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“A little slice of Paradise” 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
Exeter, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A little slice of Paradise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

This hotel is really 'two in one' set in stunning gardens with the most amazing 'icing- sugar- soft' white beach and turquoise sea right on your doorstep. There is an Eco Trail that leads you through the bush within walking distance of the hotel and it's really easy to just follow the signs by yourself after paying three pesos at the little bar where the entrance is . The views from the look-out point are well worth the walk, 'though I would recommend wearing 'proper' shoes instead of the flip-flops which I was silly enough to wear....great photo opportunities, especially when you come across the plaster 'native indians' in all their glory and the 'burial cave'.
The food was well cooked and well presented despite the fact that U.S. sanctions prevent the import of a wider variety of items and the different themed restaurants did a super job of making themselves 'different' and 'special'. We particularly enjoyed eating at the beach bar restaurant at lunchtime as we could go in 'just as we were' and could see the food being freshly cooked to order. The staff, (although lovely all over the complex), were particularly happy and friendly here and just couldn't do enough for you and when we returned from a two -day trip to Havana, they welcomed us like long-lost friends.
The nightly entertainment, (live music in the reception bars of both parts of the complex, plus a regular theatre presentation), was professional and colourful and kids were given their own entertainment slot each evening. The emphasis throughout was on fun and more fun and despite our advancing years, my husband and I enjoyed ourselves just as much as the young people there.
Guardalavaca is really small, but the little market is worth a visit and the beach cafes are lively and atmospheric fronted by a lovely white beach which is popular with locals and tourists alike. Everyone we met exuded friendliness without being over pushy and all demonstrated a great sense of humour. As well as our trip to Havana, we did a local trip called 'Cuba Life' which was informative, entertaining and included a really good lunch. We thought it was good value for money as we got to see what life is like for the 'real people' and got a good insight into Cuban politics and how they work.....Everyone we met appeared to be happy and content. All in all, a fabulous holiday in a fabulous location.

Room Tip: We were allocated a room on the 'Sol' side of the complex originally, but we found it to be...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 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.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear Piggywiggles from Exeter,
We are very glad that you had a fabulous holiday. Thank you for your praises, we will pass on your comments to our staff on the beach restaurant.
Thank you,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,798 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 (835)
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English first
New Glasgow, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

In February,we had a wonderful vacation to this resort.From the bus ride to the hotel everything was perfect.It was our third time in Cuba,our first time to this part of the island.We will be back again for sure.The people were amazing,plus the food was great.The french restaurant was the best ever.We asked for a room with a view of the ocean for a small fee they did it right away.When we woke up in the morning we could see the whole ocean plus the pool.the entertainment was great especially the one in the pool.We have been to many islands and the water entertainment was the best we ever seen and we could watch it from our room.Cuban people are so nice and helpful.

Room Tip: Ask your travel Agent to help you.Plus the higher the better.
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear happytraveller252,
We still do the water ballet show that everyone loves so much. We hope you will visit us again.
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Don't spend time and money for choosing a resort in Cuba. Go to Sol Rio Luna y Mares ))) It was our 2-nd time here, very beautiful place, with no any complains. Food, beach, room, service - everything was amazing.

Room Tip: Building 6 Luna section
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear Elena K,
Thank you for your lovely review. We appreciate it!
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Short but sweet review - the title says it all.

Staff cannot do enough for you and the surroundings are amazing. The beach is actually as perfect as all the photos - no photoshop needed here.



Just booked to return for another 2 weeks next year. Can't wait for it already!!!

Stayed October 2013, 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.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear PaulLeila from Liverpool,
Thank you for your kind words,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mirfield, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

We stayed at the Luna/Mares hotel 2nd Oct to 16th Oct 2013 and it was a fabulous holiday from start to finish. We checked in on the coach with is a great time saving idea, so when we arrived we went straight to our room which was at the Luna side which is the quieter side of the hotel. The room was very clean and spacious and we were in block 7000 which is very near to the beach and you can actually see the sea! Our Thomas Cook rep was brilliant and he had lots of local knowledge to share with us. The staff and management team are so lovely and cannot do enough for you. Guest services are very efficient and deal with your query/enquiry as quickly as possible and always ring you to check that you have been dealt with. We ate at all the speciality Restaurants and they were all very good. The Gala meal and water ballet on a Monday is amazing, a hog roast took place during our stay which was unexpected but again amazing. The beach and sea is beautiful and the deck chair man was very helpful and always cleaned your sunbed for you when it brought it to you each day. We went on an open top bus to the local market and also had a trip out on a horse and carriage both were a fab experience. We met some lovely holiday makers during our stay and we hope to return in the near future. Thank you to all at Lunes Mares hotel for making our holiday special.

