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“Not a 4 star but amazing beach”

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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Not a 4 star but amazing beach”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Went btw march 15 and 22.

Pros
Best beach ever
Staff helpful....if you tip them
Food was pretty good for cuba
Restarants were great....service and food
Big restort for the amount of rooms it has
Quiet at night on luna side
Pools were nice
Great nightly shows
Great snokeling off the beach
No locals on beach
Dolphins next door to resort
Great layout and very easy to find everything
- the beach snackes was great food

Cons
-Very windy on beach too the point were the sand was wipping you therefore water was choppy too...wasn't enjoyable
-Room were gross...have never been updated and they were digny and stains everywhere (and we had the hoinneymoon package)
- The small of sewer in the room was overwhelming
- the water temperture was never consistant...hot cold hot cold....but like really sculling hot, like it burnt you
- you have to tip for everything...even chairs on the beach
- buffet food was the same all the time for lunch and diner...but at least it's good it just gets boring
- no watermelon and pinapple was hard and sour but maybe it's not in season i don't know. they just had alot of there fruit
- frozen drinks are not frozen.
- there are not enough seats in the buffet so if you show up 10 ins after it opens they will not let you in cuz it's full.
- lunch is at 1 and dinner is at 6:30...that was too late for us we were very hungry by the tie it opens
-if you bring sand into your rooms on your feet...the sand stays there....never swept.
- bed rock hard but big
- hole in ceiling of room and you could see outside (good thing it didn't rain)
- small red ant things covered the room...but didn't bite
- we had breakfast come to the room one morning but there are no table or chairs in the room so we had to eat on the bed and the crumbs were still there that nght :(

We talked to alot of people who have returned many many times to this resort and they love the place and yes if you pay around $650 it's worth it but it's not a 4 star just an average 3 star. I would rather pay an extra $200/person to go to a better restort next time.

All in all it was a good vacation but we will not go back for the reason of the gross rooms, bad water/shower temperture and windy beach made it unenjoyable.

Room Tip: i heard that they have renovated about 20 rooms try for one of those ones, luna side in quieter all...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Dane_gurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Brantford, On
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Just returned from our week long stay at Luna Y Mares and I must say it was a fantastic experience. The staff will do anything and go out of their way to get you what you need. The maid staff did an impeccable job at cleaning our room, always fresh towels and plenty of toilet paper and room was spotless. The bartending staff was great, always there to get you what you want, only downfall is they would run out of strawberry daquiri but I always found some other kind of daquiri they would make for me. The wait staff in the buffet were fantastic, esp Noella who went above and beyond to make our dining experience a great one. The nolitours reps were very helpful and would do anything to accomodate you. Now, Im a very picky eater but I can tell you that I always had plenty of food to choose from and it was delicious. I gained 5 pounds on this trip so that should tell you something. Fresh bottles of water in our room daily and the 2 bottles of rum were provided. We asked for extra coffee for our room and they were happy to oblige. My only complaint for this resort is no coffee at the lobby bar. They had espresso but as we dont enjoy that, we had to wait for the buffet to open at 7:30 in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee with our breakfast. What would be nice for them to do, is to put a coffee machine near the lobby bar so that people who wish to enjoy a cup during the day can do so. Only did 1 excursion, the dolphin swim, and I must say it was the experience of my life. There are quite a few excursions to choose from , so if that is what you want, I dont think you will be disappointed. The beach....oh my what a lovely beach it is. They keep it clean and the security is great. The guy that brings you your lounge chairs works hard as its not easy to get thru that lovely powder sand so tip him well, he deserves it. All in all this was a trip to remember for a lifetime and I dont know what people are expecting when they go to Cuba(remember its not a 4 star that you would get in the states etc) but we had a fantastic time. Never did we feel we "had" to tip, but we did freely as the service we received was beyond our expectations. Yes the rooms on the Mares side are a little dated but very clean. We upgraded to an ocean view room and it was breathtaking. Our room was 4024 and overlooked the pool area and out to the ocean. A little noisy at night with entertainment but was usually all quiet by 11 pm. We never made it to the entertainment shows at night as we are early risers and would call it a night early in the evening. Will I return to this resort ....absolutely with no hesitation. Would I recommend this resort to others, ..absolutely.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank DolphinPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Just spent a week here, great hotel, fantastic beach, ocean is incredible, food had lots of variety, staff helpful & pleasant, hotel shows signs of wear & tear but staff happy to quickly fix whatever is broken in your room. Not happy with Nolitours, promised rum & coffee in our rooms, got none, we got the same story from other Nolitours guests, we have been to Cuba 3 times, Blau Costa Verde Resort in Holguin was much better & so was SunWing.

