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“1st trip to Cuba. Won't be our last”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Just got back from Cuba and we loved it. From the time we arrived until we left we were welcomed with smiles and great service. As previous reviews said the rooms are a bit run down but always clean. We stayed on the Luna side in room 7304 on the top floor. We had the most amazing view of the ocean and the grounds. This block of rooms does not have an elevator so lots of stairs to climb but not a big problem.
Beach-the most beautiful beach we have been to. No water shoes needed. Soft sand and beautiful water. The resort was full so had to search for chairs at times but not a big deal.
Food-this was the best part for us as we could get "normal food". All the a la carte restaurants were great. They had good choices unlike Mexico where at times you were not sure what you were eating. The buffets were good and again had lots of choices. One night they cooked a turkey and it was the best turkey I have ever eaten. Our favorite spot was the 24 hr snack bar. We don't always want to get up and get ready for the 10:00 deadline for breakfast and they served breakfast from 10-12 then from 12-6 they had another menu which had the best homemade pizzas and also served salads, hamburgers, and hotdogs and they had the best fries also then from 6 on they served the hot dogs, hamburgers etc. We also liked to eat lunch at the Pinta restaurant on the beach looking out at the ocean.
Bars-lots to choose from. The Mares side is noisier and the Luna is more subdued except when the 4 sisters from England let their hair down. They were the entertainment one evening while we had drinks.
Staff-always smiling and they work very hard. You see one making omelets in the morning, pizza at lunch and working behind the bar at night. They dont expect tips but deserve them.
Pools-2 pools not a whole lot of people swimming but chairs full but why swim in a pool when you can enjoy the beautiful ocean.
Entertainment-did not watch every night but what we did was good
Did not do any excursions we just wanted to relax but we did take a buggy ride into the little town and it was fun.
Overall we would defiantly return to Cuba and this resort. It was just the right size not too much walking

Now not that this has anything to do with the resort but we did have a bit of a bad experience when we got to the airport when we left. I had e-mailed the airport to ask if there was a smoking section after customs and was told yes. On the bus to the airport the Westjet rep said to enjoy the wait at the airport by shopping and if you smoked there was a section so we actually went in 2 1/2 hours early and were told it had been closed so we were not happy.
Also we were also told that there were 2 banks one before customs and one after. So I waited until we went through customs to exchange my pesos and to my surprise I was told the bank was closed. We were told there was a new law passed that day that they could no longer exchange our money after customs so now I am stuck with pesos which are useless. We also went to the resturant and the sign said "prices are in pesos but must be paid for in US cash or credit card" because of the new law. This was very confusing because we were told not to take US cash because they did not like it. And to top it off all the workers were trying to flog their US cash they must have got for tips and trade it for pesos. What made us mad is our Rep and the VIP lady did not know of all these changes. Anyway as I said this was not the resorts fault just wanted people to be aware--no smoking section and change your pesos before the customs.

Room Tip: Luna is quieter but if you want an elevator make sure you block has one.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Fairrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 11, 2013 via mobile

Just had 2weeks here,booked us in at the Luna side accommodation was shocking they then moved us on first night to mares side slightly better,accommodation is very tired and worn no more then 2star plus,that's the bad points,they are lots of good ones management are very nice people,helpful rep,lovely beach,food is fine,would usually find something u would like,take plenty of tip money for bar staff to keep them smiling,boats only went out 6days of the 14 as it is always to windy,only 2 sets of snorkels available and never can get them do take your own,for a great day out swimming with dolphins is a must only 5 mins away on free coach,also take a taxi ride in a old 50 dodge to the market 10 mins away,if you like to have stroll around the shops in the evening then forget it there is none,

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Emma3536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

This hotel is amazing !!! If you want to have a real taste of Cuba then this hotel is the one for you !!! Just the trip on the coach from the airport to the hotel is an excursion in itself !! You see so much of Cuba and it is so interesting... afterall, Cuba is a place to go for its old cars and for a totally different scenery to the UK !!! Me and my fiance loved it at this hotel and in Cuba. Food was great, Rooms were great... basically everything about this hotel and part of Cuba was great !!! Go GO GO ... YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED !!!!! We want to go again and we would love to get married at this resort !!!

