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“Cuba Cuba Cuba amazing” 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
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Cuba Cuba Cuba amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Second time to Cuba after getting married there last year and second time to this hotel and by far it's the best in the area! Staff can't do enough for you, they remembered us despite thousands visiting every year. The management will do everything you want if asked, people complaining hadn't asked so did not give them the chance or opportunity to fix their problems before complaining. As always food is excellent, I'm sick of reading reviews where people complain about the flies, you are in Cuba and a fly never killed me! There is so much choice of food in the buffet it's unreal if you can't find something to eat it is not the fault of the staff or hotel, it's just your too fussy! We only visited the French and Mexican because we loved the variety of the buffet so much, we were able to have a little bit of everything.
The rooms are spotless and towels changed daily, no complaints there at all and our maid was lovely.
The beach amazing, customer service excellent (though remember to ask they aren't mind readers)
All staff excellent.
It is a little dated but remember this is Cuba they make the best of everything. We made lots new friends this year.
Trips are excellent value for money, but I'd recommend going to a taxi outside the hotel and asking him how much for a day trip and they will take you to see the real Cuba. We met a friend in a local village this year and had an amazing day with a beautiful lunch, definitely worth doing.
Cuba has changed a lot since our trip last year and the younger ones seem more forward in asking for things, I just think they are suggesting but it sounds like they are asking. I brought clothes and things to give away and gave to the people who deserved it and didn't ask. Clothes etc are very expensive for them to buy these are the best things to bring.
We had an amazing two weeks and I honestly had not one complaint to make about the hotel I did however have cause to complain about some guests who believe because they have paid for a holiday they can speak and treat staff however they want, and be extremely demanding, every time I found this totally unnecessary. We got served quicker because we were polite I didn't tip all the time nor did I feel it necessary to tip all the time. Staff do not forget who's polite and who is not this is worth bearing in mind.
Another amazing trip to Cuba I want to return right away! Cuban people are amazing and the mr Vasquez runs a very tight ship in this hotel and it's noticeable.
Please visit and make the most of it and you will enjoy it and have an amazing time as we have two years running! Thompson have pulled out of Cuba from the end of this season so we have to look into another way of getting there as Thomas cook is far to expensive for next year, bear this in mind when booking, it's as easy to fly to Canada and then Cuba and an awful lot cheaper if you live off mainland England.

Enjoy, room tip mares rooms are better it's a little bit noisier but didn't bother us at all both times we have stayed x

Room Tip: Luna quiet mares not so quiet, mares rooms appear better
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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lasalle
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We just spend another fabulous two weeks at the Sol Luna Y Mares. It was our eleventh visit at that super resort.
We e-mailed our request for the rooms (on the Mares side as usual ) and we got what we wanted thanks to Lyna at the costumer service. When we arrived Juan Carlos (at the reception) had everything ready for us. Ronald also included my a la carte reservation thank you very much.
Minerva kept our room very clean and we asked for two bottle of water per day and there was no problem.
At the buffet restaurant there was lots of choice super cook Juan Carlos and friends, this year there was some nice hot bread excellent. Also we don't want to forget (Aboilo) Nicolas et Mayalis did an excellent job at the buffet.
During my two weeks we tried all the restaurant a la carte we liked them all and our favorite was the french and the super maître ''D'' Franco. I celebrated my birthday there again this year my husband had mentioned it in his E-mail big surprise all decorated champagne and cake double wow. THANKS Ronald.
Lets not forget our bartenders Amauri, Orphelina, Paula, Yennela, Kathy, Evilio. Alberto. Yusimi They are everywhere At the pool bar 1492 Pinta Nina Galillao very good job.
Don't want to forget Rubildo who made the arrangement for hose and bogie ride and taxi reservation.
Because of a all the name mentioned above this is why we keep coming back.
Lisandro You are a plus for this resort and I can see all the employes love working with you, You really make a difference here.
For those of you who are looking a place for snorkling this is the place plus a white powdered sand lots of palapas and sun bed.
Don't miss the Cuban day on Fridays its super.
There was one bad thing and this has nothing to do with the resort, it was the uneducated guest who at six in the morning reserved the sun bed at the pool (some like 5 bed using their personnel towel) and than go to the beach and reserve sun bed using the resort towel and spend the day at the beach to return late afternoon to their sun bed. Many guest do that which I think is unfair for the other guest who are more educated and care for others.

This resort is considered a 4 star but the personnel is very close to a 7 star in my book this is why we keep coming back.

