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“Excellent, but needs repairs” 4 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
Newmarket, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent, but needs repairs”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

This is not the first time we have been to the Rio de Mares y Luna hotel and given the chance we would return tomorrow! Our first stay was in January 2001 so we have seen the changes over the years.

First, the staff - they are superb, from the chamber maids to the dining room staff - and are the main reason that we return. The food services manager, Lisandro Ramos, seems to spend his entire life in one or another of the restaurant areas ensuring that everything is as it should be and is great at resolving those problems that occur. In fact. all of the staff that we had occasion to meet were more than helpful and would go the extra distance to ensure that if they didn't have the answer someone else would provide it. This even extended to the omnipresent security guards, although we wonder what they reall are needed for.

Now the down side: two hurricanes in the last four years have taken their toll badly; the place is in serious need of repair. The colonial tile rooves on several buildings have been replaces with roll-roofing as is used on sheds in Canada, there are many missing light bulbs in places inside and out where not being able to see the sidewalks and halls is dangerous (stairs and broken concrete). One of the lamps in our room could only be turned on by pulling on the cord to force a connection in the switch. These should be fix pronto!

Would we return? In a moment; but if the place continues to deteriorate we would have to abandon it with regret.

Room Tip: Stay in the Mares, not the Luna
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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4,123 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (961)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Have just returned from a 2 week stay at this hotel and, to be honest, the hotel met our expectations and we had a great time. The room albeit basic, had a great view and was extremely comfortable. Food and drink were also good and the hotel atmosphere was great.

I would recommend this hotel for a good stay and good fun.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, February 23, 2013
Dear Toby P. Thank you for your visit, we feel very happy you had so good time with us. It was nice to meet you both and I wish you all the best and hope to see you again with more members of you family. Take care. Manuel Vazquez
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Suffolk, UK
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

We returned home from a two week stay at the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares yesterday. We thought that the most impressive aspect of this hotel is the team of staff and managers who genuinely care about their guests and work cheerfully together to deliver a great level of service. When we arrived we were welcomed by the Director General 'Manuel' and his senior management team. They can all be seen daily, working around the complex, making sure that things are running smoothly. They are genuinely interested in hearing any feedback - good or bad, and we found they took action. Our room was in a great location on the Luna side, it was kept well cleaned and supplied with clean towels daily. The bedroom decoration and furnishings were fine, the bathroom functioned well, but was getting just a little bit tired.
The buffet restaurant supplied good food, and a wide selection of choices at all sittings, the staff were delightful and helpful. Some minor labelling improvements were suggested to the catering manager.
We enjoyed the food in the buffet more than that supplied at any of the four speciality restaurants.
The red and white wine provided in the buffet was very drinkable - as I proved!
This resort has a fantastic fine white sandy beach with plenty of natural shade and beautiful warm turquoise sea. In our opinion the best out of six locations we have visited in Cuba.
Some parts of the buildings could do with a lick of paint, but it certainly did not in any way spoil our stay.
Our thanks to all those on site who helped to make our stay fabulous!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear flyer. Thank you for so great review, I agree our care to our guest is one of best values we have. We hope to see you again soon. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez
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London, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

First trip to this location and found the physical nature of the resort in need of what we think is gereral repairs - broken drawers in rooms which would be simply repaired, broken shower head in room, dnagerous table lamps - we pulled plugs do to exposed wiring, etc. The staff very as we always experience in Cuba - very friendly and accomodating. A-la-Carte meals were pretty good but not exceptionable and buffet always provided a nice variety with a quality level of 7 out of 10. Beach was beautiful but be prepared for a good climb as it was equivalent to 3 stories of stairs to get frm the beach to pool level - not for those with a mobility issue.

