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“An amazing location, country and people”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Having just returned for a 7 night (belated) honeymoon we wanted to share our wonderful experiences at the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares. We had a beautiful room with a balcony overlooking the beach and sea in the Luna part of the hotel. This part was a little quieter than the Mares part and seemed more popular with couples. The hotel and staff totally exceeded our expectations. The Cuban people are both warm and welcoming and the hotel staff cannot do enough for you. It’s so refreshing to feel part of a family where everyone says hello and nothing is too much trouble. The room was clean and comfortable the buffet food was plentiful and varied to cover everyone’s tastes. The À la carte restaurants offer a wonderful and romantic alternative. We ate in the beach Mediterranean and Italian but as honeymooners were treated to a meal in the French restaurant too. As a special day out we hired a local taxi (a 57 Chevrolet) driven by English speaking Tito, a real character with so much local knowledge we learnt so much about Cuban life. We drove into the old fishing village of Gibara (or White Town) followed by a walk and lunch Holguin. All in all an amazing day spent with some great friends we met on the flight and most days with.

I'd strongly recommend this to anyone. We flew with Thomas Cook and yes its a long 10 hours but so very worth it.

Room Tip: Many of the rooms are either sea or pool facing but even if you don't get the wonderful view to...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank GrahamStradling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear GrahamStrandling from Bredons Norton,
We are thrilled that your honeymoon was wonderful. We couldn’t be more glad that we exceeded all your expectations!
Hoping to see you again to celebrate future wedding anniversaries!
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,945 - 1,951 of 5,885 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2014

Great place, been twice and aim to go again this year!
Beach is very clean, food is good and the chefs are more then happy to help.
Rooms are clean and tidy, trips out where well organised.
Travel reps where informative and happy to help.

Room Tip: Luna side is best, better pool and away from the main reception
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AndyandNicola82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Hola AndyandNicola82 from HighWycombe,
Our returning guests have a great importance for us. So please, do contact us when you come again this year!
Hoping to see you soon,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

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Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

Another great stay at the luna mares stayed 17/3/2014 to 3/4/2014 there are no negative comments all the other reviews talk about the French Italian Mexican and Mediterranean restaurants the colan restaurant was so improved this year really good selection and hot service excellent we ate breakfast in the luna side Italian restaurant with no complaints there didn't seem to be a shortage of anything especially smiling staff a big Thankyou to lily in customer services for making our holiday so good and especially the help when my husband was unwell looking forward to next year even more now there is kareoka hopefully there will be more of it next year thanks to all at the luna mares for a truly wonderful holiday

  • Stayed: February 2014
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5  Thank wellrestedKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Dear wellrestedKent,
Thank you as well for your review! We hope to see you every year as usual!
Warmest regards,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Stayed for 2 weeks, I found the food very repetitive and poor quality, drinks were hit and miss depending on the bar you were at, the mares side is in poor order and noisy, luna side is better and quieter so I would defiantly recommend that you request that side...

The beach is very nice in places but we found it busy and lacking anywhere to get some peace and quiet there was also cigarette ends and plastic cups thrown in the sand, really don't get why people have to do that. The sea was nice but snorkelling is pretty poor, I suppose this depends on what you are comparing it to though.

95% of the staff were lovely but there is defiantly a tipping culture at the hotel which is fine if you get good service but we didn't always receive it. We planned to tip at the end of our stay but this was probably a bad idea as I think the staff are used to being tipped every time you ordered a drink. I was also shouted at in Spanish by a very rude barman at the beach snack bar when I asked for my drink in a glass and not a plastic cup, the waitress however was more than accommodating.

All in all this hotel had a run down feel and I don't think it was worth the £1800 we paid, I've paid pretty much the same in the Caribbean a few times and had far better hotels and service, this was our first time to Cuba and maybe its unfair to compare it to Mexico, Jamaica etc. but I would advise you to not waste your money with this hotel. I do find it puzzling that there are so many great reviews as we couldn't find one thing about this place that was better or even on par with anywhere else and we are just normal holidaymakers after a normal holiday in the sun ..nothing fancy so I can only assume that the people that give this place rave reviews have never been anywhere half decent. At the end of the holiday we both looked at each other and agreed that we could have flown less than half the distance paid half the money and had a better holiday in average Spain!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank luke t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Good afternoon,
First of all we would like to thank you for posting your comments in our Tripadvisor page. All experiences make us be better.
It is a pity we could not fulfill your expectations as you wrote. It is so surprising how same service can impact to our guest so differently.

One of the main assets the hotel has is the staff, we are so proud of how we treat everybody as per comments and we are aware that a bad service can ruin your whole stay, that is why we try to motivate staff to deliver the best service possible, not only to please every guest likings, but to be part of a team as it not fare that for only one bad experience the rest of us could be faulted. We are definitely going to share your comment with our staff as it will contribute to make our team spirit even stronger.

As you can read, we have such a wonderful reviews from all type of age and nationality ranges. I have the pleasure to talk to a lot of them and you can be sure that they are all very experience travellers too. Their opinions are as useful as yours, and we are so grateful with every one of them.

All in all, we have to disagree in the point that we are very poor All Inclusive according with the percentage of good reviews we receive. As we are 100% sure of this, we would like to prove you that our guest care is probably one of the best you can find, so if you decide to come back, we will change your mind. We bet on that.

Once again for sharing your experience in our hotel.

Receive our best regards

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Reviewed March 8, 2014

Went to Cuba 17th Feb 2014 for a family wedding. We were a party of 17, including 3 children aged 4-12.

