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szszszszsz
Duncan, Canada
Looking for a quiet , no frills vacation? This place was a good choice.
3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 25 Jan 2014
We needed a quiet 2 weeks, this place fit the bill. Although the weather was not very good , we had time to read and talk, to meet other vacationers and meet with staff. The pool is small , the entertainment was good when the weather permitted. The rooms were adequate. The food was fair, often cold and often dishes were empty , but if you asked they usually would replace fairly quickly. There was an Ala Carte in a covered area with sand floor a short distance from the dining room. They offered special seafood , but you have to order in the morning. The Sunwing representative , Fernando, was a great resource , and has a
Sunwing book and a pamphlet that gives great information on the trips they offer. We had rodents in our chalet, and had to get Fernandos help to change rooms. The hotel staff were not helpful with this request, Seems many of the chalets had rodent presence. The windows in room were blurry with smoke residue and tiles in bathroom needed a good clean up , the maids were friendly though, changing towels and linens regularly. The safe worked in both our rooms, some doors are affected by humidity, the best is to check the rooms before unpacking. Previous reviews have been very informative, no need to repeat. I would return to this resort.
Date of stay: January 2014
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Reviewed 24 January 2014

It's a great place to go if you're on your own. It's small and so it doesn't take long for you to meet everyone. It's a two star resort (no al a cartes, no bank, no catamaran rides) but it has much to offer. We went horseback riding every day. The resort band is Wonderful and they are there every evening. If you're with kids, I warn you that some of the other shows were a bit risqué for my daughter and not very interesting for me. I had to get her out of there and I didn't mind missing the rest of the show. Don Lino is walking distance a small town (Playa Blanca) that includes a lovely sand beach and a fishing village if you keep walking. There is a house in Playa Blanca with a sign "Pescado Frito" and you'll likely see it when you take a horseback ride. If you ask, he'll serve you a delicious meal of fish, shrimp, rice and beans and beer. There were four of us, we were stuffed and it cost less than $30. Most of the staff are great. Some of the desk staff were a bit chippy and could have been more helpful but we didn't have to deal with them much so it wasn't a big deal. Change some money before you get there or you may find yourself without CUCs.

Don Lino is short drive to Rafael Freyre. A great place to walk around. The people are very nice. There's a restaurant there called Tulipan which I recommend.

Andn last of all, while at Don Lino, get Reuben at the coffee bar to make you a pina colada. Best anywhere.

Room tip: Try to get one of the concrete cottages rather than a room in the two-story buildings they call the bungalows.
Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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6  Thank sikitula
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 January 2014

We travelled to Don Lino Jan. 6th to 13th 2014. It was a very last minute decision due to the horrible winter we were enduring. Being a 2 1/2 star in Cuba , I had not set my expectations very high .We were very surprised and very happy with this resort .It is quite small and intimate and quiet, not a party place at all so not good for the younger set . There were quite a few single travellers when we were there , but they managed to mingle very well due to the size of the resort..Our room was very basic but had everything we needed including a comfortable bed . Having said that , take a hair dryer with you if you need one , not all rooms have one .The food is very Cuban and average, however , the meat dishes were always very good , tender and tasty. A lot of cabbage , but also fresh greens for salad, fresh fruit, usually papaya, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. They always do their best with what they have !! The beach is a little small , and very rocky , shoes are a must !! The beach though is beautiful and very quiet and there was always a lounge chair available . Most of the rooms on this resort have an ocean view , there are a few that don't, but most do and it is a lovely view. The rooms are mainly bungalows, and some are right on the beach, but those are the older ones without a hair dryer or fridge , but a lot of the travellers preferred those rooms to the new ones . The new rooms are 2 story wooden cottage type houses with 2 rooms up and 2 rooms down. They have a balcony and some have an ocean view, but not all. There is a horse stable on the property and horse back riding is free . The horses are very well cared for and very docile. They are not highly spirited and are very safe to ride . The ride is about an hour long and is very worthwhile , I strongly recommend it. We took the horse and buggy into town and it was nice to see the Cuban residential areas and countryside. All In all, I would definitely return here for another stay. The staff are very friendly, the resort is always very clean and the grounds are very well kept .We had a very positive stay here and were very satisfied with every aspect of our trip . Do not go to this resort expecting 5 star food . It is Cuba and it is a 2 1/2 star. That is what you are paying for !! If you expect 2 1/2 star food , you will be very happy with this resort !! We loved it and we will be back !!!!!

Room tip: We stayed in room 3 and had a lovely view right outside our door. It is one of the older bungalows and does not have a hair dryer or fridge , but a great location !
Date of stay: January 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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16  Thank redredwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Before I go any further I want to remind you this is a 2 to 3 star resort. If you want all the amenities, go somewhere else, if you want a quiet place to chill and relax, this is the place to go. This resort is like renting a cottage. I don't recommend this resort for kids, there's not really much for them to do. We were there over New Years and had an awesome time.

Everyone on the resort is friendly, especially the bar tenders. Angel was an angel, gave me a kiss on both cheeks, lol. Ruben, Jesus, and Roberto were a lot of fun too.

