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“It took a couple of days but.........”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Bexley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“It took a couple of days but.........”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

This was our first time at this hotel and in Cuba and I admit we were wary. After a very long 10 hour flight we arrived very tired and were not over impressed. We were given a room on the Mares side and yes the rooms are very dated but more importantly they are clean. We are used to 4* in Mexico and this did not meet our expectations. Maintenance left a lot to be desired. A day when the heavens opened, rain was pouring through the light fittings in the buffet restaurant! The thought of spending 2 weeks here did not seem appealing. That was day one out of the way. Day 2 we started to look around and get a feel for the place and started to think things were not so bad after all. By day 3 we were converted! We started to take in the beauty of the surroundings and enjoyed what was on offer. I must say most of the staff here are the friendliest we have come across.
We are not fond of loud noise and energetic entertainment which was on offer on the mares side, so therefore we would spend the day on the beach or by the Luna Pool where it was much more calmer and peaceful. The beach as has been said before is beautiful. It can get windy down there though this keeps you cool frm the hot sun. Our 2nd week, the wind was too strong to sit on the beach as it was blowing sand all over us.
There is very little to do outside the hotel. we took the train ride into Guardalavaca 3CUC return. This was a great laugh. Here you will find a small flea market mainly selling wooden carvings, jewellery and t shirts. Prices very reasonable.
The hotel offers mini excursions evey day. Some are free, others cost 6CUC. We took advantage of one which took us to a little fishing village where we also visited a local school, doctors house and a look around the home of a well respected person in the village. We found it very interesting. Take walking shoes/trainers as some excursions require this type of footwear.
Speciality restaurants:- Our favourites were the French and Romantica restaurants. Mexican was very nice though bit dissappointed with the Italian. No problems getting booked at any of these.
By the end of our holiday I was even considering that I would return.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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6 Thank JoelMandM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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lasalle
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

We went to the sol Luna Y Mares from april 8th to 15th. Eleven (11) of us age ranging from 16 to 63. As usual above sandard and with a 6 stars personnel in my book, (and believe You Me I have tried other sites of higher rating but with personnel of lower rating). this is my eight (8) time at the Luna Y Mares, (I wonder Why).
I sent an E-Mail to customer service for room num. we'd like to have and I got them all (5) thank you Lina
At the reception deskJuan Carlosand all the personnel were ther smiling and do every thing to to make you happy and comfortable.Juan sent the repair personnel right away for my fridge and door lock when it broke.I dont understand why poeple write that the repairs are not done,(may be the way it is asked I dont know).
Ronald at the reservation desk will book your restaurant a la carte and the one you want you will also see him at the Pinta on the beach (Luna side)thank you Ronald.
There are changes made since my last visit in oct.2011 a burger stand by the Mares pool excellent hot dog hamberg and chiken sandwich, Thanks to Jose Carlos the chef allways smilling the best burgers on the site.
there is also a ice cream parlor at the luna side pool.
the bar personnel allways super they will mixt you all sort of cocktail Amauri, Evilio, at the 1492 bar Orphelina at the pool bar thank you
dont worry you can have fun and laught with them,they are alowed not like the 5 star next door.
thank you very much for my birthday surprise Champagne in my room and supper a la carte at the frenh restaurant, with birthday cake.
Thank you Yoandra for keepng our room clean and tidy, and the extra cofee and sugar greatly apreciated.
It was sad when the Lagoon let go due to heavy rain and wind that split the beach between the Rio de Oro and the Luna Y Mares, but time and nature will heale that in a short while.
Even if it was windy we still had a good week. Cant wait to return in october.

Room Tip: I prefer the Mares side because were are close to everything the noise dos not bother me my room ha...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank detteLasalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterdown
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

To rate this place a dump would be to give it an upgrade it does not warrant. Maybe the Luna side is better, but from what we experienced this place is a 1 star. Arrived and were given a room on the 3rd floor Mares. Went up an elevator which should be condemned, to find staff smoking in the room and an absolute pigsty. Had to go ask for another room. We were shown 2 more rooms which were made up, but look like late 1950s. Small, dirty and very warm. Went to pool. OK. Dinner… why were people lined up for buffet? Answer, all the food is gone in about 10 minutes. Managed to get a bowl of warm salty soup. Everything else gone or cold. The red wine was Balsamic vinegar, undrinkable. Went to bed about 9PM. Then the boom boom of some bad music started and was so loud you could barely talk in the room. Half the electrical outlets in the room worked, the other half, were either broken or faulty.
Got up in the morning, talked to Sunwing rep and wanted out. They offered us the sun, moon and stars to stay (Luna side facing the ocean & as many restaurants as we wanted) . No deal packed up and went to another resort.
If you do get stuck there demand the Luna side. Avoid the main buffet.
We are not snobs. We have been going to Cuba for years and have enjoyed every resort. Avoid at all costs.

