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“What an amazing resort!”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“What an amazing resort!”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Maria Ferreira - Sept. 15 to 22.
I just came back from Sol Rio de Luna Y Mares few hours ago and this past week was like living a dream!-I've traveled to many resorts before but this one was the best by far.
The hotel is very clean, the food is excellent, the stuff is very polite, professional and friendly.
Actually if you go to the Costumer Service Center (yes, they have one there) you will be greeted with a smile.We went there, not because we had any problem but because we were so happy!
The landscape of this resort is second to none!
The swimming pool is always being clean and the beach is gorgeous with white powdered sand, turquoise waters and lots of palapos.
Plenty of pedal boats, hobbie cats, etc...
The security in this resort is the best I've ever seen!
The rooms are very spacious with very high ceilings and in it you have all you need: iron, ironing board, an umbrella,hair dryer, safety deposit box (free) TV, telephone, fridge and fresh water.
The water pressure in the shower head in the bathroom was really good!
You'll have clean towels daily and plenty of toilet paper!
They also have beach towels.
The reason we didn't try any a la carte restaurants was due to the fact that the food in the Buffet is high quality food.Besides the food that is already prepared you have the privilege to choose from different types of fish and meats and they will grill it for you.
Roger, the Grill Chef became my husband's favorite person!-Everyday we were there my husband ate grilled shrimp,cod fish and red snapper: his favorite dishes!
My husband has never written a review all his life but this time is says he will!
Everybody treated us so well that it's hard to highlight just a few but I will mention Jose, Yurina, Ruby, Katia and Miladis, our maid.
They have high quality entertainment!
Now I want to do justice to Mr. Manuel Vasquez, the Manager (Director General).
As a Manager he is a rare gem!
He is always willing to help you and he did something that really touched my heart !-While talking to us, out of the corner of his eye he saw an elderly couple (the man walking with a cane) that seemed confused.Mr.Manuel excused himself and he went to assist them by leading them to the Luna side.
Then he came back to us!
This gentleman is very professional and friendly and humbled as well!
We stayed at the Mares side facing the pool and we could see part of the ocean.
What an amazing view!
When you sit at the lobby bar or at the buffet (outside) you will always be able to enjoy a great view; the swimming pool and the ocean!
By the way: they have a non smoking section in the restaurant.
They also have a 24 hour bar (with food) by the swimming pool.
After such a long day (when we arrive) it's good to be able to eat something even if it is at midnight (like we did).
Now the last but not the least:the public washrooms are very clean and there is plenty of toilet paper, soap, paper towel and even flowers!
This resort is good for everyone: the elderly, families with children and singles.
I appreciate the fact that I didn't have to watch young Cuban girls with old men like I have previously in other resorts.
Keep it clean!
I hope they keep Mr. Manuel Vasquez there for a long time because no resort runs like this on its own!
Thank you Mr. Vasquez for making our vacation a memorable one!
God bless you!

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool and the ocean have a great view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank crazy4yeshua
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, September 26, 2012
Dear crazy4yeshua. It was really a pleasure to meee you and your husband, your great words are our batteries to keep working hard. I am sure we will meet us again. God bless you too. Manuel Vazquez
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Aurora, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Just returned from Sol Luna Y Mares Sept 15 2012. We have stayed at this resort 7 times with our dear friends. The beach is the best we have ever seen in Cuba. The resort is older but always kept very clean. The staff is amazing and work hard to make your vacation perfect. Ronald and Hector are very nice and can take care of all your needs. Roberto the life guard on the beach was amazing. The resort has a new manager and he is highly visible and very attentive to the needs and wishes of vacationers. We saw many improvements from our previous vacation. We had 2 dinners on the beach and they were wonderful. This resort is very good to returning clients, and has many perks. It seems to be always a little warmer in Holguin then other parts of Cuba. We will defiantly return to this resort. This is not a 5 star resort but you will receive 5 star treatment. Very great value for your money. Does have a lot of walking and if you want to eat at the pool restaurant give yourself lots of time they stop serving pizza at 5:00 and have 45 minute waiting period. The beach restaurant has a very good cook Nancy I think was her name and we enjoyed many lunches there that she prepared. We had a great vacation did not want to return home.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LouiseKaren
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, September 26, 2012
Dear LouiseKaren. Thank you for your confidence, we hope to keep working hard for news improvements and you can see it soon. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012 via mobile

Hi, me and my wife, 2 children and a few friends have just returned from this resort where we got married and we couldnt have picked a better venue! The place was absolutely beautiful and the staff were first class all over and the friendliest people we have ever met! The wedding went like a dream and there was nothing to worry about as our wedding co-ordinater (yelina) took care of everything! She was amazing from the minute we arrived until we left! Can't thank her enough! As for the food, it was excellent all over, especially the French al a carte! First class!! I really can't thank all the staff at this resort for making our wedding/honeymoon our best experience ever and we cannot wait to return to this resort! So from the jones/Stanford gang its a massive thank you to all the staff and we'll see you again soon.....

