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“Would go back for sure!!!”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Gatineau, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Would go back for sure!!!”
Reviewed 4 April 2012

Can't say anything bad about the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares. The beach was alsolutely beautiful. We had the best view from our balconies (my friend and I had connecting rooms). The food was very good, especially at the Romantico, Mexican and French Restaurants. The staff was soooooo nice, always smiling and very helpful (thank you again Yadira - you are the best!). I would go back without hesitation and highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Mares Buildings (we were in the 4017 and 4018).
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank Jocey26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Canning, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This is a great resort and certainly top value for your vacation dollar. This was our second time there and have received great service both times. The staff are very friendly and accommodating if you have questions or concerns. Rooms are very clean. There are several options if you spend the day at the resort, a great beach plus 2 swimming pools (one quiet). We enjoy sitting in the lobby bar area, with a coffee or cocktail, looking out over the swimming pool and the ocean beyond. The beach, a 25-30 minute walk from one end to the other and back, has lots of palapas and shade palms, and they are spaced far enough apart that you don't feel jammed up against your neighbour. Watersport staff are friendly, but not pushy. 2 bars (snackbars at lunchtime) on the beach, 2 bars at each pool, and a pizza bar, ice cream bar, and buffet nearby. Some people do not like the 60 steps down from the pool to the beach, but we find it good exercise, and there is also a secondary sloped walkway to access the beach. Entertainment is quite good, both in the late afternoon in the lobby bar area, and in the evening at the theater. A la carte restaurants are very good - we liked the French and Italian the best - and the staff at the Luna reception desk can usually find you a seat at a restaurant if you ask. We rented a taxi (CubaCar) to go to Guadalavarca - 6 pesos one way; 15 pesos return and the driver will wait for you if you wish to shop at the market for an hour or so. All in all, great staff; great resort.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank KevinandAllison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enfield, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This was our first trip to Cuba. The Sol Rio de Luna Mares was recommended to us by a couple who had been to this resort 6 times. We stayed in room #1004. The room faced the back of the resort. It was very private with our own balcony.This was fine for my husband and I. There was ocean view rooms but we had requested first floor accommodation and that's what we got. It was perfect. It was clean, bed was comfy and the bathroom was spotless. I think it may have been renovated recently as other Trip Advisor reviews talked about how dingy their bathroom was. There are no alarm clocks in the rooms, so I recommend you take a travel clock with you. The room was supplied with shampoo, 2 beach towels, liquid body soap, a coffee maker, fridge, 1 large bottle of spring water each day, cable TV and a hair dryer. We packed a pint of coffee cream (doubled bagged) and instant coffee and made our morning coffee by running water through the coffee maker. The buffet coffee is like molasses. Very very strong. The glasses they use for your drinks are very flimsy, small & thin. I recommend taking your own travel mug. Use it for your morning coffee and then for your toddies.The food was delicious. There was a great selection at the buffet every meal. Unfortunately we did not try any of the al a cartes. But we heard that the French one has excellent pouched Atlantic salmon. The resort is very easy to get around. There are two beach bars & grills. They serve hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, sandwiches, fish & chicken. We took a horse and buggy (5 Pecos per person) to a flea market that was 15 minutes away. The driver let us shop for an hour and half ,then took us through a small village that housed most of the resort workers. My husband took his fishing rod and fished everyday for 2 hours. He found a secluded spot at the back of the resort. There were local fisherman who spoke very good English and they even invited us back to their house. But we ran out of time. The evening entertainment started in the hotel lobby each night. It's a great place to have a drink, meet new people and relax. The beach is amazing. We found the best place to swim was in front of the life guard station. No rocks...just pure soft sand.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank Greta001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Brunswick, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Returned from a one week stay from March 23/30 , my husband and my self.
My brother and sister-in-law arrived 3 days later.
As stated by others the property is very dated and in need of some TLC, although it is very clean with no issues in that regard, our room was very clean but tired looking, the bed was comfortable, everything worked properly, we had hot water and lots of pressure any time we had our shower,day or night, we were in the Luna side in building 8. the problem is that everything is sooo far from everything else. although it is not a large property it is spread out. I was surprized at the lack of hand railings dividing stairs and ramp ways, the little lips, (half a steps up or down) you constantly have to watch your step, while there a lady missed a step and fell and broke her ankle, we witnessed this, very scary indeed, On March 26th in the evening the lights went out several times (just for a few mins.) BUT NO EMERGENCY LIGHTING, and it was so dark that you could not see your hand in front of you. this happened 2 times that evening, people were using lights from thiers phones and such. I was totally shocked by that.

