it. But of course the À la carte are even better! Please don’t forget to try the ‘French Restaurant’ and the ’Cuban’ À la carte. They are equally good. Of course, there are more such as Mexican, Romantica and Italian. But the previously two mentioned were the best!

The TIPs:

You can give money as tip but remember, they are all community tipping policy. They share their tips at the end of the night with everyone. So it you are really impressed with anyone, don’t give them money, they value more the luxury products they cannot get. Some few things, they love to get is: Battery, kids stationary stuff (pen, pencil, coloring books, notebooks), one time use razors, female hygiene products.

There is no way you can get to the resort before 8AM on your first day. So make sure you get up before 8AM on your second day and run to Sol Rio Luna front desk and book all your À la cartes for the whole trip. This is the best tip I can give. When you do so, please say ‘HI’ to Ronald Jose Dominguez for me. He is an awesome guy!

If you got kids, take the dolphin tour to Bahia Naranjo. Cheapest dolphin tours of all in Caribbean or Pacific or Polynesia we've done!

If you want to do some shopping, please don’t do it at the resort. Please go to Guardalavaca or Holguin. Take the taxi instead of the bus to Guardalavaca. If you do, please Take the ancient taxi instead of the newer AUDI taxis. Experience the Oldies.

Take the nature walk through the National Reserve trail. Beautiful and also the best bird eye view of the resort.
Take the horse walk around the resort.

Room Tip: If you have family, try to stay in Luna section. Building 5 is the best of all. We statyed there. Ri...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We arrived on 06.10.12 for 2 weeks.We were very impressed with the checking in process as this was undertaken on the coach, meaning that when we actually arrived at the hotel we could go straight to our room. This was our first time in Cuba and were not quite sure what to expect especially after reading some terrible reviews on this site. However, we were pleasantly surprised!

The rooms were clean, comfortable and we had a view of the sea, despite this not being a "sea view room". We stayed on the Mares side and we have no complaints, despite the Luna side being quieter as the pool was closed etc. The rooms could do with being updated, however this had no impact on our holiday. There was a new bottle of water in the room every day and the rooms were cleaned and tidied no matter what time of day we decided to get up.

Although the food in the "colon" restaurant became a little repetitive by the end of the two weeks, there was a good selection of foods of a good standard. We never had trouble finding a seat in this restaurant and found the staff were very attentive, ensuring that drinks were refilled etc. There was a good selection of fresh fish and meat everyday and the chefs were very generous with there servings. Food at the 24 hour snack bar was also lovely and had amazing views looking out over the sea. We also dined at the French, Italian and Mexican restaurants, which were all brilliant, although we found the Italian to be the best. The staff and food at each of these restaurants was exceptional!

It has to be said that the staff are very generous with their servings of alcoholic beverages!!! Bar staff and waitresses were very friendly and ensured that there was always a drink on your table. We tried numerous different cocktails, all which included rum whether they needed it or not LOL. The daiquiri's served next to the 1492 bar were delicious, I'm definately hooked!

The pool area is very clean, tidy and in a good state of repair. There were staff constantly renovating the hotel, however blended into the background and did not impact on us. Although the pool on the Luna side was closed for renovations, the Mares pool was not overcrowded, although if you did want a parasol you needed to be up early! We tended to go onto the beach as there were plenty of parasol's for shade. There were always plenty of sun loungers both on the beach and by the pool. There were daily activities in the pool such as volleyball etc, which dont impact on you if you just want to have a drink at the poolside bar. The beach is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen!!!! The sand was white and the sea was clear, amazing.

We went on the trip to Holguin which was a bit of an eye opener, although a fantatsic day out and a provided an insight into the cuban way of life. We would definately return to this hotel and hope to some tim in the future. It was great that a couple of the managers and entertainment staff greeted us and waved us off at the end of the holiday and that the managers spoke to everybody who was leaving to ask if they had had a good time. We hope that everyone is ok after hurricane sandy and that there was not too much damage.

Room Tip: The Luna side is quieter but further away from facilities. I would choose the Mares side, we did not...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Although we were unfortunate to be there during hurricane Sandy, the staff not only took care of us but were trying 110% to make sure our vacation would still be excellent. The best part of the trip was the ANIMACION! Great job by our man Tony, Eddy, Jose, Javier, Robert and the DJ. Without them the vacation would have not been the same! We are disappointed that we could not try the a la carte restaurant but we understood the cirucmstances. Even though people complain the Luna pool is closed, the resort made sure to aware all customers before booking the trip. Travellers should not complain, since they knew and also, there is enough space in the pool at the Mares and the beautiful beach.
Since I have gluten allergies, the staff were able to cook my own pizzas and pastas, which made such a big difference in my trip!
Also, the little excursions the resort offers every morning at 9:45am are def worth to do. We went to Boca de Sama the Tuesday and what a great excursion. We just hope the Cubans will be able to surpass all the damages made to their home. When going to Cuba, please make sure to bring clothes, laptops, anything you have to give to the Cubans. They appreciate it a lot!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FrancisRopero, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, November 3, 2012
Dear Karissa L. Thank you for your visit, you will not forget the experience. Thank you for your compliments to our animation team and all the staff. We are ready again 100%. Take care. Manuel Vazquez
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

To all staff in Rio Luna Mares Thank you for great time. This was our 3rd time and we will go again.Bin in Cuba many times we found Home in Rio Mares.My hart go to you all during this huracaine,but I know that you will rebuild because you are all working whit smile.Other plases we went if you do not give tip you are not served.Whenever we turn around Mr.Manuel give us eye contact to make sure that averybody is ok.Thank you front desk,cleaning stuff,all bars,kitchens stuff. Everybody have right to right what they fill but I would like to ask them if they live in the huracaine area would they complain? Just think some of us live in the country whit storms and the panic is thare,,,,

Room Tip: For me it is Luna side building #5,6,7 becuse it is more quiet. I go to Cuba for relaxing and secure...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

Address: Ctra. de Guardalavaca | Playa Esmeralda, Guardalavaca, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Rio de Luna y Mares 4*
Number of rooms: 464
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Four -Star All Inclusive Resort with 464 rooms. Located beachfront in Playa Esmeralda, on the northern coast of Holguin province, where visitors will be amazed by the dazzling superposition of blues and greens from the sea, sky and costal shrubbery. This hotel complex is surrounded by extensive green areas and offers a wide variety of services and attractions. Recommended for families, weddings, honeymoons and tourist groups.Guest Rooms464 rooms: 308 Standard, 108 Standard Ocean View, 30 Standard Superior Ocean View, 6 Junior Suite, 4 Suite, 8 Family Suite Ocean ViewDining7 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet), 6 Bars ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sol Rio De Luna y Mares Hotel Guardalavaca
Sol Rio De Luna y Mares Resort
Sol Rio De Luna y Mares Guardalavaca, Cuba - Holguin Province

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