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mikejones77
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, September 21, 2012
Dear mikejones77. Thank you for choosing us for so special time in you life, Yilena is one of the best wedding coordinators I met and the rest of the team make a great job too. Hope to meet you again back. Manuel Vazquez
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Acton, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Where to start........After 12 years of Marriage and 4 baby boys later...... It was time for my real honeymoon.LOL. Were to go???????????????? Well thew a good friend who works at Marlin Travel. She said that this a up and coming resort. Well she was right. Staff,food,clean,beach,weather,flight,hotel etc. All class. Looking foward to October 20/2012 when we go back for a 2nd time (with my parents) to book our 3rd time in 2013 and talk to Manuel ( Manager) about renewing my vows at this amazing resort. Looking foward to showing my Mom and Dad what a wonderful place this was and is. Make sure before you get your (Dukoral and Twinrix). Bring lots of sunscreen cause it is hot,hot,hot...... . You will be tipping everywhere so bring your money.Bring you smile and you will get a bigger smile back. Looking foward to the boat rides to see and swim with the dolphins (Bring yur dancing shoes cause lots of music and drinks,drinks and drinks). ( Mario was a great host on the trip) ( Love to see him again) Ask me anything and I will be very honest with you. There are always good with the bad when it comes to travelling,so be prepared were ever you travel. You will have to be the judge here. There is alot more good reviews then bad, so come and have a open mind,open heart and a smile on your face cause life is to short. All the best from Canada. See you soon Cuba. XOXO

Room Tip: All looked good. We stayed at the Luna side at the very end if you like walking and quite.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Boogie1979
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, September 21, 2012
Dear Boogie1979. We are very proud you are coming back again and again as many repeaters, it will be a pleasure to meet you again very soon. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez
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manchester
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

First review I have ever posted but just wanted to say how fantastic the staff at this hotel were. We've never encountered such helpful and friendly staff-from the cleaners & waitresses to the security guards on the beach. Indeed we found Cuban people in general to be amazingly warm and welcoming.

We must say a special special thank-you to Orfelina at the swimup bar who made our time around the pool so enjoyable x

The manager Manuel is fantastic. he goes out of his way to ensure you have a wonderful holiday. The little touches he organizes make all the difference-the bottle of rum in the room as you leave, bottles of water as you board the coach to go home and the waving off by himself and many of his staff as you leave for the airport made you feel very appreciated-if not a little tearful.

The Thomson rep was a lovely v.funny man who was really helpful. Indeed there again all the other reps at the hotel were always smiling and wishing you a good day.

We loved visiting all 4 of the a la carte restaurants and had lovely meals in each of them. We were pleasantly surprised by the choice of food available including barbecues on the beach some afternoons or hog roast around the pool-we didn't get bored at all.
Lunch in the retaurant at the beach was fabulous due mainly to it's gorgeous setting-the burgers and hotdogs also being very tasty here.

What can I say about the beach other than truly amazing. Powder white sand,turquoise sea & lots of natural shade from the trees. Always plenty of sunloungers and also many lifeguards on duty. Would definately advise a go on the free catamarans down on the beach-the views are fantastic.

In the evening at the Mares lobby bar we often had a long wait to be served if only a couple of bar staff. It certainly felt as if one bar tender (who's name was something like Maximillian) had his favourites and would ignore us completely. If forced to eventually attend to us it was always with a miserable expression on his face-the only one we ever saw on this trip!!!
The other other problem here was the lack of seating. There was plenty of room for many extra tables and chairs towards the pool area of the Mares bar but none appeared.

The trips we found to be exceptional in value.
We didn't go to see the dolphins as we have done this previously in Florida, but everyone who went thought it was fabulous. Also you get lots of photographs as they take them for you with your own camera.
We went on the Blue & green jeep safari, the Holguin combo tour and the Paradise Island trip and would recommend them all.

In summary this was one of our best holidays ever. The Cuban people are so amazingly friendly and the beaches unbelievable. I would very much like to return here again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank howanda
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, September 21, 2012
Dear howanda. Thank you for your visit and your great review which help us to keek working hard. It was a pleasure to help so nice family like you. We hope you visit us again. Manuel Vazquez
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Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

