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“Amazing! Loved it”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing! Loved it”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

My holiday was amazing! I had such a fun time with my husband and my kids which are teenagers. The service was fantastic, the food was delicious and the experience of everything was wonderful. I really enjoyed myself and would definitely return. The entertainment at night was also very nice. We could take tours round the town and no one made a fuss. We sometimes went out at night to restaurants and it wasn’t far away at all and the restaurants were wonderful. Had such a good holiday with my family and would recommend to everyone.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Casey B
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 review, June 14, 2013
Dear Casey B. Thank your for your visit and your recommendation, we are sure you will come back again, take care. 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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Leicester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

As this holiday was our honeymoon we thought about where we wanted to go within our budget. We decided on Cuba due to it's culture, history and to be frank, reasonable prices for a carribean island. I can honestly say this resort is fantastic! When we first arrived and was given our room on the Luna side (block 5), I was a bit disappointed at the dated room furniture although after a few hours, it didn't matter as the rooms are clean and the view we had of the ocean was spectacular! The Luna is the quieter side but the bonus of this is that there were always loungers around the pool and the snack bar does fantastic pizza's and burgers.

Moving onto the food, we have never stayed All Inclusive before and so did not know what to expect. I was very impressed. The main buffet restaurant had, in my opinion, a large amount of choice but also had some items which were present every day. I think the complaints from other reviewers on here with regards to the food being 'samey' is down to the fact that when confronted with a lot of choice people can't help themselves but put a little bit of everything on their plate. If you choose a meal each night such as pasta, grilled meat and veg etc then you will find plenty of choice. There is also a fruit station and salad bar for those who are health conscious. My only perhaps 'critique' of the food is that it doesn't seem to have any spice. Maybe this is to cater for the masses and the restaurant does try and provide tabasco sauce etc..

The drinks were brilliant. It is true what another reviewer says, that they do not believe in measures but why would this be a negative?? just don't have as many drinks if this is a problem! Take thermal cups with you to put water/beer in when you're on the beach. Keeps the drinks cool!

The beach is faultless. Beautiful emerald water with a few reefs to snorkel in. I would recommend you buying a snorkel set before going out as the club house does have ones to borrow but these are few and far between. Also I recommend the pedalo's and Hobbie Cat's which take you out to sea and give you a brilliant view of the hotel. It is amazing to see a whole range of wildlife around the hotel such as crabs, lizards and toads. We did not see one cockroach. Be aware that May/June is the rainy season and it does rain. However, this did tend to happen at night and didnt last too long. Hearing thunder is a common occurrence even with a blue sky!

We did a couple of trips through our rep Thompsons (Waldemer is really helpful and we are sad we did not get to say goodbye) - the dolphin swim and Holguin Combo. Both I highly recommend for different reasons, the holguin tour showed us a bit of the 'real' Cuba. Go on a Thursday which includes a trip to a fishing village which is not done on Tuesday. I also took part in a trip organised through the hotel with Robert which was horse riding in the National Park. This was a really exhilarating trip but I would advise only people who have ridden before attend as it is not for the faint hearted. We also took a yank tank to Guardalaveca for 12 CUC (approx £8). This included return trip and the taxi waited for 2 hours whilst we looked around the market. Definately worth it esp if you can share with another couple etc.. The taxi driver told us we could hire him for a whole day for around 23CUC (approx £17) to go on a tour of the area etc.. Such a bargain and definately what we will do next time!

The locals are all very friendly but when you go to the big cities/tourist spots there is an element of 'begging'. The good thing is that when you say 'no' they will leave you alone. You can get some bargains (especially the rum) and don't be afraid to barter! We left all our toiletries for the waitresses etc and knowing what I know now I will take more in future. In particular it is hard for the locals to get hold of medicines such as paracetamols, female sanitary products and sun tan lotion so think about these which are quite lightweight.

Overall, we would love to come back here. I have read some recent reviews which have said negative things and just wonder what people expect when they go on holiday!?! No blenders! Alcohol too strong, no salty ocean smell??!?! People need to get a grip and realise that Cuba is not the most affluent country so they are not able to provide 5 * cuisine every night but the culture, locals and gorgeous beaches more than make up for this! Do not hesitate to go to this resort if you do not have ridiculously high standards and want to enjoy Cuba in all its glory!

Room Tip: Luna is quieter but has a nice pool and good snack bar.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
16 Thank Leanne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cleethorpes
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

Stayed at this hotel for my first xmas not working in 32 years. Wished I hadn't bothered, hated it. When we arrived and were given our room I just cried, I thought they had sent us to staff quarters.
We went down to reception to ask to be moved and found a long queue of people all waiting to complain about one thing or another.
They did move us the next day but we had to stay in the first room overnight, talk about feeling chatty urgh.
Although the people are very nice everything else left a lot to be desired,
When we complained to thomas cook on our return all they said is they would let the management know and that it is a third world country. Well they should charge third world prices and not the amount they do. For what we were charged we could have gone to a actual 5* hotel in any other country. Will never go to cuba again as this experience has put us right of. As for thomas cook hope there happy ripping hardworking people of when they save hard for there holidays and never make any effort to make amends when they get complaints.