Hotel staff are extremely helpful and polite. Beautiful hotel, bathrooms slightly dated but what do you expect when the cars are from the 50's??. They have difficulty in importing into the country, and so you understand that the hotel has been completed to the best of their ability.

Food was good. A choice of 5 restaurants (French, Italian, Mexican, Cuban and Mediterranean) to choose from in addition to the buffet style restaurant and snack bar. Drinks great too, something for everyone. Waiters and staff work hard for their tips as wages in Cuba are low.

Took a trip to the local market in a 50's style car. You can also go via horse and cart. Market small but nice. Best chance to pick up your holiday gifts etc.

Catamaran trip definitely worth it. We were very lucky that our rep Urli arranged a private trip for us as we were a wedding party. Travelled to one of the local islands where we stopped of for lunch and some sunbathing on the beach. This island is breath taking.

Two small shops in the resort which have limited supplies so make sure you take all your toiletries with you.

Great spa facilities, try the full body massage for 35CUC (around £20). Very relaxing.

Fantastic holiday. Wedding amazing with fantastic and attentive staff. Can wait to visit this country again

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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8  Thank Cllowey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2014

Dear Cllowey from Abercynon,
It makes us very happy that your family enjoyed an amazing wedding and will like to visit again!
Thank you for your review,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

From arrival on Feb 20 until the sad departure on Feb 27, this was such an amazing adventure. Our family has been here before and is already planning our return. The resort and all of the amenities were exactly what we go for. Rest and relaxation!
The beach and hotel grounds are awesome. The crystal aquamarine of the ocean, oh my, I wish I were back there now. The staff were phenomenal. Ruby in the dining room, Eduardo on the beach, and I wish I could name them all. Each and everyone helps to make this a well-run establishment. Accessibility for a wheelchair was critical for our group and staff did all that they could to help. The sand was hard to navigate and a pathway would have been very useful. Other than the beach, all areas were totally accessible.
The food was divine, so all you nay-sayers on Cuban food - this is where you should check it out.
The daily excursions were such a delightful touch, no need to plan ahead but could do the "spur of the moment" thing based on the mood of the day.
What a delight to re-visit with Lorraine, the Nolitours rep. Amazing memory to recall that we had visited before.
The rooms are dated but so what? They provided a good nights sleep and that's all we needed.
I can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: the top floors tend to be too hot.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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7  Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2014

Dear Carol C from Pefferlaw,
Rest and Relaxation is what we hope all our guests will enjoy!
So, we hope to see you again!
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

We went at the end of November 2013 and this was the first time for a two week all inclusive holiday, so I was concerned about getting bored but I had no need to worry!

We arrived to a 'welcome drink' which was much needed after the hour long transfer and were quickly checked in. We were in block 7 on the 'Luna' side of the resort (which is the quieter side) on the ground floor and were happy with room. We had no problems in the room or bathroom but felt that they could do with being refurbished. The room was looking tired but in saying that, the builders were in working on the 'Luna' side of the hotel so hopefully 'Luna' is in the middle of a transformation. For the best sea views, ask for a room on the 'Mares' side of the resort but beware, if you prefer it to be quiet in the evenings then don't stay on this side, the bar is directly below the accommodation and there is musical entertainment on every night.

There are two large swimming pools, with plenty of sun beds and we never had a problem in obtaining these. The resort is right on the most gorgeous beach, which had plenty of sun beds and parasols and we spent most of the days on the beach. There is easy access to a bar from both pools and the beach for drinks throughout the lazy days.

The entertainment programme was good, there was music entertainment every night in the lobby of the 'Mares' side and in the middle of the resort is a stage where there was entertainment every night. We never saw any of this as we were too busy talking to all the lovely people we met throughout our holiday. There was a pianist playing most nights on the 'Luna' side of the resort.

The food in the buffet restaurant was better than I thought it was going to be. There was plenty of variety, so long as you're not a picker and try everything on the first night! There are 4 restaurants (Italian, French, Mediterranean and Mexican, which you must book) and we tried all of them with my favourite being the French restaurant. The Mediterranean restaurant (which is on the beach) transforms into a late night disco until around two in the morning.

If you're an active person there is plenty to do within the resort. There is a gym, tennis courts, volleyball on the beach, mini golf, windsurfing and there are sailing boats, pedlos and kayaks for those who like water based sports. My fiancé dives and he managed to get out on a couple of occasions but be warned, it can be windy and the coastguard will cancel all dives if they feel it necessary. He booked 5 days of diving and he only managed to get out on two of those days! He did enjoy those two days mind.

Guardalavaca is only a 10 minute taxi ride away and worth a visit. The market stalls are all there which is great for buying gifts for friends and family back home. There is also a public beach there which is beautiful. We took a pony and cart back, which took around half an hour for 15 pesos, something different! We also did the overnight trip to Havana which we LOVED! If you're thinking of doing this, book it at home before leaving for Cuba as this trip is extremely popular and chances are it'll be fully booked by the time you get out there! I highly recommend the overnight trip to Havana!

Overall our holiday to Cuba was amazing! The staff were great and they couldn't do enough for you! We met loads of people, couples, families and groups who were there for weddings and we had a right good laugh together! I highly recommend staying at the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares!!

Room Tip: Rooms on the 'Luna' side are much quieter!!
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Chewylouey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ricardo M, General Manager at Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Dear Chewylouey from Nottingham,
We are thrilled to know that your holiday with us was amazing! Thank you for recommending us.
Warm regards,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm@meliacuba.com

Report response as inappropriate
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
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: $116 - $284 (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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