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“Will go back !”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Will go back !”
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Beautifull settings, great food, superb service, very nice rooms, great beach on Mares side. We were lucky to get room number 0001, with a wonderfull view of the beach and the sea !
The room was average, and if anything was missing, we got, when we asked for it. Super service, all around, everywhere ! Loved all the artistic sculptures, all the flowers everywhere.
The shows were excellent, very professionnal, especially the one at the Mares Pool: Cirque du soleil: watch out !!
Hoping to go back soon !

Room Tip: MARES SIDE: Pay a little more to get a room with Ocean view! We had room 0001 on first floor with...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank Denise C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bear River, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Arrived in Cuba on the 10th of April to find out we had been moved to SRLM instead of Blau Costa Verde where we were returning for our 3rd time. Were told by the Holasun Rep that this was a better resort with more amenities than the Blau. We were hoping to get moved back to the Blau once the issues there were resolved because we were the only returning guests on our flight, so we settled in for what we expected to be a short stay.
Checked into our room which was clean, but in need of a spruce-up. All the electrical outlets in the rooms are 220v, even in the bathroom; no 120v anywhere. All plugs except round or flat plugs and they will take a polarized plug as well. The beds at SRLM are more comfortable than at the Blau with big body pillows and extra pillows and blankets in the closets. Woke up the 1st morning at 5:30am to find our bathroom flooded with water pouring through the light fixture in the middle of the room and through the ceiling over the sink. After being told leaking rooms was one of the reasons we were moved, this was not a good start to the day. Reported it right away to the front desk, then to our rep when he arrived at 11:30am and it was almost 4pm before we could use the bathroom in our room. Maintenance however was able to find and fix the problem, as there were no more issues when it rained again.
Bar fridge in the room had two bottles of used water only in the fridge. Had them replaced abd was told if we wanted pop and beer, we would have to pay; something we never had to do at the Blau.
Hard to find a good slushie drink, unless you went down the beach to La Nina or to the pool on the Luna side. Blau on the other hand has slushie machines at all the bars.
Staff, like everywhere in Cuba are friendly and helpful. Avelio and Luis at the lobby bar were our favorites. Luis is now the proud owner of my Alexander Keith's ceramic mug.
The little hut by the pool has great chicken sandwiches during the day but get there early because they will run out. They also have burgers and hot dogs. Best place for a burger is the bacon cheeseburger and La Nina.
Food at the buffet was good but by the time you worked your way through the long serving line and got to your table, your food would be warm at best. Having all the grill stations and hot dishes in the same area is not the best set up, you always had to ask people to move so you could get what you needed, as they were lined up waiting for items off the grill. The Blau is set up with separate grilling stations with a centralized buffet area which cuts down on line ups and wait time. All the seasoning in the world won't help your food when it is lukewarm.
We booked the Romantico Restaurant as our 1st Al a Carte. You had no choice of what you could have, as it was a set menu. Ham salad( a little lettuce, one thin slice of proscuitto ham,two half slices of pineapple and some oil/balsamic vinegar dressing). next came a seafood kabob(green pepper, lobster and shrimp) with a slice of cucumber & tomato and a little piped mashed potato. Then they served a sorbet as a palate cleanser that tasted like a bad yogurt. The main course was beef medallions(more like a small thin slice of roast beef w/ mushroom sauce, only no mushrooms). rice(cold), Broccoli(cold), baby carrots and corn(cold also). I like my food hot so we left without finishing our meal.
2nd Al a carte was the Mexican where you basically have the choice of 5 different fajitas. Had indigestion and rolaids for dessert after eating there.
The Holasun Rep was hard to find and when you asked him anything, he just smiled, gave you a lame excuse and walked away.
Overall, the food was not that great, staff were wonderful, beds were comfortable, too many steps to the beach, no good snorkeling, mostly caused by the run off from the river at the end of the beach and high surf and winds all week. Maybe if we had of booked this resort instead of getting dumped here on arrival we may have had a better time, but at least we can scratch it off our bucket list of places to visit in Cuba.
One good thing that came out of this trip is that for the first time in three trips, I had not one bite of any kind. Maybe it was a different resort, or maybe it was the vitamin B1 and Reactine I was taking. Guess we will never know.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Jimbo1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripley, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

After reading literally hundreds of reviews before we went I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
The holiday exceded all my expectations and was one the best holidays I have had.
Travelled 28th March - 11th April with my husband and two boys aged 10 and 7.
Hotel is in a fantastic location just above the beach, lovely views from the pool. The beach itself is absolutely stunning, one of the best I have seen, just beautiful. Snorkelling was great, best at the Paradiscus end of the beach, especially if you take a bag of bread/cake the fish will go mad for it.
The rooms were fine, we had adjoining rooms on the Mares side, main building. The rooms were a little dated but immaculately clean, the TV had a good choice of channels, with the occasional film for the kids to watch while we got ready at night.
Restaurants - The Colon (main) buffet was good. Plenty of choice, service a little slow at times but then we had no rush to be anywhere. Had some very nice fish and meat cooked fresh at the cooking stations although there was the odd queue at times for this.
There are five al-a carte restaurants which we also tried, the best being the French, the Romantic on the beach was lovely, but we enjoyed them all (Mexican, Cuban & Italian)
We were invited to a meal served outside by the Mares pool one evening and another by the Luna pool( had some wonderful Lobster that night!) This meant we actually only eat in the Colon 7 out of the 14 nights. With the other various places to eat and the 24 hour snack bar there is certainly plenty of choice.
The drinks were very good too, the wine served in the restaurants was lovely (we had Red and White, didnt try the Rose) The cocktails were great, especially the Mojitos and Pina Coladas. The coffee was better than any I have had served at home.
The Pools were very nice, always clean. The Mares side was busier and has the swim-up bar and was where we spent most of our time if not on the beach.
Plenty of free watersports, we tried the Hobiecats and pedaloes. Kids enjoyed the shooting most days down on the beach, volley ball, football and also had a few games of tennis. Didnt try the spa, simply ran out of time!
We travelled with Thomas Cook, our rep Nancy was great, really looked after us. We did several trips with TC - Dine with the Dolphins, an amazing day, well worth it. A trip to Holguin and Gibara, had lunch out, went on a steam train and saw a lot of the surrounding areas and countryside of Cuba. A day out Horseriding and fishing, again with lunch, went round a small zoo, kids loved this day out!
All in all I can definately recommend the Luna & Mares, we have travelled to various places throughout the Caribbean and Mexico and I must say I think Cuba is my favorite. Just a lovely place with the most friendly people ever, it really is another world.
I am usually ready to come home after 2 weeks away but could have stayed another week, very sad to leave.
A lot of people had mentioned in reviews about tipping but we didnt see too much of it and certainly didnt feel pressured to do so. We did tip for good service however on various occasions because we wanted to, everyone works so hard.
So many people there we spoke to were repeat visitors to the hotel which says it all really.
If you have booked to go - Enjoy Amigos !

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank rachelwalt123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bexley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JoelMandM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
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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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