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Dear 5asav4 from Mirfield,
We are very happy that you had a fabulous holiday experience and hope to see you soon!
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

September 28th to October 5th, 2013. This was our 4th stay at Luna/Mares and we have to say this was our best trip yet. We traveled in a group of 8. Since we are a lively bunch, our group turned into a group of 20-30 from Canada, England and Holland (Britnandians). We have made friends for life. We usually met in the Mares pool or at the Mares bar. We chatted for hours and when the disco opened we were off to dance the night away and then fill our tummies at the 24-hour snack bar afterwards. The DJ at the disco plays all types of music for everyone to enjoy and his professionalism stood out. Please remember people that it is his job to accommodate everyone likes and not one particular person, whether you are new to the resort or a repeated guest. Yes, repeated guests do get special perks but it doesn’t give repeated guests the right to yell and scream at staff cause they aren’t getting their way, not everyone enjoys dancing to just Cuban music all night. Variety is the key! The staff would also like to see new guests return to the resort and love Luna/Mares like the rest of us.

A vacation is what you make of it, whether you want to sit on the beach, by the pool or take part in all the activities. There are so many daytime activities to participate in that it has taken 4 trips to be able to try them all and I am sure we have still missed some (sorry mini putt is just to hot to play in 40 degree weather). From the hotel excursions with the lovely Robert (Saturdays excursion to the cave is amazing and not to be missed), or pool activities with the fun Eddy to beach nautical adventures (snorkeling to the right on the beach close to Paradisus and the Hobby Cats). There is something for everyone to try. The activity staff and beach staff encourage participation. It is fun! Give it a try!

The Food, there is something for everyone, even those on special diets. I have food sensitivities and I was able to find food that my belly could handle. I wouldn’t suggest swallowing a bunch of salt water from the ocean though, definitely not a good idea and will make you sick! We were able to eat at the Colon Buffet, La Pinta, The 24-hour snack bar, and the A la Carts (French and Mexican). While the Mexican was not one my of my favourites, the staff allowed us decorate and celebrate a birthday. Thank you! We even got a yummy cake. I have to say the mash potatoes at the Colon Buffet during lunch are the BEST! I wish they had them at dinner as well! Ricardo, you know I love my mash potatoes.

The Rooms, we had room 3041 on the Mares side overlooking the pool/ocean and over the Mares bar. While it was 2 double beds pushed together, the mattresses were new so we had no problems with our backs. Also, we didn’t hear any noise after 11 p.m. from the bar. We again had Maria Los Angelos as our maid. She is so pleasant and our room was always well taken care of and she left us very nice notes.

Special shout outs to our very special friends/familia, Jose Antonio (Luna Bar, I wish you were still at the Mares bar), Robert (Activities), Eddy (Activities, I will learn how to get the volleyball over the net some year), Jose (Activities), Julio (ah beautiful Julio at the beach bar with George, thank you for your professionalism when I kept telling you how gorgeous you were), Leticia (Mares bar and my favourite ice cream maker), Ronald (A la carte reservations, thank you for your patience coordinating 8 of us for dinner), Idonay (La Pinta, you still make the best Bahama Mamas), Paula (Mares bar, you smile is contagious). Rey (Mares bar, you are very sweet), Lisandro (Food and Beverage Manager) and Ricardo (General Manager). You are all outstanding representatives of Luna/Mares and the reason we keep coming back every year. Thank you for such a warm and exciting welcome. See you in May and September 2014.

If anyone needs information/schedules for the hotel excursions, kids club activities, or the laundry prices please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Stayed September 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Good morning FamilyTraveller1994 from Ottawa,
We thank you very much for taking time to mention everybody and everything. We appreciate it a lot. It is a pleasure to have guests like you, we hope you will enjoy all your future holidays with us even more every time you come back.
Warmest regards,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shipley, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

brill holiday everything just about perfect the staff are excellent & hard working . the beach is fantastic ive just had the most relaxing holiday ever . and i must mention the stack bar egg & chips at 2am what more can i say

Room Tip: pick the luna side rooms are very quiet
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Hello Allan B,
So glad you so enjoyed a relaxing holiday.
Thank you and Warmest regards,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com
Report response as inappropriate
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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