Room Tip: 2008 !!! can see the dolphinarium to the left of your room, and the sea view to the right when stood...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank leehannah_10
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 reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Dear leehannah_10. Thank you for your visit and your great recommedation including your desire to come back, we hope so. Take care. Manuel Vazquez

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

From the minute we arrived at this hotel untill the minute we left we encountered happy , helpful wonderful staff without exception. This is an extremely well run hotel . Everything was perfect for us. The room , the view, the food, the beach, the people, the customer service ethic , the warmth of every member of staff. When there was an issue , the response was first class . The hotel was full but the gardens ( metaculious) the beach, never ever felt crowded, plenty of space under the palms if you wanted it. I would go back tomorrow . Thankyou to everyone there you made our holiday

Room Tip: Just ask. If you want peaceful Luna side , and it's 2 minutes walk to Mares side
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Paulfrankster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

My hubby & I travelled to this resort March 15 - March 22 -2013 , we loved the grounds & the beach . We stayed on the Luna side we had a great view & we liked location of room accessible to everything . It wasn't noisy . My biggest complaint was mattress in our room it was well past it's time did not sleep well at all . The day we were leaving I noticed them bringing in all kinds of new mattresses ! Main buffet food was good but very busy there . We paid extra to have a lobster dinner & it was absolutely wonderful , worth the $ . We booked with Nolitours which was a good experience our tour rep Lorena was very knowledgable & helpful . The staff at the hotel was exceptional the omelette chef 's , waitresses , maids & Tony lifeguard at main pool such wonderful people . We always tip extra it is always greatly appreciated but not expected .The entertainment is very talented , loved the aqua ballet . The weather was the best yet on our travels to Cuba 32 Celsius . We would return to this resort :))))

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tamchic
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 reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Dear Tamchic. Thank you for your visit and you great review including compliments to my team, one of our best values. We hope to see you back. Manuel Vazquez

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

We booked our wedding in The sol rio after wanting a beautiful carribean beach wedding and it didn't disappoint.
We were a group of 30 ranging from all ages and wanted to find a beautiful location at a reasonable cost and this hotel certainly delivered on both counts, the beach is stunning, the pools are large and clean the rooms although basic are fine for the minimal time spent in them and the staff are fantastic.
All of our party loved every bit of the holiday, the French & Italian were our favourite places to eat and with Roger in the buffet resturant delivering up steaks and fish to order we certainly eat very well.
What can we say about our wedding day apart from it was perfect, Lily the co-ordinator organised every detail and made it stress free and everything we asked for was never too much. She was a star & we can't thank her enough, the setting, the pictures and the small touches such as a private reception, a Cuban band, an old car all made our day, one to remember.
We want to say a special thank you to Yenelay at the pool bar who never stopped smiling all day and kept us all topped up with our rum cocktails throughout our stay.
It really was a perfect holiday, lovely well run hotel with great people, that gave us a wedding to remember for the rest of our lives.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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8  Thank Lardinhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We just got back from Sol Rio de Mares y Luna this week, what a great time we had!
The people at this resort are what makes it so amazing!
We had read reviews about many Cuban resorts and this one had great reviews, for good reason. Unlike reviews of other hotels, we were NEVER expected to tip...EVER. We received great service because the staff is professional, friendly and appreciates a smile and friendly chat more than $$( from our experience) Of course we tipped and left toiletries and clothing to those who worked extra hard but no one ever asked for anything.
Stay at Luna rather than Mares if you want peace and tranquility.It's a bit older, but clean and comfortable. If you have kids, avoid the specialty restaurants, especially for picky eaters! The Buffet always had pizza and pasta bar and there is always something to eat
Try to nap in the day so you can enjoy the live music at both the lobby bars as well as the shows at night.
The kids mini disco was the same every night, but our 6 year old seemed to like it!
The performers are always different and they work very hard to perform the best show they can
The management at this hotel is amazing, always walking around and making sure things are running smoothly.
Unlike most hotels we have been to in Mexico and DR, there was not the crazy chair saving mentality, yes, people did reserve chairs, but you could always find something if you slept in.
There is no loud obnoxious music playing at the pool bars, sometimes it was classical, sometimes nothing at all. Very relaxing, very mellow
The beach was superb! On calm days it was like a big clear swimming pool, on rough days fun for wave jumping
Our Nolitors dinner was a highlight! Lots of local music and entertainment
Sit back ,have a spanish coffee and enjoy!
Above all, try to reciprocate all the warm greetings and friendly service you will get here
I would recommend this resort for every kind of traveller, single, couples or family!

Room Tip: Rooms at Luna are close to the ocean and very quiet
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank Cavefamilyintoronto
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 reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Familywithbaby. Thank you for your visit and you nice words to my team, we are very happy you also mention the special dinner we organize for our Nolitours guest. We hope to see you 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 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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