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“could be wonderfull”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 26, 2012

I would think in its day this was a great hotel, it is now needing some TLC.Most of the staff are very helpfull and friendly even though they appear under staff,we had to set our own table several times,and drinks were very slow being served in the bars.The resort was kept very clean as was the rooms.
We were two ladys traveling together we felt safe at all time,we would go back as it was very good value for money it could be a super resort if given a new coat of paint.We enjoyed our holiday very much.The hotel was just right for us the first 11 days then it got very busy and lost a lot of its friendlyness we had not thought about how large the resort was untill it started to fill up.

Room Tip: all rooms had a reasonable view
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Delia82
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 reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear Delia82. Thank you for your visit and you feedback wich help us to be better. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez

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2,754 - 2,760 of 5,994 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed at the hotel from 28/29 Aug till 11 sept there was 6 adults and 1 child (4 months old )

Rooms
We stayed in rooms 2034,2036,2037 all rooms we nice, maids were great fridge stocked with plenty of water got extra water for the baby had lovely view over swimming pool and the ocean room was on mares side.

Food
Buffet- Breakfast everything from omellette to pancakes all nice and hot.
Dinner- Nice choice everything from Pasta station to fresh cooked shrimps and fish fresh chicken and beef always had nice soup and salad.
Mexican- Nice service and great views over the ocean lovely Fatija choice.
French- Beautiful Restraunt service and wine lovely nice starters and dessart beef was a bit tough but peppercorn sauce was lovely.
Romantic- Had dinner on beach was very nice and a great food.
Italian- Again very nice restraunt with great choice of food.
we Also had a meal around the pool before the water ballet which was very nice.
Lunch Bar- Set on beach done a lovely tuna salad.

Bars- Mares Lobby- Had some great entainment in this bar brilliant bar staff really good atmosphere.
Pool Bar- Very nice to relex in the pool having a beer.
Luna Lobby- Nice quiet bar always had live music quiter then mares bar.
Beach Bar- Again very good service and full selection of drinks.
Disco- Great setting right on the beach went there few times but was rather empty.

Staff- All the staff at this hotel were fantastic and could not do enough to help us with our young baby.

Hotel- The hotel itself a was really nice there are painting the hotel and doing some works on the luna pool but this never impacted our holiday.Only problem was a slight lack of toilets on the bar area.

Trips- Cuba Inside- Went on steam train then Holguin cigar factory and to small fishing village for some lunch which was lovely this was a great full day trip.
Guardelvaca Market- Got the open top bus to small craft market well worth visit got some lovely gifts there.
Went on trip from hotel we rode bike to farmer house them into a cave this was well worth it cost 3 cuc
Cant remember last trip but got own jeep driven by local man very informative went jet skiing horse riding visit local school and ration shop anthor great trip. TIP buy some book and colouring pens for kids in school.
A lovely touch was on our depature day a bottle of rum was left in the room and the manager come to wave us off.

Finally we travelled with Thomas Cook and was on the flight which was airbourne for 6 hours before returing to Gatwick the customer service from thomas cook was awful but the hotel was so great soon forgot about this problem.

Cant wait to return to this hotel.

Room Tip: ask for room 2034 on mares side great view and massive balconey
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank essexyid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

In June this year a group of 10 family and friends had a 2 week vacation in the Luna Mares to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday, what a fantastic 2 weeks. The hotel and the staff were fantastic, the was beach amazing.
The manager was really interested in listening to and try to implement any ideas we had to improve the holiday
I can wait for this Monday, just me and my husband will be enjoying another 2 week's at the Luna
Lyn & Marc Fitzgerald
Southampton
England

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank lynda f
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 reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear lynda f. Thank you for your visit last June and your are coming back so soon, It will be a pleasure to meet you next days. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Arrived home today rum doesn't quite taste the same now. Came her 4 years ago with my husband loved it so much recommended it to my daughter for her honeymoon 3 years ago. This year came back with husband, 2 daughters 2 son-in-laws and 3 grandchildren had a wonderful time hope to come again. Special thanks to Yannett over Luna side in bar lovely lady and also the lady in mares pool bay she makes the best bahama mama in the whole of Cuba

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank daveaugust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

we liked the hotel and the staff were friendly, we had a bad experience with the flight on the way out but it was no fault of the hotel.
food was fantastic, weather was amazing but very hot for two old bodys like us, cant complain about anything .
we were here for a wedding , normally we caravan in holland and france, but realy enjoyed it

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Location
5  Thank george H
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 reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear george H. Thank you for your visit and your very good review, now it is not so hot as September, maybe next time November would like you better. Take care. Manuel Vazquez

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Reviewed October 22, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed here mid October 2012. We booked through First Choice and were not sure what to expect as neither of us had been to Cuba before so only booked to stay for 7 nights.

This hotel is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. The service is the first thing you notice as well as the attitude of all the staff. I have never stayed anywhere where the staff are so happy and so attentive to you all the time.

You are issued with a wrist-band when you get on the coach at the airport to say you are an all inclusive guest. Some other guests had different coloured wrist bands (I'm unsure of the significance, I meant to ask the management before we left but I didn't have time).

We were met at the airport by our holiday adviser Waldemar who gave us a great introduction to Cuba and Guardalavaca. During the presentation to guests the following morning he also introduced some of the key members of staff including the hotel manager Manuel and the Head Chef.

Waldemar was constantly present in the hotel near the lobby and kindly helped us book our 3 trips out, along with greeting us in the mornings when we went for breakfast.