Because this resort is remote, you can't always get money changed, take lots of $5's, that way you can still tip the staff, they can convert it to pesos. Ruben and the life guard will exchange money for you as well.

The shore is very rocky, so make sure you have water shoes. Do NOT swim at low tide, the water is very shallow, and there are lots of sea urchins. We did some snorkeling, the left side of the bay is the best. At first you won't see many fish, but if you are patient there are lots.

Unfortunately there aren't a lot of lounge chairs on the beach. It is very annoying that people will rush to the beach first thing in the morning, put their towels on the chairs to reserve them, and then they don't use them. I think this is my only real complaint about the resort.

Do not leave anything on the beach at night, it won't be there the next day.

We didn't see many of the shows in the evening, but the 2 we saw were great. On New Year's Eve we watched a water ballet, absolutely amazing. The other show was a dance re-enacting the Spanish concurring Cuba. We got our faces painted, and were pulled up to dance with the troupe. So much fun. It's a quiet place, not much for young people, we are both in our 50's so it was perfect for us.

It's very safe to leave the resort and wander, we took a walk over to Playa Blanca. It has a nice sandy beach, and the water is much calmer than the water at the resort. Every one we passed said Hola, and wished us a happy new year.

Ruben the bar tender has a taxi service, we used it to go into Santa Lucia. Our driver was Yuniel. He gave us a bit of a tour, then left us for a bit so we could wander around town. This is not a tourist town, other than the bank, and a couple restaurants, there's nothing else for tourists to do. Before heading back to the resort we stopped at el Tulipan and had dinner. My boyfriend ordered the lobster tail, it was 15 pesos, and filled the plate! I had a plate of shrimp. We had far more food than we could eat, I definitely recommend this as an outing.

Everyone told us the food in Cuba wasn't great, we don't agree. At lunch one day I had stuffed calamari! There is a station where you can get your eggs in the morning however you want them, and great omelets. The only thing I wasn't able to get was a decent cup of tea, we tried, but I was never able to get hot enough water. There is a grill at the bar, the only thing we had there were the fries, they were very good.

If you want a drink with ice, go to the lobby bar, the other one it's hit and miss. The lobby bar also has a coffee machine to make espresso, very good.

Our room was in one of the bungalows, if we were to go back I would pick one of the rooms on the beach. The bungalow is a little dark, and the outside sitting area very small. But all the rooms are clean. When they clean your room, they shape your towels into hearts etc, very cute!

I highly recommend both the resort and Cuba. The weather was great, hot and sunny, the people are friendly, and it is so clean there. It didn't matter where we went, everything is clean, no garbage, etc.

Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Leslie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We are a senior couple and this was our second trip to Don Lino. We went Dec 3 to Dec 14. First the weather was perfect only rained at night and nice and hot through the day. We stayed the first time in the two storey wooden buildings and this time we wanted a stone room across from the pool and loved it. We could see the improvements that have been made since March and they continue to improve.

The food is just as good as any 4 star in Cuba as we have been going to Cuba for over 8 years and still resort is our favourite. If you want wild night life don't come here as it is a very quite resort and the entertainment is over by 11pm even through the bar is open 24 hours.

The resort is small but the staff get to know you and what you like, we made friends in March and we were invited to visit their homes and to see how they live which was a big shock. We also made friends with other Canadians in March and they were also back in Dec. We are hoping to get back for a week in March. Some of the Canadians go for a month or two and they do this two or three times a year.

you can go off the resort with no problems the locals are very friendly and will help anyway they can. You can get a buggy ride or go by taxi. There is no money exchange on the resort so change your money at the airport or you can get a buggy ride to the bank in town, or ask any of the bartenders and they will steer you to someone that will be able to change it for you. The Manager Julio is very nice and will help you in any way possible. Adrian is the food manager and is doing a fantastic job with the selection of food if you have any problems please go and see him in fact you will see him all the time coming and going at the restaurant. You can go bike riding and horse back riding for free and the horses are beautiful.

The entire staff are fantastic and I would not change any of them it is so nice to see so many smiles first thing in the morning including the gardeners and the men that are working on construction.

I can not wait for March to come wish we could go for longer. Remember you are in Cuba at a 2 star which in our mind is at least a 4 star.

Room tip: We had number 8 across from the pool and loved it.
Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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13  Thank Pauline583
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We enjoyed our stay very much. We were given and oceanview room,that was'nt acceptable. They switched our room, without any problems to an upper bungalow room, which we were very happy with. There was always lounge chairs around the pool. The food was'nt great, but there was always something we found to eat. The omelets, pasta cooked in front of you was very good.French fries and grilled cheese sandwiches,and pizza at the snack bar were good. good ice cream.
It was wonderful going on a bike ride and discovering the locals, they are so friendly. We enjoyed giving them clothes and markers, crayons etc. The area was neat to explore. We also went horseback riding, included.
The best part of the hotel was not waiting in lines for anything. Yes, we often poured our own coffee and went looking for forks, napkins etc. not a problem for us.
All in all a great resort for the price we paid over New Years.

Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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7  Thank connieb460
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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