Hey a little warning WE are returning in September 2013.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, May 1, 2013
Dear detteLasalle. Thank you for your visit and your confidence one again. There are not enought words to say you "gracias". We miss you and hope to meet you again soon. Manuel Vazquez
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Middleton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Sol Luna Mares April 12 -19. We were immediately impressed when we entered the beautiful lobby. Lots of soft comfy sofas and chairs with a very welcoming atmosphere. Check in was quick and we were off to our room. We were even more impressed when we entered our room. Amazing view of the both the pool area and the ocean. We were located in the Mares section on the 4th floor. The weather for the entire week was amazing so spent our days on the beach. There are lots of natural shaded areas so no trouble to keep out of the sun. There is a gentleman who looks after the chairs and he was wonderful to us. After our first morning as soon as he saw me he would bring our chairs to our favourite spot. The beach is amazing as is the water. We ate in the Mediterranean, Mexican, International restaurants. We had breakfast in the buffet in both the Luna and Mares sections. Lots of food choices but was disappointed that there was not more fresh fruit choices. We really enjoyed the ice cream parlour too. Loved the ice cream sundaes. We spent late afternoons and late evenings at the 24 hour bar enjoying the most delicious Spanish coffee. The staff here are wonderful, friendly and very attentive. My husband went to the gym most mornings. Some of the equipment needs some repairs but he was always able to get in a workout. I did go to the yoga class and it was very good. Our room was cleaned daily and it was absolutely spotless. In fact the whole hotel was immaculate. The manager, Manuel Vazquez, is doing an amazing job. He is always around keeping an eye on things and is very approachable. We did discover on our return home that we had left a small wallet of money in our room. I quickly emailed Manuel and he immediately responded. Our maid had found the money and returned it to Manuel. We are so impressed with the honesty and character shown by her and the staff. We were fortunate to still have friends staying in the area so they picked up the wallet and brought it home to us. It was a very relaxing, wonderful week. We would definitely return.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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, May 1, 2013
Dear turqueso07. Thank you for your visit and your nice words specially to Yordanka, the maid who found you wallet with the money. It was nice to meet you and your friends again. Take care. Manuel Vazquez
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Newquay, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We have just returned from another wonderful two weeks in heaven !

The Sun shone for the whole time and we encountered no problems at all - the Hotel,beach,sea,food, drinks were all great and the Staff are absolutely the best !!

We spent time out and about seeing the real Cuba and visiting friends in the surrounding areas - Cuban people are very friendly and love to spend time with tourists and truly appreciate any gifts that are offered -decent clothing and toys are very difficult for them to get hold off.

.An early morning walk across the beach and a Cappuccino in the Lobby Bar to start the day, followed by a huge choice of breakfast - from my favourite which was a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice, coffee and plate of fresh fruit to a freshly cooked omelette with your choice of filling - warm fresh rolls and many many other choices.

We ate many varieties of fish including lobster, shrimp and calamari and pork, beef and chicken were available for the chef to cook freshly to your liking.
Grilled fish of the day, calamari and salad a favourite lunchtime choice for me at the beach with a glass of bubbly !

The staff at Luna Mares work so hard - nothing is ever too much for them and will do their very best to accommodate any requests. Always a bottle of chilled bubbly available on request with any meal !

Most all inclusive hotels are tedious buffets but Luna and Mares offer restaurants with waitress service - even at lunch time on the beach! Drinks in glasses in the beach bars and always served with a smile, despite the heat and long hours, serving some people who do not always appreciate Cuban life and its hardships. Many of the staff travel for more than an hour to get to and from the resorts in a very hot climate.


The beach and sea are breathtaking and the water is so clear and warm - we swam , used the pedalos and took trips on the Catamaran all included in the holiday.

Another of the highlights was the trip to the nearby Dolphins, where we spent at least 30 minutes swimming with them - the cost was around £70 for the morning - collected at 9.30 at taken by coach 10 minute drive and then by boat, drinks, swimming with the dolphins and Dolphin and Sea Lions and back to Hotel by 1.30pm.

We love this Hotel and Cuba and have been drawn back there many times - this year our daughter and grand daughter accompanied us and they also have fallen in love with Cuba.

It is very important to read, understand and study the culture of this country before comparing it with other resorts in other countries - Cuba is a unique country! Realize this and you will be amazed by the generosity of these people.

Our special thanks to Fonsy, Aberlardo, Maria, Annie and Lily in reception, Jose Carrasco the gardener,Hector, Nancy and the Team in the Mexican,Yanet in Luna, Yeneli in the pool bar, Orphelina in Lobby Bar,Durdia and Nicholas in the breakfast buffet, the big chef who made our wonderful shrimps and Johandra our maid who left our rooms sparkling clean and did wonderful towel art which my grand daughter loved.
Thankyou also to Lisandro and Manuel for taking care of us.

We wish you all well and hope to see you all again soon.

