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“Great family vacation in paradise...”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great family vacation in paradise...”
Reviewed 16 March 2012

Returned from Holguin last Tuesday from our first stay at this Hotel, travelled alone with my two children. The food was surprisingly delicious at the Colon Buffet, Nurian was our favorite waitress, she always had our table ready at dinner time which we thought was very sweet. We had a great room in the Mares side with a view of the ocean, it was quite nice. The beach is beautiful, clean and breath taking. I will be honest by saying that the rooms are a little outdated but who cares...they are spacious, clean and besides, we were only in our room to change, shower and sleep :) This Hotel is very kid friendly lots of things to do for them on the resort. The shows are fun, please do not miss the water ballet it is the best :) We had such a great time that my children asked for no Christmas gifts as they want to return to the resort for the holidays. Do not listen to the negative comments left on here, your stay is what you make of it. Let's face it it's not a W Hotel so if your are expecting luxury you will feel out of place but one thing I will tell you is that you will never meet such friendly people that go out of their way as they do here.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marie-SandraT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,394)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012

Returned last week; our second time at this hotel - lst 2 years ago when we were very impressed by the food and the staff; emailed the hotel a few times before leaving with special request but had no response - had requested Luna side and upgraded room but was allocated Mares on arrival and the rooms were very bad, tatty, dingy and smelt of damp but I asked to move and although this couldnt be done the night of arrival we were given a choce of rooms the following day on the Luna side without problem. One of the things I noticed this time was a change in the age of the other holiday makers - much younger due to cheap wedings being offered so had a regular parade of brides wandering around the pool daily which was a bit bizarre; this led to much larger groups of people - presumably families and friends which changed the feeling of the hotel in my opinion. The French resturant remains the best dining options but can only get one visit per fortnight, the other options did not live up to my previous experience - the meals served outside for the Chill Out night, Lobster night and La Romantica etc did not stay hot - in fact the lobster was served cold in the middle and luke warm on the outside. The Luna buffet breakfast was overrun with flies - on the bread for toast, on all of the omelette ingredients etc; the buffet on the Mares side was too hot to eat inside and was very busy most night we ate there - there were some fly issues but this was because people were too lazy to replace the coverings back over the food once they had served themselves; there was always lots of options and the food always tasted good even if it could have been a little hotter. The main Mares pool is in quite poor disrepair with cracked and missing tiles but the Luna pool was fine. Toilets around both pools and bar ares were not great - often didnt flush, locks didnt work but clean enough overall; the gardens are still immaculate; the beach is still fabulous but a little rough for the time we were there - it is very windy between the hours of 11-5 on the beach but the sandblasting kept my skin smooth! I found that the staff were still really nice on the whole - a couple of miseries but you get that anywhere I suppose. I wouldnt go back again - the vibe has changed, the age and type of people going there seems to have changed and certainly some of the offensive language used in the public areas by a few very loud Canadian and English people did little or nothing to change my mind. These same people did not take note of the al a carte dining request for long trousers and turned up looking like beach bums which is disappointing for those who make the effort. I thought it was well priced on my 1st visit - I wouldnt say so now as it is run down and in need of major repair and refurbshment. Waitres in the Luna bar was excellent and we ever wated long for servie but the Mares bar was hit and miss and I felt quite dependant on tipping - the glasses for beer are too small but they have now started getting in larger ones but these are still only just over half a pint and there is not enough of them. Was concerned about the report of illness before we left but we were ok and were not aware of anyone else reporting being unwell.

Room Tip: Luna is quieter - I think that 5 block is well placed for peace and quite but also located close to...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank holidayloop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012

A regular visitor to the Luna so let me get a couple of gripes out of the way first.