The beach is one of the nicest I have been to and we have gone south 11 times in 13 years to AIl Inclusives, We spent all of our time on the beach, it gets very windy however, but it is nice to keep you cooled down, the water is warm and inviting, but when the wind blows it can make for some larger waves and it is fun and you get sand blasted tooo. The beach is very wide and long, lots of shade and not to much of the towel game going on, unless you have a paticular spot that you wanted then it is suggested that you mark your spot. One thing though they do need another bar at the beach with a washroom, as there is a bar and washroom at each end of the beach and nothing in the middle so makes for a little treak if you are seated in the middle.

The weather was just awesome in the 30's all week we had a sprinkle one afternoon for about 2 mins. and that was it.

I was not fond of the food, BUT that is me I'm a very picky eater, don't get me wrong there was lots to eat and my husband had no issue, it just tasted all the same to me, I have this issue most every time we go south so I'm used to not having to much to eat on holiday. There are many restaurants, the 24 hour snack bar in the Luna side had burgers/fires, pizza, hot dogs ect. and actually they weren't that BAD .. :) We found the ice cream bar on the last day, darn, cause they have the best coconut ice cream ever, it is just to die for.

they have many bars, and the drinks vary depending on who gets them for you, a few times I asked for a strawberry Diaquiri and got beer, oh well no worries I drank the beer then tried again for the Diaquiri.

We only went to 3 shows, the water ballet was very nice, the other 2 well lets just say the tried. it was painful, but this is not broadway, we saw the black light show and the magic show, the magic show was horrible, not that the magic was horrible, but they dragged it out and when changing sets they had a Michael Jackson impersonator, I guess he was ok but I was never a fan so we just left after the 2 time he was out, and we never went back to another show. Remember to each his own right, I just was not fond of it is all.
I found the place to be very clean and that is what is important to us, the other stuff is just that, stuff. as long as I have a clean place to lay my head I'm happy.

One last thing the staff for the most part are friendly and inviting, it too is hit or miss, BUT we met some AWESOME staff, one that comes to mind is Raydel Dias, he works security, and what a sweet man he is. We loved him, he was so cheerful and pleasant even after working many, many, many long hours standing up, all for very little money, he was a wealth of information and no question was out of the question, although we had travelled before we found Raydel to be most forth coming and he didn't mind answering our questions, he speaks 3 languages (self taught mind you) it is a shame that he is a hidden gem in security when he could be out front intermingling with the guest. The hotel and guests would benifit from having him in the fore front. We were totally impressed by this guy, and we do not impress easily mind you. If you go please tell him that Nancy and Glenn say hello from Canada. We would love to meet up with him again someday. He certianly could teach some customer service to some people right here in Canada that's for sure.

In closing, I would only give the place a 3* rating, especially for the danger level, and that everything is so far from everything else. But as for location it is top notch, and Raydel Dias he gets a 5* in our book.

If anyone has any questions at all I would be more than happy to answer them.
Thanks for reading. Nancy & Glenn

Room Tip: I think that most top floor rooms on the Luna side would be ocean view, can't say for sure as we...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank penneylane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

Everything you can expect from Cuba for 2300 CAD for 1 week for 3 people.
One thing was horrible for me.... rooms, they really need renovation, I was uncomfortable, especially in a bathroom.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank 2008Julia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
devon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

firstly...me and my husband got married here in oct 2011. and where do i start.......... the beach is absolutely beautiful and the wedding day was perfect.
Yilena the wedding coordinator could not do enough and they decorated the gazebo with lovely fresh flowers and it was just stunning!!
Rooms: the rooms are a little dated but who cares? some people on here have been very critical about it but you dont go on holiday to stay in your room?

restuarants: they are all very nice, i like italian food so that was my favourite but the french was lovely too.
the buffet is also nice, i am a very fussy eater but i always found something to eat everyday. they will also cook you fresh food as well such as steak, pasta and omelettes.

entertainment: the entertainment was brilliant, especially the water acrobats. and they also do fun water sports in the afternoons which all my family joined in on.
we stayed in the luna side which was a lot more quiet in the day and night.
the mares side was the lively side with music and entertainment.