Room Tip: We love a high room overlooking the ocean on Mares but this is only our opinion
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear mojoknowles. Thank you for choosing us again and for your nice words to my team, they work very hard and we will keep doing. You come in a very positive way to enjoy all the values Sol Luna Mares and Cuba offer. See you again soon. Manuel Vazquez
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Montreal
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

I was in Holguin one week ago. My family and I were staying at the Sol Rio de Luna Y Mares, a stay we will never forget.

As soon as you enter the area, the light, the furniture, the ambiance, made you feel like in a good movie at the apero time, somewhere in the history.

The people were kind, the cleanness exceptional ! Nothing at all to complain about this hotel.

The view, the beach and the weather were beyond this world.

For the food, you always find something quite good to stick with for the week, and be happy with the grill of fresh meat and fish, and the pasta bar.

The Italian and Mexican restaurant were delicious ! The pasta frutti di mare is to be recommended.

The espressos were my coup de Coeur at anytime of the day. And you can as well try this drink with no name, except the magic drink that I have made the bar tenders , created for me. They were so kind !

- Rhum- Lime ( or lemon juice) and sugar. No sparkling water. A drink based upon the Caipirrisima or Capiniera made in the Dominican Republic and Brasilia.

Left a part of my heart in Holguin Luna Y Mares !

Thank you to all the people at this hotel. Staff and clients. It was a wonderful experience of life to have met you ! Hope to return soon.

Room Tip: For the room, the Mares section is very clean with a style d'époque. The Luna section seems t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, April 29, 2013
Dear blondie1000. Thank you for your visit and your great review, we are proud you could have so nice experience with all of us. We are sure you will come back soon. Manuel Vazquez
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Solihull
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We picked this hotel based in the great reviews it had got. We were disappointed as were a number of other people we met there.

I had emailed the hotel ahead of our stay requesting a room in the Luna and quieter side if the hotel. The email went unacknowledged and when we arrived we had been given a room in the other side of the hotel. After complaining we were told we could move but not until the next day. There was no apology in relation to not acknowledging our email or problem with the room.

There were no drinks on arrival or porters to help us with our luggage. We soon realised this wasnt a 4 star.

Hotel
Not a four star, three at best. Aeemed disirganised. Things were poorly laid out and there wasnt enough communication regarding what was going on. The hotel did daily walks but we didnt find out until 2 days before we went home. We usually stay in Riu hotels which far outweigh this one. It seemed very dis jointed with most people on an evening looking pretty bored.

Rooms
Very dated and tv remote etc didnt work but they were kept very clean which was the main thing.

Food
I am a picky eater but i dont usually have a problem in hotels we have recently stayed in but i really struggled here. The chefs and restaurant staff worked very hard but regardless of whether you went in the main buffet for lunch or dinner or what day, the menu was the same. In the main restaurant there is a section of raw meat and fish and they cook it for you but this didnt seem very hygenic to me and caused a lot of queues.

The other restaurants were pretty poor too other than the French which was by far the best.

It says you can only use the other restaurants twice a week but we managed to book one week for 3 times.

The snack bar was OK but there were a lot of flies and the food was Ok. You wouldnt want it every day but made a change to the buffet food.

Drinks
I have never been anywhere where i have drank so little! The drinks were poor. The bar staff poured the alcohol and then the mixer but never stirred tem so the liquids didnt mix. There were no straws so no way of mixing them. Many times i asked for rum and coke and ended up with bacardi and coke. Some of the bar staff worked very hard whilst others mainly stood around talking which caused queuing.

Pools
The Luna side is much quieter, we always went to the beach but they looked clean and the Luna one seemed peaceful.

Beach
Lovely. Very spacious with enough sun beds. Not busy. One of the best beaches i have seen in the Caribbean. Snorkelling was goid to the right of the beach.

Things to do
Not a lot. There isnt really anywhere to go outside of the hotel. We were told by the rep and by a couple we met that the nearby town wasnt worth going to.

Entertainment
We didnt go to the shows other than the water ballet where the muic broke half way through. It did look like it would have been a good show though. There wasnt really anything else other than a singer now and then in ine of the bars. One guy started having a sing song one night to be told by the management to stop!

We had a nice holiday but would not return to this hotel. I think it depends on what you are used to as to whether you will like it. If you are used to a good standard 4 star resort then this isnt the place for you.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear jessiesolihull. Thank you for your visit, I am sorry we could not get your full expectations. Following the reviews we are one of the best 4 stars in Cuba but we have always areas to improve and your feedback help us. We hope you come back again and we can give you better service. You can write direct to me in advance. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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Banbury, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

Nice hotel. Food was decent. This was our honeymoon. Really enjoyed it. Would defo go back. Staff were excellent our rep was really good aswell. Cuba is a lovely country. If ur doing any trips would recommend fidel castro's house. #lovedit

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, April 28, 2013
Dear christopher k. Thank you for your visit and your positive review, we hope you come back again. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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