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“cuban hols”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“cuban hols”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

My wife and I stayed there in march and loved it , the only negative point and i mean small point is that the hotel is a little tired,although they were starting to improve it while we were there. The plus points were firstly the staff are very genuine and friendly and give good service. the staff in the lunes bar are excellent and always had time to talk and serve you with a smile. My favourite part of the hotel is by far the beach, beautiful golden sand and warm turquoise sea ,the views are amazing and you would be hard pushed to find a better location for the price anywhere in the world.the Italian and french al-a-carte restaurants are very good and we booked several times with ronald at the lunes reception all in all a very nice holiday.

Room Tip: rooms in the lunes side are on the quiet side most of them have a sea view or overlook the the gard...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank ian y y
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 review, March 24, 2014
Hola ian y y,
We hope to see you again soon,
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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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed March 17, 2014

There was a first time when we stay in that hotel. The location of the Hotel are most beautiful that I ever seen. The nice, sandy beach, clear water so you can dive, the nice trees.

The negative side are rooms. Our first room was on Mares side, #1003, we can stay there only for first night. Room really tiny with strong smell inside. We have upgrade it to huge 2 bedroom, 2 washroom, 1 TV room unit. The price to upgrade inside hotel is much more attractive then pre-order, we negotiate it an it cost $300 CAD for 6 nights. Room number #6218 on Luna side. Room was in good shape almost the same as in Iberostar Varadero (standard room).

Our fly was delayed and we have spent 5 hours in Mares side again in 1045. That was most terrible room ever with smell and cockroach (I think because close to eating area).

In terms of food and entertainment, this is OK. Not so good as in Iberostar Varadero but it service for a money that you spent.

Room Tip: Order cheapest room and upgrade it in Hotel to most expensive. Luna side is newer, better and more...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Cubaman2014
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 review, March 24, 2014
Dear Cubaman2014 from Toronto,
We hope next time we will be able to fulfill your expectations about the rooms, specially since you are a returning guest. Please do not hesitate to contact me previous to your next visit. We will be happy to look after the requests you may have.
Kind 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.
Coldbrook, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We got home early this morning and I wanted to write this while the trip was fresh. This was our first trip to Cuba - actually our first trip anywhere south - and it was amazing! I can't say enough good about the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares. For a first experience it was an amazing one for us.

Before I say anything about the resort itself I have to recommend the daily "mini excursions" led by Robert. Every morning at 9:30, for 7-10 pesos, you can take a 3-4 hour excursion into the countryside to see a fishing village, a school, a farm, a cave and other local sites. We chose to visit the school and farmer's house on Friday morning. I sat in the front seat of a 1934 ford with Robert and our driver (both of whom, I found out later, have masters degrees in Chemistry) while they regaled us with stories about the country we were driving through. We visited a mountainside village where we toured a one room school house, a typical villagers house and a subsistence farm and farm house. I fell in love with Cuba and it's people on this trip. It made a huge impression on the 14 people on the trip - we were all talking about it on the flight home. Robert gave us a great lesson in Cuban Spanish and even led us in singing Guantanamera inside the farmer's livingroom. They cut some sugar cane for us sample, picked bananas off the trees for us to eat and made us authentic Cuban coffee cooked outside and strained through a home-made strainer. It was sublime. If you go make sure you find Robert and take one of his trips. You'll come away with a far greater appreciation for Cuba and the people than you ever could if you stay with the standard tours.

The resort itself was wonderful. It was very clean and comfortable. I've read reviews where people say it's dated but we felt it was quaint and charming. And the staff.... the staff were amazing. We met many wonderful people who went out of their way to make our stay memorable. They don't fawn over you but they are always looking for ways to give you something extra.

The beach was straight out of a tour guide. It really is amazing - and never crowded. We could get there at 2 in the afternoon and find a shady spot without any trouble. The gentlemen who bring our chairs to us would also find open spots as soon as we entered the beach.

A few tips if you stay at this resort.

*We stayed in the Mares section and we were glad we did - just steps to the beach, pool, bar and buffet.
*We didn't catch on to the fact that we could have lunch on the beach at one of the two restaurants instead of going to the buffet every day - I wish I'd known this on day 1.
*There is a great store in the Luna section - if you forget something you can get it there.
*There is a daily flea market in Guardalavaca - take the yellow cab - 5 pesos there, 5 back. It's a fun experience.
*Men, bring a pair of dress pants for evening meals at the a la carte restaurants.
*Bring gifts but don't expect a big reaction when you give something. We brought panty hose (bring some queen sized as well as regular), batteries, flashlights (these were greatly appreciated) razors, deodorant and feminine hygiene products.

We'll be back to Sol Rio de Luna y Mares next year. We can't wait.

Room Tip: We stayed in the 1000 block in Mares. Our room overlooked the pool and the beach and we didn't h...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bill D
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 review, March 24, 2014
Dear Bill D from Coldbrook,
We are really happy that your first trip to Cuba was amazing and that you found our Sol Rio de Luna y Mares to be wonderful!
Hoping you will visit us 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.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Lovely staff, lovely cosmopolitan clientele. February is the best. Beach ans sea amazing. Eating on the beach with sand in your toes listening to the waves - lunch and dinner - amazing

Try horseriding across the road and see some of the scenery.