the beach was absolutely stunning, i could not fault this in anyway- was like paradise.
me and my husband did a few trips but the best was swimming with the dolphins. we spent all day on the boat, they stop off and you get an hour in the sea to go snorkiling. then we went straight to the dolphins and watched a dolphin show. then got into the water and stayed in there for an hour with them. was fantastic! we then had a beautiful lunch and got back on the boat for the rest of the day, sunbathing and drinking. great atmosphere!
the staff are all very friendly and your room is cleaned beautifully everyday. we always had a little treat when we got back to our room.
the snack bar on the luna side is open 24 hours, they serve burgers,chips,pizzas..sandwiches.
the beach party was brilliant, we went twice on our two week stay and got involved in all the games.
we also went to see a show which a michael jackson impersonator (ABSOLUTELY AMAZING)
if you are thinking about getting married abroad this is the place to go. the pictures we have of our wedding day almost look fake because they place was so perfect.
i got my hair done on the morning of the wedding and the hair dressers there are BRILLIANT. my hair looked stunning and it didnt flop with the heat like i thought it would. i also had my nails done and had a full body massage which was sooooo nice!
we got a taxi into the local market which was a nice day out, we bought lots of presents and paintings to bring home for people.
if you do buy a painting make sure its in your suitcase when coming home, i put mine in my hand luggage and got charged 14 pounds as i didnt have a receipt for it.
if you smoke there is also a smoking room in the airport when flying home- so if you have to wait for 3 hours before your flight takes off, dont panic. you can have a ciggy before take off!
i honestly dont know what else to say other than you will not be disappointed with this resort. it was our first time to cuba and all our family absolutely loved it!

Room Tip: i have heard the luna side has the best rooms so if you are fussy then ask for the luna side. we had...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank steviedevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

Having read so many reviews that were less than pleasant about the resort, I didn't know what to expect - especially given that my partner & I were gettgin married here.

Check-in was the best I've ever experienced. It is all done on the coach on the way to the resort including receiving your pretty gold band. Transfer is about 1hr from the airport.

On arrival, my new husband & I were given a "big" room with two bathrooms, living area & bedroom however there was only a small balcony which didnt really upset us. The rooms were serviced every day & our housekeeper left us little notes every now & then which was lovely.

There are 6 restaurants - Cuban, French (amazing!), Italian, Colon (buffet), Mexican & Romantica. you have to book in advance for the alacarte but well worth trying to get into the French restaurant - don't leave it too late to try or you'll not get in! Food was lovely. Some people in our party experienced tummy trouble but I didn't have any trouble. There was a good selection of prepared food & then meat fish & pasta that was cooked for you there and then. Be prepared to wait for this however, especially given that some nationalities do not know how to wait their turn & push to the front of the queue!!!!!

Same applies at the bar. Some of the drinks are kept out back & if staff have to leave to get a drink when they come back they dont always know who was next. SOme nationalities, don't think twice about jumping the queue instead of letting people before them order their drinks first - difference in cultures or just plain rude??? Be prepared! Tip the bar staff & they remember you!

The beach is to die for! We should have spent more time down their but didnt probably because of the size of our family. We spent a lot of time round the pool (Mares end) and with entertainment staff. Tony & Daylis were fantastic & remembered all of our names. They latched on to the fact we had been married there!

The water ballett was something new that I have never seen before & well worth a look on both evenings!! They do two different shows so you're not watching the same thing both weeks! It totally amazed me & my family.

Wedding - Wow. We had a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator, Yilena when we go there. She was really accommodating & could answer all our questions. She offered decoration of the gazebo in blue or pink. i said i wanted neither as it didnt match my colour scheme so she did it white. It was truly stunning. She kindly incorporated some things I had taken with my for decorating the gazebo & our own music to make it a little bit more personal. The actual ceremony is quite short. The registrar says it all & Yilena translates it for her. The only thing myself & my new hubby had to say was "I do". The vows are very family orientated. We had a Cuban band to play after the ceremony whilst our pictures were being taken which was a nice touch. The photographer was good. He offered us stills for 2CUC's each & we declined so he "gave" us a present of all the pictures on disc & we tipped him 15cucs. He took us onto the beach and we had our pictures taken on the sand with our family. Our wedding breakfast was in the mexican restaurant. The food was lovely & we were set away in our own small private "gazebo-style" restaurant bit! It was quite a windy resort which was fine when i had on my wedding dress but consider wearing your hair up if you were having it down as it will blow in your face & may look strange on your pictures.

All in all, remember you're in Cuba!!! Yes some parts may be slightly dated or worn but remember Cuba doesn't have access to the same things as you or I. They live off the land! They can get a longer prison sentence for killing a cow than a human being! If you can afford to leave clothing or jewellry or toiletries for them, do so it'll make their day!! And tell the hotel staff if there's a problem, it soon gets put right!!!

Don't go and expect 4* as in how the british know - It's Cuba!!!! But do go to this resort & enjoy yourself! There's plenty to do & see!!! x

Room Tip: Email in advance & request a room on the mares side with sea views x
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank joannebrown1981
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 (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, Holguin Province, Cuba

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