My partner and I have just returned from the said hotel on the 16th Sept 2012, this was a two week all inclusive holiday booked with Thomsons. It was rated as a four*+ it was very tired and run down the rooms were in need of redecoration, our bath had been painted and was all rusty in the bottom. We had received an e mail from Thomsons not long after we booked the holiday to inform us that one of the pools would be closing to have minor maintainance work carried out, we asked for a transfer but they refused saying that there would be minimal disruption. This was not the case, there were jack hammers going from just after 6.00am and the area was just like a building site, guests staying in that area had electricity cut off at certain times. We had asked to be at the quiet side of the resort which is the Luna side, this was the side that was dissrupted, we were in the Mares side and was right above the daily/nightly entertainment and the main bar area. On the second week my partner was very ill with a severe stomach upset and was in bed for two days, just as he had begun to recover i began to suffer with the same thing. We had made friends with 6 people who all suffered from this same illness all in various states and times. On their last night we had all arranged to meet in the bar which would have made eight of us in total but unfortunately there were only 3 of us that managed to make it as all the others were ill. Nearly everyone you spoke to had either been ill themselves or knew of someone who had been.There was immodium being passed around the resort like sweets. When we booked the holiday our criteria was for couples which i believe was also the Luna side when we asked Thomsons which pool was being closed they told us they didn't know. It would have been nice for them to find out for us and act accordingly to our request and booking criteria. The staff couldn't be faulted at all especially our maid who ran around for me for some considerable time when my partner was ill, she was brilliant. All the faults and problems i feel are the resposability of the tour operator. I understand that different countries have different standards but it was diffinately not a 4 star not even 3, the holiday was not cheap and we thought that by paying a bit more we would get a better standard unfortunately this wasn't the case. The food could have been better it was only ever luke warm and repetative, it did seem as if certain things were running out, however on the second week about 3 days before we came home all the food in the buffet(Colon) dining room was covered which hadn't been done before. I know this review may seem harsh but i think Thomsons could do better if we had let it, it could have really spoilt our holiday which we have to save for all year round it was only the beach that saved it for us as this was amazing but Thomsons didn't have anything to do with that as this is the natural beauty of Cuba. I would go again to this lovely country but not to this resort/hotel and deffinately not with Thomsons.

Room Tip: Luna side deffinately quieter, cant say about the quality as we didn't see them.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sandra S
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, September 21, 2012
Dear Sandra S. Thank you for your visit, I am sorry we could not meet your expectations, as usual we are open to meet our guest to do our best to help them if they do not feel as they expect. Our doctor does not have any record during the time you have been hear, we follow any information like this because health and safety is our priority. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stayed at the Sol rio de luna y mares as part of a twin centre holiday holiday with Thomson meaning we spent 3 nights in Havana before arriving at the hotel...maybe I had been slightly spoilt by my experiences in Havana but the Sol rio hotel did not live up to my expectations or the money we paid to go.

Likes:

Staff: Staff are lovely and attentive working with the best they have to offer. Quick service and a lovely hotel manager who is always around if needed. We also received a free bottle of rum on our last day which was a really nice touch and we got the feeling they would love you to go back.

Snack Bar - As the breakfast buffet closed at 9:30 we never made breakfast but the snack bar served breakfast until 12:00 freshly cooked to order which was nice. They also cook lovely pizzas to order for lunch.

La Pinta - Lovely place to have dinner if you are on the beach.

The Beach: Lovely wide stretch of beach...plenty of beds...lots of shady spots for when the sun gets too hot.

Location: There are some nice walks surrounding the hotel...one which cost 3 CUC per person and others which are free...lovely to stretch the legs.

Guardalavaca: Nice little village and in all honesty I would have preferred to have stayed in a hotel closer to the village as you see more of real cuba there.

Dislikes:

Room was just average...sheets were not changed during the length of stay, plug sockets were faulty, and our bad collapsed meaning we had a maintenance guy fixing this at 12:30 at night...less than impressed.

Romantic restaurant: lovely setting but worst meal we had during our whole stay, tinned veg and fatty tough meat, with a dessert from the all inclusive buffet.

Drinks - poor quality (apart from the beer). As Cuba is known for it's cocktails and Rum this hotel was a total let down serving warm drinks. We often resorted to buying our cans of coke etc as these were in the fridge and we could guarantee they were cold.

Evening Entertainment: Poor. Shows very little cuban culture or indeed much cuban music...my advice would be to get out of the hotel but there is little around the resort for this sort of thing so pretty much stuck with what the hotel provides unless you book an excursion.

All in all we would not return to this hotel. We would give it no more than a 3 star rating but it was a lovely holiday...I just think we paid too much...had we got this for a better price I might have overlooked the issues above but if we return to Cuba I would definitely return to Havana or stay in a different part of the island.

Good thing to know is that it did not rain once during our stay so if all you want is sun, sand and sea then this place is perfect!

Room Tip: Do not stay on Mares side...I think this is why we did not like the room so much as reviews from Lun...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Natalie M
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, September 21, 2012
Dear Natalie M. Thank you for your visit and your honest review, I am sorry we could not meet your full expectations but maybe your come back in the future and we have a second opportunity. I appreciate all your suggestions and areas to improve. Manuel Vazquez
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Additional Information about Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

Property: Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Address: Ctra. de Guardalavaca | Playa Esmeralda, Guardalavaca 84170, 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 
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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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