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“Hidden gem”

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Islazul Villa Don Lino
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

For very few bucks we went to this little hotel in the countryside, I think it was rated 2 stars at the time but we went with our instincts and knowledge from other travel reports. It ended up being a really amazing week! It's exactly like cottaging but on the Caribbean. The old rooms are super quaint but are in a state of rot from the ocean salt and wind, stay in the chalets as they are amazing. The pool is perfect for the size of the place, the food is simple but good! The beach is rocky but hey! You can
grab a 50s Chevy taxi for a day in guadalavaca for that. Stay, enjoy the great guests, and amazing stellar staff, make friends, go to town with friends and enjoy a restaurant, this Is a relatively new thing in cuba, go off the resort. Get the locals with the horse and buggies to take you through the farms and town!! Great time, hidden gem.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Danielriley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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569 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    35
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (168)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I loved it! the people are so nice there and there are so many activities, theres a pool, a beach but the best beach you should walk or bike a little bit to playa blanca because its white sand ! I had the time of my life and definitly want to go back! I love horseback riding and i had to much fun going in the fields! its cute little bungalos and its like you really get the cuban experience because its not all industrialized! the food isnt gourmet and super good but its average and pretty good but gets repetitive! i WANT TO GO BACK<3 LOVED IT! if you go say hi to hernando for me, the horse guy! ask if he is hernando and say its the girl who came in 2013 who loved to ride and came every day and loved corracon ! and had the mom with the tattoos!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Ursi23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

The beauty and charm of Don Lino is in the hearts and souls of the people there - both on and off the resort. I'm getting to know them more every-time and it just keeps getting better. The warmth and hospitality of the people is like none other. The moment of leaving was painful but the memories are precious, and I look forward even more to returning. I applaud all the ongoing improvements, and the requests from management for the opinions of the clients. Bravo !!! It makes us feel like you really care about your visitors. So !!! WILBERT and the HOUSEBAND are a huge part of the reason that I return to Don Lino and recommend it to others as well. Gracias por existir. We find what we're looking for. I met old friends and found new friends. 3 star resort - 5 star people. Hope to see everyone again as soon as possible. Spent 2 weeks at the end of March.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank jean f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Honestly, this place is for people who want to relax and enjoy the REAL Cuba!!
"This is a 2 star property people, IN CUBA!!!" (only because they don't have the amenities we canadians consider to be necessities in life)
- no 24hr access to food and drinks
- no A LA CARTE restaurant
- no bank
- NO INTERNET
- no kids club
I could go on and on....

The reality about The Don Lino is it's beautiful and amazing if you love camping and the outdoors! We like to call it "GLAMPING" while we were there!!
You feel like you're on a ranch, staying in a new cabin, or an old cottage, if you're in an original bungalow. I feel like I'm camping in style at the Don Lino!!
I DON'T have to make my own bed, cook for myself, do dishes, nor do I do any cleaning or laundry while I'm there!!
The bartender Reuben is AMAZING!!! He is genuine and professional and your go-to-guy if you have any requests. He understands and speaks english pretty good. We were fortunate to have met his beautiful family...he has a seven year old beautiful daughter and is expecting a new baby in august, as well as a gem of a mother who is a seamstress. Reuben is an asset to this hotel and I will return to the Don Lino again to spend more time with him. He has a very generous soul. The other bartender Jesus is also a beautiful Cuban who equally makes great drinks.
The staff go above and beyond here.
The location is on the ocean and you see it from everywhere!!
It's Paradise!!!
I don't understand how anybody could complain about this place, every one of my expectation were met and exceeded!!!
I could go on and on about the Don Lino and our experience there, we will go back.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will reply.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank thestewarts_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Spent a week at the villa don lino,at very beautiful resort with very friendly staff, the beach on the property is nice to relax on but I would advise a horse ride down the road to the neighbouring beach were the water is calmer,,,,if not then enjoy the pool, they have two places to sit and meet people the front lounge and the beach bar ,,,,were you are able to get snacks like pizza, and fries. the dinning area has a buffet for your three meals daily but I would advise to bring some snacks. the weather was nice and hot , and the hotel was cleaned daily, there is also free horseback riding and other trips you can make with the hotel day trips....this is a wonderful place if your looking for relaxing and low key, I would certainly return,,,,happily.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank marthamuffin1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardinal, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We spent a week here in late March. This is a simple, inexpensive resort in a rural area. We found that many of the guests had been here before, some multiple times. The food is not fancy, but well prepared. As you might expect, lots of chicken and pork, rice, local fruit and vegetables. There were no lineups. The beach is better for sunbathing than swimming, due to a coral outcrop and sea urchins, although, at the very eastern end, there is a small cove where you can more easily swim. There are no excursions originating at Don Lino. You need to arrange a taxi to take you to a pickup point somewhere else. You can walk safely in the area outside the resort area. The people are friendly. There is no banking facility nearby, but there is a guy who changes Can$ into CUC Pesos, at a reasonable rate. (If you can't find him ask a bartender). Staff, especially housekeeping staff, are friendly. Rooms are clean, but not spotless. There is a smallish, but well cleaned pool. We never had a problem getting a lounger. The people are grateful for anything you can give them. We brought used baby and children's clothing, baseball caps. Crayons, pencils, paper. There is usually a band in the evening, some are quite accomplished. Other than that, there isn't.'t a lot of night life. This is a place to chill out and relax. If you want more, choose another resort.

Room Tip: If you have trouble getting in and out of a bathtub, ask for a room with a shower.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Awsuml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Once again I went solo and in mid-Feb to early March. The weather this time was a mix of cool days with sun and even cooler nights with lots of wind. This is very atypical of February's weather as it usually gets warmer once January has passed. I must admit the cooler days(25-29C degrees) is NOT exactly cold in our books, but considered a cool day for the Cuban.
This way the pool felt even warmer and the Atlantic, which is always cold, was somewhat warmer to the touch! Markets, both Holguin's and Guadalavaca's were brimming with goodies and freshened each time I went in my 3 week stay, which was at least 3x to G. and 2x to H. Took a couple of tours compliments of Olasun to Holguin and a Catamaran ride and amenities...Haha. They were not as expensive as some of the other airlines were offering to their clients. Buffet was full and plentiful of in season fruits and vegetables and the uasual meats offered, and something new at the grill at night. If you are a mid day snacker ,you can always munch on some yummies at the Beach Bar, where a variety is offered new each day. Be prepared that they do not always have the same things, as it is Cuba and it is not easy to import certain foods in large quantities for smaller hotels ,due to the expense. I met once again familiar faces to reacquaint with and always enjoy meeting new and fascinating guests, as we are all drawn to this hotel for one reason or another, and that makes us somewhat of the same ilk! Hope you will relax ,kick back listen to the sounds, fragrances from blooms or food,sights and enjoy the beauty that is Cuba!

Room Tip: Personally I always stay in the original bungalows as I like the larger space and rustic feel, and p...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank LHOG61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Islazul Villa Don Lino

Property: Islazul Villa Don Lino
Address: Playa Blanca, Rafael Freyre, Rafael Freyre, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Rafael Freyre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Islazul Villa Don Lino 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel Rafael Freyre
Hotel Islazul Don Lino
Islazul Don Lino Hotel
Islazul Villa Don Lino Holguin Province, Cuba

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