1. The Mares Buffet. I can remember a time when the Luna had it's own buffet. Both that and the Mares were pleasant to visit. Two refurbs. and a hurricane later and it seems that one buffet for the two hotels is going to be the norm. Two into one does not go, so - queues to get in, queues for the food and difficulties getting at what food would be available because there is a queue in front of it. The great pity is that the food itself seemed OK to me. I suspect that by the time guests get in, get some and get to a table it becomes difficult to remain in a complimentary frame of mind. We went once for breakfast and once for dinner, after that we ate where else we could.
2. The washrooms on the beach have not improved in years. It is difficult to defend a hygiene policy when there is often no soap and/or hand drying facility available.

Had to get that off my chest because we had another great holiday anyway.

We enjoyed all the speciality restaurants. French is most folks favourite and I couldn't argue with that. The Italian is much more authentic than many other Italian restaurants in Cuba or Dom. Rep. (except for the Cuban rum sauce which was more delicious than authentic (IMHO!). We managed to get into the Cuban before and after it reverted to its former Mexican self. Both meals were excellent. I like the semi alfresco feel up in that corner at the top of the Mares. The Romantic on the beach is a favourite of ours, we particularly enjoy the beachside half with the sand under foot. OK the menu is take it or leave it but we enjoy almost all of it anyway. The special lobster dinner down there was magnificent.

For lunch we rotated between the three snack bars. Enjoyed all the food so no complaints there.

For breakfast we stuck with the Italian, which became a buffet in the mornings. I understand that this is only open when the hotels are busy. The choice of food was very limited but sufficient to get by. We would struggle if it was not available. The menu at the 24 hour snack bar is very short but at least it means there is no excuse for going hungry.

There was a time when the hotel went on to low alcohol sidri for fizz. Very grateful that they are back with the excellent Spanish Cava. Drank lots of it so we had a good excuse not to have to rate the still wines!. Mojitoes and Cuba Libras all up to the usual standards but would have appreciated a reasonable Baileys substitute (usually Millwood). .

We had a room that had been refurbished. Two drawers were stuck together and one cupboard looked as if it was waiting for a fridge to fill it. Also we had to move a bedside table to open the wardrobe door. None of these things affected our enjoyment. The huge bed was very comfortable, the view was magnificent and the maid was as efficient as she was the last time she looked after us.

Cannot comment on the entertainment. We haven't bothered much with it since Enrique "Nene" Santana and his collegue jazz musicians moved on. We miss them.

God and British tour operators willing we shall return again next winter. That gorgeous beach, Nancy the Thomas Cook rep and Cecilia and Lily in Customer Services and all the many friends we have among the the staff. How could we stay away?.

Room Tip: Up to 4 for the action. 5 onwards gets quieter as you go
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Flyingbanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
315 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 548 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012

What a truly splendid hotel!
The food was great, the rooms spacious, cool and clean.
The pool area was spotless, as was the beach.
Ivan the barman is an absolute gent! I never had to wait for a drink and his company was wonderful!
The other staff were also excellent, from the security through to the maids.
I would go back there tomorrow!
A little tip: take a bagful of cheap supermarket shampoo, kids toiletries, toothpaste etc for handing out to the staff as tips - these things are very expensive to locals and a 30p tube of toothpaste can ensure you have a sun lounger every day.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 March 2012

Mom plus 2 from Nova Scotia

My 3rd trip to Cuba, but this is the first one to Holguin. I also travelled with my two daughters, ages 21 and 16. The trip was wonderful. The weather was absolutely beautiful, rain once on Tuesday evening. The wind blew, but it was great, without it would have been unbearable. 30 - 31 everyday. The food was the same as anywhere in Cuba; however i think the buffet was one of my best I have had. Everything was delicious. The kids really enjoyed the breakfasts, and the fruit, and the grill at the poolside. He had great Grilled chicken burgers , hamburgers and hotdogs. The Snack bar at the Luna side is 24 hour so that was nice too!!. We were on the Mares side and agree that it is better than the Luna. Luna is more laid back. Quiet. We ate at two alacartes, Mexican and Italian, both were wonderful!!. Hated to leave, but would defenately go back again:)

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea S
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:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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 (per night): $186 - $462
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

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