Room Tip: Top floors are best.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
13 Thank oSnorkelgirlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanstead, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

I took my first trip to Cuba and went to Holguin Sol Rio de Luna y Mares.I was a little leary about the food because i was told it wasn't that good but you can put that to rest because it was great.With over 100 buffet items ,sure you can find somethings you don't like but i gained more than 5 pounds and the a la carte resturants were fantastic. I liked my first room but the ocean view was so beautiful i upgraded for 20 a night and found it was well worth it.The workers and the staff ,the security gaurds were so friendly you felt at home.The beach was out of this world the beer was cold and the rum flowed freely.There were activities fashion shows ,all sorts of things to amuse you every night.I can't wait to go back next year,i might even go again this year........

Room Tip: Try ocean view it's out of this world
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank wayne s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Just returned from a 10 day stay. We visited the resort last year, and this time found it to be considerably noisier and food quality had declined. Beach was still absolutely gorgeous, and the staff continue to be charming. The rooms are dated. We were in block 5 third floor last year, second floor this year. Our room was clean, but some mould and lots of rust. Minor toilet leak. Closet door was broken, one light didn't work, TV was iffy, and bed was a rock. Fortunately we didn't travel there to spend alot of time in the room, so wasn't a big deal. I heard from others that ground floor rooms on the Luna side are a disaster - mould, bugs, and broken fixtures abound. The beach entertainment runs until 2, and there were many very drunk partiers staying at the hotel, so that piece was not at all pleasant, and if anything keeps me from going back it will be the noise. No problem with people having fun, but screaming and loud laughter at 2 am is just plain rude, and the hotel does not deal with it.

The food is decent. Buffet does not stay warm, but the variety was generally good and the serving staff are lovely. Generally line ups to get in, and long line ups to get meals. Swarms of flies all over everything, which was unfortunate. The restaurant tried to keep things clean by covering food with wrap, which we appreciated. We ate at all of the a la carte restaurants at least once, and visited the Romantica and Mexican twice. Last time French was our favourite, but this time it was Mexican, hands down. I do not recommend the breakfast buffet in Luna and the service in the Italian restaurant was about the worst I have ever experienced at a resort.

Skipped the animation crew entertainment with the exception of the water ballet which was fabulous and not to be missed. Also, every night there was different entertainment at the Luna bar. We were impressed with the variety and talent of the performers, from pianists, to a 3 piece "modern" band and vocalist, to a light opera singer. Different from the usual fare.

We hung out at the beach or the Luna pool. Luna pool is pretty clean, and a good size. Not too crowded, and the music was not poundingly loud. Music at the beach could get quite obnoxious at times. Myself, I enjoy music especially if there is a variety but I do not like it blaring constantly.

My daughter made friends with a couple of other kids and there was space for them to play cards & talk in the lobby, which was nice.

The ocean is rough which made playing in the surf tremendous fun. We had a blast.

There is a near constant wind, which keeps the heat down and was marvelous.

Lots of sun beds available on the beach. Not so easy to get space around the pool - had to get up pretty early.

Be careful walking - pretty much everywhere is slippery with the slightest wetness. I fell by the pool. There are also unexpected level changes on pavement, which creates tripping hazards.

We had a good time but were ready to come home by day 9. Would I go back? Not sure. Probably not next year, but maybe the year after. I am concerned that every year the quality of the rooms degrades. They don't seem to be investing in repair and refurbishment and with much more of a decline it is not going to be worth the $$.

Room Tip: Avoid bottom floor at all cost. Unless you are ok with noise, avoid Mares overlooking beach and poo...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank traveller2Canada
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): $173 - $438
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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