We've been most years since 2000. Cuba Si!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank couplefromWestSussex
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 review, March 16, 2014
Dear couplefromWestS…
Thank you so much for your loyalty and preference! We will do our best for you to enjoy another amazing holiday with us.
Warmest 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.
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014

My wife and I travelled to the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares at the end of February which is the driest time of the year. We had one storm overnight and a few spots of rain, then sunshine most of the time.
The Luna and the Mares were two hotels which have now become one. Many of the rooms in the Mares are in a huge arc over the lobby. They face the ocean and overlook the main pool. Most of the action takes place in front of these rooms, and the buffet restaurant and the Mexican restaurant are here. One side of the buffet restaurant runs along a dry "moat" with an ugly concrete bottom, which hopefully will be turned into something more attractive The Luna rooms also have a large pool, two bars, a restaurant and a snack bar. The theatre, a tennis court and an all purpose court are between the Luna and the Mares, but the hotel is compact and you rarely have the walk very far, unless you want to walk in the beautifully kept gardens.
The beach is huge with soft sand. You choose your spot and a man will bring you sun beds, however, on the beach or around the pools the thatched sun shelters tend to be on the small side for two people. Cuban beaches are free to the public, but it was rare to see local people on this beach. The eastern quarter of the beach is used by the adjacent Paradisus hotel. Also at the eastern end of the beach is a beautiful reef, which is an underwater wonderland for snorkellers

Our room was large, but had only one chair. However, immediately after a phone call to reception, another chair was supplied. The bathroom had two washbasins side by side. Any problems were put right very quickly.
The reps. offer the usual full day trips, which are very enjoyable. Also, the hotel organises half day trips at a fraction of the cost, which visit shops, schools, a farm house, a fisherman's cottage, a bat cave with stalactites and also horse riding. There is horse riding opposite the hotel, but the horse riding arranged by the hotel is more enjoyable and far better value.
The choice of food in the buffet restaurant is vast and delicious, with even a section of Cuban food and it would take a fortnight to taste everything. The buffet restaurant can get crowded, but you can eat in a variety of other restaurants and the speciality restaurants are delightful.

There is entertainment for all tastes in the theatre in the evenings, including international cabaret, a circus, and a beautiful aqua ballet performed in the Mares pool with some guests watching from their dinner tables at the poolside.
We recommend this hotel with its well trained, smiling, and extremely helpful staff. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Building 6 offers quiet rooms with ocean views on the ground floor and third floor. Email before y...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Terry J
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 review, March 16, 2014
Dear Terry J from Aylesbury,
Thank you for your observations. Im happy to report that the dry “moat” is being turned into a garden, we are filling it up as I write.
We are thrilled that you are planning to return. We do try to please all tastes in entertainment, food, etc.
Thank you for your review,
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.
Stewiacke, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We, as a family, went to Holguin for the first time on Feb. 5, 2014 for one week. It was our second trip to Cuba and we absolutely love it. We rated this Hotel a 4 only because there are some repairs needed which are being worked on all the time. This being said, it was very clean and any work being done was done very discreetly and did not bother us in the least. The hospitality, service, and beach were a 5 in our opinion. The staff, no matter what area, always had a smile and a helping hand for us.

We stayed on the Mares side, which is where the entertainment at night and during the day was held. This being said, it was a little noisier. Not enough to bother you. The Luna side is very quiet. There were no activities held there, so if you wanted to sit and have a quiet drink at that bar, it was very relaxing. The buffet had lots to choose from and something for everyone. We liked the food very much.

There are a lot of stairs at this resort, but they do have an elevator at both the Luna and Mares sides to get to your rooms. The main way to the beach for the Mares side had a lot of stairs, but there were other ways to get down without the stairs.

The entertainment was terrific. They had water ballet at night, concerts, and during the day they would get games going in the pool. They had ping pong in the main lobby as well.

We traveled with sunwing and our agent at the resort was very helpful. He helped us get a car to go to a market nearby with a driver and guide who spoke English. That made things a lot easier. They would take you wherever you needed so we saw some of the country side. I must say the landscape is some of the prettiest we've seen. Everything in Holguin is so green and and the mountains are very pretty.

The beach was very clean. As soon as you got down to it there was someone getting you a lounge chair. Remember, tipping goes a long way to having a pleasant vacation. This beach had trees on it as well as shade huts, so you could get out of the sun if needed. There was also some nice snorkeling; a lot of different fish to be seen. I am including a youtube link for a video my son did underwater at Holguin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDEQoTOnTHM

Something else with this resort, there was no spraying for bugs morning and night. Maybe it was just the time of year, but we had no bug problems. There were lots of birds though. They were always singing. It was so nice.

It was my birthday while we were there. We went out to the Italian ala carte that night. Which we enjoyed very much. My husband told them it was my birthday and a few hours later we were up at the lounge having a drink and our waitress from the ala carte restaurant came over to me with a birthday cake. Thank you so much. I thought that really made the holiday.

We really, really liked this resort and will be back some day. Thank you to all the staff. You all work so hard and do a wonderful job.

Room Tip: If you want it really quiet, the Luna side might suit you better. But even the Mares was not that n...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shari 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 review, March 30, 2014
Dear Shari C from Stewiacke,
Thank you very much for your wonderful words. We are really happy that you enjoyed your birthday and liked the staff and beach.
We hope this wont be your last trip to holguin!
Warm regards,
Ricardo Moreno
General Manager
director.general.srm @ meliacuba.com
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Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at Sol Rio Feb 23rd to March 2nd. It was our 3rd time in Cuba, and so far the best. We had some problems with our room when we arrived, but got really lucky and switched to a beautiful ocean view room. The grounds are well kept, amazing views almost everywhere at this resort, incredible staff, great food, awesome beach, etc. We had a blast playing basketball with Ricardo from the spa, such a nice guy! Great help from Ronald at the restaurant reservation. Thanks to all the staff for making our vacation wonderful:-)

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank christinefrap
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 review, March 16, 2014
Dear christinefrap from Montreal,
Thank you very much for your kind words!
Hoping your 4th time to Cuba will be to Sol Rio de Luna y Mares,
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

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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