Room Tip: Luna section is quieter but a bit further from some of the hotel features like the main desk, main b...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

This all inclusive hotel is the best I have ever stayed in. The rooms are comfortable and the food and drink was great.Our group had stayed at various all inclusive's before and had been disappointed in the quality of food and drink however this was not the case here. We had even taken our own wine to be on the safe side but the wine although local was quite nice. The staff were all lovely and very helpful but it does help to tip. A trip out of the complex to the market and the area of Guardlavaca with a guide and driver (horse and carriage) was really enjoyable. The dolphin trip was brilliant. I have no negatives for this one!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear TVnaylor. Thank you for your visit and your recommendation, we will keep working hard. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Just returned from a week here, Jan 30 to Feb 6 Nice... but.

Staff were some of the nicest we have ever had.

Food in the Buffet was OK with good variety on most days. If you like toast like me then it is a hit and miss 3 out of 7days only buns at breakfast. Dinner always had Mashed potatoes and different roasts, Turkey, pork, beef with nice gray.
Fruit was like the toast hit and miss, some days lots and others not. The Orange juice that is freshly squeezed is amazing.

The French a la carte was good, but not the Italian in our opinion.

There is a small Ice cream stand beside the Luna pool that is not bad.

The bars were ok but when asked for certain types or brands of liquor like Amaretto or Beefeater,CC they did not have. But hey there was always Rum and Beer.

The beach was very nice and easy to find shade and with bars at both ends great for getting a drink. If you want shallow water walk over to the Rio de Oro beach and you will find it. Also this is were most people went to snorkel. The problem was with beach chairs they have people guarding them and when you went to get one they woukd say no they would bring them. Then you felt like you must tip. One day we got our own and we could tell they were not happy with us.

If you like cats then you will be happy here as there are many and not shy. This causes a problem for me because they roam through the buffet when you are eating and come right up to you at the table. I don't like any animal around my table when I am eating and did not like having to chase them away a lot.

Rooms as others have stated need upgrading but our maid did a graet job and it was always clean. One issue was we never had a face cloth but made do.

As for the general washrooms, I know that they are used by hundreds of guests a day but can they not put something in the urinals to reduce the strong odor. We have been travelling for 9 years and this is the first time for this. Have they never heard of Urinal pucks(Blocks) to place in the urinals, they work.

One thing I must say is that there are a lot of stairs to get to the beach from the Mares side. There are ramps but you must go towards the Luna side to get to it.

This is a nice resort and for our money we did have an OK time. Hey we had sunshine for 6 of the 7days and no snow so that was good.

But we like to go to different places each year so we will not be back next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear McDuff72. Thank you for your visit, your feedback and all your suggestions to improve. We hope you come back in the future. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

This review is a bit late as I travelled in June 2012 but I strongly felt this hotel was due an excellent review. Firstly, I'd like to say those complaining about maintenance, visual repairs etc need to realise Cuba is a communist country so the government have little funding for hotels, although they do an excellent job and there were certainly no issues I would complain about, never the less people put off by this shouldn't travel to Cuba but perhaps more touristy Caribbean islands.

My partner and myself spent the 2 weeks wondering what all the complaints were about, as I genuinely could not fault our trip. Room were spacious and spotless, our maid was fab, perhaps the rooms were a bit dated, but this Is typical of Cuba in general. We had no issues with bugs and crabs, but it is the Caribbean! The food was excellent in both the buffet and restraunts, especially the French (and I am a very fussy eater). The only one I was not impressed with was Italian. Beach bar and pool bar also served excellent snacks. Most of all...the RUM is amazing, and not for the faint hearted...they like big measures!

The staff are lovely, we did tip only where necessary and it was certainly worth the odd peso for the gratitude and appreciation they gave you, especially the security staff (who tend not to receive tips). we made friends with a guard named Oscar, who at first wouldn't even accept a tip, and spent the full 2weeks bringing me jasmine flowers. The girl behind the pool bar was also exceptionally nice. It is also nice to leave any unwanted toiletries etc if you don't want to take them home, these are very poor people and really appreciate it.

Highly recommend the swimming with dolphins excursion, paradise island and the Holguin/cigar factory trip. All were experiences ill keep with me forever, and reasonably priced. We had a blast at the beach party every night, what a laugh. All in all, this is one of the bet holidays we have been on and hope to return to the Sol Rio In the very near future.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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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