Room Tip: Luna rooms
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
16 Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowmanville, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

Well, it's been a year but I thought I would still write a short review. Just got back from Veradero and it reminded me that I hadn't written one for this resort.
First thing is that the view from our room was breathtaking!!!! Couldn't have asked for better. The beach is probably the most beautiful we have ever seen. Only unfortunate thing is that it is short so you can't do a lot of walking but that is ok. The beauty makes up for that.
We are used to Iberostar resorts so we felt the entertainment team was a bit lacking. Not that it mattered to us.
Food as usual, was good. Never have we had a complaint about the food and we have now been to Cuba 7 times. Strange that there was sometimes a line up to get into the buffet at dinner time. Haven't seen that before. Either people are slow eaters or maybe not big enough. I know that people staying on Luna side could us the buffet as well so I think that is what causes the problem.
The band that played in the evenings was awesome!!!!!!! Young band that can really perform.
My husband liked that they had a pig roast once a week. I think it was on Tuesdays.
All staff were wonderful. Always a smile and an Hola no matter what.
We would return to this resort but our hearts and some very good Cuban friends are in Veradero. So, that is probably where we will return. If you go to Sol Rio de Luna y Mares you will love it.
Adios!!!!

Room Tip: Get a room facing the ocean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were in the main building almost in the middl...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank pumkinhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Bay, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

My family spent a week at this resort recently (April 6th to the 13th) for my daughter's wedding. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The weather was fantastic even though this is the start of their rainy season. The resort is beatiful with lots to do, the excursions offered are marvellous especially the jeep one which takes you into the countryside. Here you will experience the real Cuba. We also took in a ball game in Holguin. The home team lost but again a great experience.
I would not hesitate to go back to this resort in fact we met numerous couples who were back for their second, third, fourth times so enough said.
The food was good, great selection. The staff are very friendly, they actually take time to talk to you and enjoy your company.
The room was adequate but I would take extra soap as this seems to be a luxury.
Cubans love Canadians and it shows, we are very welcome there. Take the time to chat with the staff as you will soon learn their way of life. They are happy with the little they have, they are well kept and well dressed, a very proud people. Be generous with them if you can, small personal items are very welcome. Tips are shared with the staff so if you want to give something to a certain individual, give them a personal item.

Room Tip: Rooms on the Luna side are quiter as the resort actvity is mostly on the Mares side.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank traveller155000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

We have just come back a few hours ago from our vacation. Sol Luna - Mares is the best! It was our fourth trip there. Everything was enjoyable from the quick check-in to the last swim in the ocean. People (staff and guests) were nice and friendly, services great as usual, good variety of foods, entertainment, all there…
The staff did their best to make the guests feel comfortable and happy. (There were two weddings held, lots of fun.) Staff at the Colon restaurant: awesome and helpful. :-) There is no need for tips to get good service, a smile and thank you also does the job. (However, generosity is very much appreciated. Most of the people there have extended families that they support, and they also share their tips with people working in the back, the ones you never see.) We’ll go back again soon!

Room Tip: Rooms on the Luna side are quieter.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank LPGAlways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsborough, NB Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

March 26th - April 2nd This was the first time my husband and I went on a vacation with out other couples. We had an amazing time.

We had the Superior package on the Mares Section. For the little bit of differance in price it was well worth the money. (Beer, water, and soft drinks restocked daily in room fridge.) Late check out 3:00 PM big plus as our flight never left until 10:00 PM. 4 guaranteed A-La Carts. (These reservations were made and waiting for us when we arrived) if the dates weren't agreeable they would be changed. We had an view of the main entertainment area by the pool and the most amazing view of the ocean. It is busier on the Mares side but the latest anything went on was one evening and finished around 11:00 PM.

The Beach was great, water as with all carribean destinations beautiful. I can see though if you have small children having to be careful as the water gets deep very quickly. Any time we went to the beach the gentleman who is in charge of chairs was very helpful getting us a chair and putting it in the location we wished.

The resort has activity's posted outside of the buffet that they do everyday usually for free with the guests. One day we did a foot tour of the resort next to us, an echo tour and one I missed but would have like to take was a tour of the best snorkling on the beach.

I have no complaints about the food at the buffet. I enjoyed it though I would have liked a better selection of fruit. (usually had gwava, papya and I'm not a big fan of either)

Room was clean , had lots of hot water, toilet flushed and the cleaning lady was very nice what more do you require??

We met some very nice people at this resort, from Ontario, Nova Scotia, London England and British Columbia some of which we have stayed in contact with.

I have never gone to the same resort more than once because I have always said so many beautiful places in this world to go and so little time. But this one would be tempting.

Room Tip: Mares side if you want busy Luna side if you want quiet
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ellenbeal
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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