Room Tip: Rooms in another hotel are recommended
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank bossett
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 review, June 8, 2013
Dear bossett. Thank you for your visit last December, I am sorry we could not meet your expectations. Our location and our staff are our best values, obviously we have areas to improve but we try to help all our guest fo feel comfortable. You can also imagine 80% you pay goes to your long flight. We hope you give to Cuba another opportunity. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
looe
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We have just returned from two weeks at this hotel, everything was excellent and we will certainly recommend it to our friends and relations.On arrival we were presently surprised to get very good service to take us immediately to our room which again was excellent and the views fabulous,That was the start and after that all services, food, friendliness, and facilities were brilliant. That first evening we attended the chefs special night by the pool and watched the water ballet, what a start? the food was lovely and the friendliness of the staff overwhelming. That night we had a call from the hotel manager asking if everything was OK, again a brilliant bit of customers service. Nothing ever went wrong during the whole fortnight, the rooms were cleaned thoroughly each day, the food was excellent and the A Le Carte restaurants very well run and had beautiful food and decor. We have been to alot of the islands around Cuba several times such as Mexico, Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, Dominion Republic etc and in particular Cuba about ten times this hotel was in the top level.We live in Looe and Polperro in Cornwall and luckily have houses with sea and river views, but this hotel provided some special sea/inlet/hillside views. For friendliness, good value for money , good facilities , good beach and good management you would have to go along way to beat this hotel, we will return.

Room Tip: High room with views of the sea inlet.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank robinLooe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richmond
Level 4 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

My husband and I just returned from 2 weeks’ vacation in Sol Rio De Luna y Mares. We travel with Air Canada Vacation .All in all it was the best holiday we ever had. My husband and I have been to Cuba 5 times and this is the second time to Sol Luna. Management – customer service and hotel staff made our stay unforgetful. Before we go I sent an e-mail to manager Sinor Manuel Vasques asking for nice room on higher level and when we got there room was more then we accepted. We stayed from May 19 – June 02 in room 7302 with amazing ocean view. We got welcome bottle of rum, fridge filled up with beer and sodas, beach towels on bed and beautiful ocean sound with singing birds.
I felt really being in paradise.
The Fantastic- The beach. They have lots of Palapas and palm and Caribbean vine trees and we truly enjoyed the beach bar La Pinta and the drinks were delicious- Thanks Yamara and Gina. The staff was top notch. A very special thanks to manager Mr. Manuel Vasquez and Customer Service, Lily in hair salon – She is really hair artist –my hair looked amazing. - Jose ,Yanet and Maximillian( you made the best cappuccino ever) in Luna Lobby Bar and 4 ladies in Snack Bar (Yanet and sorry I forgot names for other 3 ladies),Nuriana and other ladies in Collon buffet who made our trip that much more special. Thanks to Idiana our room was nice, well appointed, and very clean and always decorated with flowers and bed decorations.

The food was very good and there was enough variety to please just about anyone. I am fish and fruit eater mostly and was more than happy with fruit and fish selection –mango( I never eat such a good mango ) papaya ,guayaba ,pina,naranja,watermelon,.honeymelon.I loved fried bananas - We only went to one a la carte French and spent the rest of the time at the buffet. French was very good and thank you so much for my birthday cake Yunior. It was very delicious.
The wine was good and the cappuccinos were great.
The evening shows were good and the staff tried really hard to make it fun.
Do we recommend this hotel –YES!!!!
We will return!!!!
Flight from Vancouver to Holguin with Air Canada. I wish they have direct flight from Vancouver.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Croatia95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

