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“Beautiful” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reading
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

We spent 5 days at the Sol Luna Y Mares as guests for my brother's wedding in April. My brother was married at the Paradiso hotel next door and bought passes for us to walk across on the day of the wedding. This was the only time we were allowed over though (except for times being sneaky with the wrist band situation), despite what we were told by our tour company as we were under the impression we could move freely between the two resorts. The beach was shared by both so we were able to meet up with family and friends every day there instead. The Sol Luna Y Mares was lovely but the Paradiso had that extra something for the 5 stars. Both hotels were clean and beautifully kept with every attention to detail by staff. Tipping is where they make their money here so the rooms were immaculate. The wildlife around the hotels was astounding, with animals i'd never seen or heard of before. The wedding at the Paradiso was beautiful and the weather was wonderful. If I was to return and could afford the difference then I would stay at the Paradiso but the Sol was excellent. Though the Luna section was far quieter as I think we would have been disturbed by late night noise had we been in the Mares section. All in all a great trip, the food was good, the a la carte restaurants were a little unusual but nice, the beach bar was good, the cocktails were wonderful and we really felt as if we were getting everything for our money, no short changing. A great holiday here.

Room Tip: Choose the Mares section as it's quieter than the Luna but no less convenient for the amenities.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KimBlythe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,478 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,350)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Portuguese first
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  • Slovak first
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English first
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012

This was our 4th visit to this resort (11th to Cuba) and it continues to be our overall favourite. The main reasons are the layout of the resort, it's beauty and well kept landscapes and plants, the consistent friendly and accommodating staff, cleanliness of the rooms and resort in general and the choices afforded to you during your stay. This resort must have one of the best security staff in Cuba both within the resort and also on the beach. The presence of supervisors and managers is ever present and it is clear they care about their clients. We stayed on the Luna side in a quite area with a kingsize bed as requested ahead of time. The food here is consistently good and you will have no problem finding something that will agree with you. We ate at the French Bistro and the Romantica. The French is by far the best at the resort while the Romantica is a converted day beach restaurant but it is nice to view the ocean while you eat and watch the sunset. Nolitours Vacations and Air Transat were very good to deal with. Another plus compared to other resorts is the use of glassware in the lobby bars, no plastic. We had no problems finding beach chairs.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank waffer50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yarmouth, NS Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

We were supposed to stay at a different resort, but when we landed in Cuba we were notified that they had to move us...it was a little unnerving, but the place we ended up was wonderful.

Found it a little noisy at times, but just went to my room and read and took a horse and buggy to the country side...

Cuban beer is delicious and so is the food!

If you need a break from work, it's fantastic.

Room Tip: This was a great trip...Don't get a room over the lobby...very noisy... Everything else was sup...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jean V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed here for 2wks (end of March/beginning of April) and were slightly skeptical after reading some of the reviews.
Once we arrived at the airport and found our transfer to the hotel, we got on board and did the necessary check in bits for the hotel and were given our room numbers and key cards.
On arrival at the hotel, we were greeted with cocktails and after a quick refreshment we were able to go straight to our rooms, which was great after a long flight.
The rooms were clean, tidy and authentic Cuban style. We stayed on the Luna side in block 7, we enjoyed the short walk to and from dinner each night and appreciated the pure peace and quiet at night.
The rooms were equipped with a coffee maker but we took our own teabags and just ran water through to make tea instead (and got a cup of fresh milk from the bar each day).
We went on two excursions that we organised and paid for through our rep at the hotel- the first was the 'Paradise Island' trip and the second was 'Mangrove Fishing'.
The first trip to Paradise Island was great but was a full day (8am-7pm), it involved an hour on the coach, 2hrs on the catamaran, time at the island before doing the same in reverse. There is the option of a safari whilst on the island which isn't advised for UK travellers apparently due to health and safety laws but we ignored this and went regardless. It was brilliant fun and we got to see lots of different animals including zebras.
The mangrove fishing was also fun but it was extremely hot (as you'd expect) and you are in the boat in the sun for about 3hrs so take appropriate stuff (hats etc..)
We found the staff extremely polite and friendly, in particular Ronald on reception and both Oscar and Raol on security- they were always happy and even taught us the odd bit of Spanish.
The food was very good, although the main buffet can get very busy at peak times so we avoided these times and tended to go slightly earlier or later.
All in all this was a fabulous holiday and our first time to Cuba. We enjoyed it so much that we are currently booking to go again (same hotel) in December.

Room Tip: We wanted a quieter room and so opted for the Luna side of the hotel. They are a short walk from th...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank maggietraveller_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Hi. My partner and I (both early 30s) stayed at Sol Rio De Luna y Mares June 2011 for 2 weeks. All in all it is better than average resort. I have travelled a fair amount of times so I'll judge taking in account it is Cuba (do not expect to get the same star rating as in the US or UK). I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said re the interior etc. so I'll write my pros and cons.

Pros: great location - beautiful beach (BTW the next door hotel - PRDO is totally overrated, the beach is horrible, you can't even walk normally let alone swim); big resort which gives you more opportunities to do things and you don't feel like you are stuck there; good choice of bars and drinks; few water sport activities; some excellent excursions i.e. Island Paradise, mangrove fishing - we loved it, dolphins if you haven't done that before. And you can drink 24 hours a day – bars are open (SALUT!!!).

Cons: the food - disappointing in sense of it was all cold, uncovered (insects and birds - yuck!) and had VERY long queues however the choice was quite good; rooms a bit outdated but not a major tragedy as everything works and if not they fix it straight away. Entertainment was poor but I haven't been to a single hotel (hopefully just yet) that actually had good entertainment unless you are an older couple or a child; disco party on the beach (once a week) was nice and good fun but exactly the same as the previous week. A la carte restaurants – I personally didn’t find it amazing like someone said here or even great if I am honest. It was OK.

Tipping: do not know nor understand why people on here make such a big fuss out of it but we haven't experienced better or worse service if tipped or not. We did tip almost every time (not £10 notes but a peso or two) as the staff were generally nice and attentive so why not.

All in all it is worth a visit but DO take extra cash with you to go on the trips as they were amazing and don't be a scrooge - tip the guys a bit, they really do appreciate it!

Room Tip: Sea view is a must, you won't regret it. Luna side is not as loud but even more outdated than Ma...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank AlinaM84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Arrived back at SMRL for my 4th stay on 1st of Feb, Told by the TC rep Nancy that my room was all ready for me, great views from my room over pool and beach areas. Flowers and a bottle of rum in my room. Greeted by staff like family and in truth many have become like family. Weather was fantastic for both weeks except one overcast day. Great service as always, entertainment very good this year. My only complaint this year was a group of canadians who were extremely noisy at all times of day and night, setting off fire alarms,fighting and screaming in corridors, playing their ghetto blaster over the top of music already playing around pool, I could even hear it with my earphones to my ipod in and they were extremely rude to the members of the son band in the lobby bar one night, if they don,t like cuban music then they should have gone elsewhere. I think security threatened them with the police after the fire alarm incident and things quietened down. However I had a wonderful holiday anyway and have booked to go back next year in Feb. I look forward to seeing my friends, Ivan, Jose, Sandra and of course Nancy who very quickly became a friend.

Room Tip: If you like quiet then ask for the Luna side.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank elenaEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Denise C
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
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 
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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