The hotel is very clean (I've never seen so many maintenance/grounds people in a resort!). The pool is cleaned almost daily if not every day and was lovely, as was the swim up bar and bar staff. The Luna pool was closed when we stayed there which we knew would be the case before we went so spent our time at the Mares pool. I've no doubt when the work on the Luna pool is completed it will be just as great if not better than the Mares pool.

The grounds are very lush and colourful, the gardeners do a great job ensuring everything is kept nice. There are a lot of small lizards in the grounds which are nothing to be concerned about, they add character to the hotel and should be expected given the location.

The rooms are very good. We stayed on the Luna side so we can't vouch for the rooms in Mares but they were cleaned and prepared daily by our maid. They always left some form of towel art on the beds which was a lovely touch. The only problem is you end up not wanting to use your towels and destroy it!
The beds are very comfortable, the balcony overlooking the beach was nice.
You get a fresh bottle of mineral water in the room every day which went straight in the fridge! Very nice when you get in from a day in the sun!

We had no water in our side of the hotel for a single day due to improvements being done. We were told in advance of this by management which was very good. This is obviously not a usual occurrence and it didn't pose any problems at all. Our shower did take a while to get going in the evening but after a few minutes it kicked into life with no need to ask for help from the staff. Not a problem. Quality of the bathroom is good. His & hers sinks, nice clean toilet on arrival, clean bath/shower combo, shaver socket & hairdryer included.

The lobby bar is 24hrs and is very popular. There is usually between 3-4 staff on hand but don't be surprised if you have to wait a little while to be served as it is often busy. The bar staff always do their best to serve you as quickly as possible and are always very pleasant.

The beaches are cleaned daily of seaweed so they are always in excellent condition. The sand is soft and white, the sea is clear and blue. No litter or debris. There are no sellers on the beach. Security are on hand to ensure that the beach is enjoyed only by the hotel guests which is fantastic. You can hire pedalos & sailing boats etc from the clubhouse on the beach, which were included in our package. These need to be pre-booked and they do stop for lunch.

Evening entertainment included various bands by the pool in Mares. They were amazing, I think local singers. Definitely worth watching. Also there was water ballet. We only caught the end of this but it looked amazing.

Food: The volume of food in the buffet restaurant is phenomenal. Lots of various meats, fish, vegetables, pasta, pizza, fruit. It is all cooked to a high standard, and is delicious. We reserved dinner at the french restaurant one evening and at the mexican for another. Both were great and the service was miles better than any restaurants in the UK & Europe that I have eaten in. The food was again, EXCELLENT. You only get 2 reservations a week which is fair enough, if you want to experience more of them (there are 4 reservable restaurants in total including Italian & Romantic) then stay for 2 weeks.

We booked trips to the Dolphin Swim in Guardalavaca, the Holguin Tour and Island Paradise.

We would recommend them all. The Dolphin Swim offers some amazing extras for a little extra money, it is definitely worth taking the extra 40-50CUC for these. The trainers are fantastic and the Dolphin & Sea lion show after the swim is great.
Holguin Tour was a tour including a visit to a cigar factory and a nice meal in Holguin for lunch. Very interesting.
On our last day we did the Island Paradise tour to Cayo Saetia. Our guide for this trip was Ernest or 'Ernie.' He made sure this trip was amazing & kept us entertained throughout the coach trip, on the catamaran and on the island. We both agreed we'd left the best until last. This would be our most recommended trip during our stay in Cuba.

Please remember to bring enough cash for tips both during day trips & for the hotel staff. Although it is not customary to tip, and the staff do not pressure you for tips, you will want to tip them as the service they provide is absolutely brilliant and well worth it.

In summary, this is a fantastic hotel. It should be rated 5*. Manuel & his team do a fantastic job to ensure all the guests who stay with them are happy and will do anything to make you feel welcome. If you are travelling to eastern Cuba, then please stay at this hotel.

As soon as we got home, we were already making arrangements to return again the following year. We hope we'll see the same great staff again.

We will be back next year at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares and we will definitely be staying for 2 weeks. We cannot wait to go back!!

Room Tip: We emailed the hotel prior to travelling to advise we'd like a sea view room. This was arranged...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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13  Thank Paulrichiardi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

This is the 4rth year running my husband and myself have gone to Cuba and must admit the best. The hotel is only 4* but you get 5* treatment. We were on the Mares side as the Luna pool was being worked on but every evening we went to the Luna side for the night time entertainment which suited us. The entertainment in the Mares was very good as well. Only fault the theatre was never open but I believe that was due to the improvements going on. There are 2 beaches one for each hotel but you use either. There is always plenty of sunbeds no mater what time you go down to the beach. We found the Luna beach was very quiet,where you could sunbathe under the beautiful trees ,also you have the beach bar where we ate every lunch time. They served the most delious fish dishes,Ronald and the rest of the staff there were friendly.The food in the dining hall overall was very good, there was always plenty to choose from, again waitresses very pleasant. Also there is the French, Mexican and Italian restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was the French. It has a more romantic feel than the Italian.The rooms are clean and comfortable with excellent room service. Any problem, you went to customer service and whatever it was it was dealt with immediately. When you have had enough of lounging by the pool or lazing on the beach you can hire an old American car to take you to the market, also the horse and carriage, or go on the open top bus. If you use the horse and carriage I advise you to use Alex as his is more "surry with the fringe on top". Manuel, the manager is always at you disposal as well of course your travel courier. My husband and myself were there to celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary and hopefully we will be there next your to celebrate our 52nd.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Margaret B
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 reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear Margaret B. Thank you for your confidence, it has been a pleasure to help you with my team and we hope you come back for next anniversary. Best 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 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: $150 - $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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