We stayed at this resort May 22nd through May 29th; we enjoyed our stay, especially the beautiful beach and friendly staff.
Here are a few points:
Flight with Sunwing - on time both ways, except we had to leave a bit later to Holguin ( 7:00 a.m., instead of 6:40 a.m., due to flight-night curfew).The crew was very nice, food was ok ( breakfast and a snack), the only thing would be limited space in the plane, but not a big problem for a 4 h flight (not more than that!).
Ride on the bus from the airport to the resort – about 1h and 15 min, the bus drops people to several resorts ( 3 I think, Paradiso del Oro, Playa Pesquero, Sol Rio); the bus has a/c, toilet, even music  if you ask for, it was a nice smooth ride, admiring the countryside.
Arriving at the hotel – somebody helped us with the luggage right away, and our room was ready ( we arrived by 2:00 p.m.). We requested a room on Luna side, block 5 or 6, and this is what we got ( block 6).
Room- I would give about 3 stars for the room, basic, but everything was functioning ( well, except cd player and phone), but it didn’t bother us, we were on vacation ready to relax, no phones, internet, watch etc The only think I found it really needs improvement is the bathroom, it looked kind of run down and sometimes a little bit smelly. We didn’t see any bugs in the room, but some people did in block 5 , but it got fixed quickly in their case. I mean, this is not a brand new hotel, and they are doing lots of efforts to clean it all day long , but sometimes… We only had a bottle of water per day, which I found it was not enough ( we were 3 people in the room, 2 adults and a 5 year old); the first morning I left a note to the lady who was cleaning the room, with the daily tip, asking for more water and she left us 2 bottles the next days.
Pools were cleaned daily, we were hanging on Luna side, which is more quiet (no music and no activities), and more kids friendly ( not very deep).
Beach is amazing, white sand and beautiful water, though kind of windy sometimes ;there are lots of palapas and shadow everywhere, and this is what you need when you go on the beach, the weather can be very hot at this time of the year. We were avoiding sun exposure between lunch and 3:00 p.m., and using lots of sunscreen.
Food was good, the buffet had a good variety for breakfast ( cereals, pancakes, eggs, omlettes, potatoes, sausages, ham ,bacon, beans, very good bread, fruits, muffins, good coffee etc). We were usually having lunch on the 24h snack terasse on Luna side, the pizza was quite good, fries are ok, you can also have a hot-dog or hamburger, grilled chicken or fish. Not bad!
The dinner was good at the buffet, you can have fresh fish, shrimps or meat grilled at your own taste, there were all kind of salads, cooked vegetables, 3 kinds of rice (very good).I think the
most busy area was the grill and the Cuban food section ( rice, beans, potatoes, ham). The staff at the buffet was always ready to serve you, get you more wine, water, clean your table etc.
The restaurants à la carte are not really worth it, you can eat much better at the buffet and create your own meal on you taste; we tried the one on the beach, which was ok, but the famous French everyone is talking about not is really so good, it’s just regular food , the onion soup I had was not what we are used to, just a soup with some onions and a piece of bread and cheese floating in the middle ( I can’t compare to Montreal French restaurants ,but I felt kind of disappointed).
Drinks were ok, I think it depends who is preparing them, but we found that the ones we had on Luna side were good, same for the main lobby, less on the beach.
The resort looks very nice and the grounds well kept , with beautiful vegetation and flowers.
Entertainment was not our main interest at night ( we have a young daughter, so not ready to party all night), but we were going to mini – disco at 8:30p.m. and attended a few shows ( Cuban dance was good, the cabaret was nothing special). The live music is really good at Mares lobby ( usually Cuban music) and the atmosphere great.
There’s also good live music on Luna side ( piano, guitar, sax), depending on what mood you are ( party or just relaxing).
Tips- we were tipping every day the lady who was cleaning our room (about 1.5 or 2 pesos), and 1 peso now and then at the bar (if we were hanging on the beach for a few hours, we would tip the guy at bar 1 peso at some point, knowing we would probably have a few drinks there). We were leaving 1 peso on the table at lunch on the terasse or in the evening for supper at the buffet, I couldn’t just leave without giving something, knowing that someone served you at the table during your meal.I think it's aslo a good idea to tip people working outside all day long in the heat (gardeners, guy bringing the chairs on the beach), those people are not 'a bunch of beggers' as somebody said on his reviews a few weeks ago, they are nice, polite, hard-working and deserving a tip.
All in all we enjoyed our vacation, we loved the beach, the food, the staff; the hotel was a bit old, but clean, no complaints; this is my first trip to Cuba so I can’t really compare to other resorts, but I would recommend it to anyone willing to take advantage to the lovely beach, nice resort and friendly staff.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MiruMtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We got married at this hotel on the 16th April 2012. 19 of us travelled ageing from 2- 68. 2 of our guests are disabled and took mobility bikes with them. All our rooms were amazing and we were up graded to a stunning sea view large room with a bar area and 2 bathrooms. The wedding co-ordinator was amazing, even to the point of sewing my mother in laws dress 5 mins before the wedding. The flowers, photography,film, beauty therapists and wedding pagoda were all stunning. The only part of the wedding that was not as I expected was the words of the ceremony were a little to formal ( this is due to the service being translated I think). The wedding guests were drinking champagne while me and my husband were having photos taken. after we all sat down to a beautifully decorated restaurant on the beach, we had a stunning meal with the usual toasts and tears, wedding cake and more champagne. the children were all specially catered for with no trouble. We were given extra al a carte meals, lobster on the beach etc..... The staff at this hotel were so helpful, the meals were amazing and the beach was. Like paradise. We have been to Cuba before in this area but this hotel is def the best. We are returning again in 2015 all of us plus more babies!! I also have to say a massive thank you to the hotel staff and the hospital, as while we were there my father in law had a bad fall and cut his head open in the night, the hotel organised for a doctor to come to the hotel and then they went to the hospital. The hospital had fab staff and equipment and couldn't have done more for him. We did no see any underage drinkers or rowdy teenagers and would recommend this hotel to anyone of any age and ability!!
Thank you x x

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lovethesun852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Phone Number:
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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