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“Great Holiday”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
wiltshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Holiday”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Just got back from here, we all had a great time. The weather was great all bar a couple of overcast days(still 30 degs). The hotel was clean and quite well maintained, only a few minor details not really worth a mention.
The staff are fantastic, (thank you Dharia and Yanellis)all very friendly and most of them are really happy to help. It was nice to see the management walking the grounds checking on things at different times of the day not hidden in an office.
The food is good but as has been said before does get a little 'samey' but there is a good choice for every taste.The catering manager is really helpful and open to requests.The Luna side of the resort is by far the quietest, all the entertainment and noise seems to be on the Mares side and as we had a young child with us so that suited us fine.
The beach is by far one of the best i have been on. we did all the usual nautical activities which were great.
Our son used the kids club which is run by the fantastic Irena, they all seemed to have a great time. All in all we had a great time, we even managed to get an extra day due to flight delay ain't life hell!! Would we go back?,... Like a shot.

Room Tip: Luna side was quieter for kids but means you have a walk for everything.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Paul D
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 10, 2013
Dear Paul D. Thank you for your visit. We feel very happy you and your family had great time with us and we hope you come back soon. I am sharing your comments with my team specially with Irina from mini club. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Right this is my second visit to Cuba. I was really surprised at how big the hotel is, it is two hotels. I stayed on the Luna side which is much quieter. The rooms aren't luxury but are adequate. I never go away to stay in my room. The food is of a good standard but is the same everyday lunch and dinner. I was bored after a week tasty but too much of the same. My biggest bug bare was I felt everyone was very tip hungry. If you tip every time you will good service. I didn't change any money for the first 24 hours and noticed how I was treated. This wasn't down to any meanness just a bit shell shocked from the journey and arriving. Tips go a long way. I understand this but I don't remember the pressure to tip for EVERYTHING back in 2007 the last time I visited Cuba. One couple I met got accosted by a waitress on leaving the dining room saying she needed money. I just felt I should have got good service every time and being on my own I can say that sometimes I was completely ignored or my drinks order was taken but I had finished my dinner and left before anyone got me a drink.

The beach is great, long white sands but during my stay it was very windy. Great for keeping you cool but by the afternoon you did have sand everywhere.

For a cheap relaxing holiday, at a hotel with lots of entertainment I would give it the thumbs up despite my beef sometimes with the service - overall they're doing an ok job.

Room Tip: If you want a quieter room go for the Luna side. If you want to feel part of the hotel stay in the M...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Pandapops73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 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
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Leanne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cleethorpes
Level 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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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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looe
Level 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank robinLooe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richmond
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 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
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Croatia95
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
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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