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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 March 2012

We stayed at the Sol Rio Feb 23 - Mar 1 2012. We were a group of 15 and everyone loved this resort. Great location, beautful beach, excellent food, good entertainment, great staff, beautiful grounds. The only complaint was the old, out of date, tired rooms which had numerous plumbing and electrical issues and horrible old beds. I would hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone that would have an issue with the out of date rooms but I have nothing but great things to say about the rest of the resort

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank CubaFan4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 March 2012

My family and I recently visited Sol Rio de Lunes Y Mares hotel. We were extremely impressed with this hotel resort. The flight from Toronto was not long and the bus ride to the hotel was under one hour. The reception at the hotel was friendly and efficient. Bus boys took us to our rooms which were large and well equiped. The grounds at the hotel were beautifull and well maintained. The beach was the best one that I have ever seen and I must say we travel a lot. The access to the beach was by several gentle ramps which older people could easily manage. On the beach itself there were several palm trees and lots of chairs and lounges. One could be in the sun or shade with no scrabbling for spots like some hotels. The food in this hotel was excellent with the buffets offering lots of variety. The al la carte restaurents were all outstanding. The animation team were quite active but not pushy. We took part in several of the activities offered and enjoyed them all. The night time show was different every night and all were excellent. The theatre where these shows were held was very well designed and centrally located. The disco was down at the beach level thus making it quiet for sleeping while others could party. The real strength of this hotel however is it's staff. I have never stayed in a resort that had so many outstanding people making our stay the best ever. This included everyone that worked there from the front desk to the groudskeepers. I wanted to stay much longer than my two weeks and we will definitely return as soon as possible. Congratulations to all staff at Sol Rio de Lunes y Mares you run a fabulous hotel!
John Tutty Caledon Ontario Canada

Room Tip: Rooms on the Mares side cater to a younger crowd but not noisy Rooms on the Lunes side are quieter...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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7  Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

After reading some reviews I was a little worried about going to this resort, especially for our wedding. I needn’t have worried, this resort is a slice of paradise. Our immediate family is 2 adults and 3 children (ages 9, 10 & 13), on a larger scale the rest of the party made up to a total of 18 including 4 children. We travelled between 6th February & 21st February 2012.
We were greeted at the airport by our wonderful Thomas Cook rep, Nancy. Once loaded aboard our coach, we were given our keycards, wristbands and a registration form to hand in to reception. (The best check in procedure ever). On arrival at the hotel, an hour transfer, we handed in our forms, which took seconds, listened to the Cuban band and drank some very refreshing cocktails.
Once in our room, we were delighted to find we had adjoining rooms with our children. The rooms were both very clean and functional, they had a satellite TV with 2 English speaking film channels and an English speaking children’s channel (very handy to keep everyone entertained, for those of us who take a while to get ready in the evening!!). Each room had a kettle, fridge and hairdryer, although I did take my own so I’m not sure how good the hairdryer actually was. We had beach towels provided, which could be changed daily on the beach. Mineva, our maid was always willing to provide anything requested and kept our room looking lovely as well as clean. The maintenance was also very good. When the weight of my wedding dress pulled down the curtain pole in my mum’s room, it was more securely put back up and my wedding dress restored to its place with no fuss.
The restaurants served a variety of food, always hot and plentiful. Colon Buffet - we have two very fussy eating children and food is always a bit of a concern, but they always found something to eat even if it was just French fries and bread! Breakfast was a favourite, each mealtime served freshly cooked food / meat or fish, but trays were regularly replaced, I didn’t see any food hanging around much. Oh and yes there are flies, (as reported in some other reviews) it’s a tropical climate, the doors are left open onto the terrace where there are more tables and less flies. If it’s that much of a concern you really shouldn’t be looking to travel to this sort of climate! That’s my rant over I don’t know what some people expect! Anyway, La Bistro is apparently the best restaurant for food, service and atmosphere, although we didn’t get a chance to sample this restaurant, some of the rest of our party did and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Italian likewise, as the head chef is Italian, I suspect this might have something to do with it. Certainly the pasta that I tasted was fantastic. La Pinta on the beach was fantastic, myself and new husband were invited to a VIP night the evening before our wedding. The food was gorgeous all lobster, steak and fizzy wine. The atmosphere, well you can’t beat having a meal in a silver service restaurant positioned on the beach with a Cuban band playing, wonderful. A night I shall always remember. A hog roast is done during the day on some days on the Mares side and is not to be missed, it’s delicious. There is a 24 hour snack bar on the Luna side, which serves hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, sandwiches etc. The two snack bars on the beach, one on the Luna side and one on the Mares side serve similar food, although they stop serving at 3pm.
The fitness centre is where you’ll find the hairdressers / beauticians, gym etc. and also where you can book the tennis courts, yes for you mad people who like playing tennis in 30 degrees! The 24 hour medical centre is found here and is very good as I can personally vouch for.
If you don’t manage to leave the resort (which would be a shame, even if it’s just the adjoining nature reserve), every day there are lots of stalls set up on the Mares side, great for souvenir shopping. Ladies that includes some beautiful jewellery, take plenty of money, happy shopping! Talking of money there is a little bank open from 7.30am daily to exchange currency. Also be aware that 1 tourist peso equals 25 local ones, so tips of 1 or 2 pesos are usually very much appreciated by all members of staff, but especially the cleaners, maintenance and ground staff.
The pools are lovely, the Luna side pool is always quieter, as is the bar, but the Mares side pool has a swim up bar for nice refreshing drinks while you’re having a swim. This is also where the entertainment takes place. There is never any problem getting sunbeds. Our family is a pool fan family, having said that once we visited the beach there was no going back. The sand is white and soft, the sea a beautiful turquoise, I won’t go as far as to say warm, but a comfortable temperature nonetheless. Staff on the beach are more than happy to take your sunbed anywhere you want. A snack bar close at hand, a nice breeze from the sea, palm tree umbrellas, why would you want to sit next to the pool? The snorkelling is best apparently on the Luna side of the beach. I don’t know what the resort equipment is like as we took our own. All the non-powered sea equipment is free of charge, it just has to be booked a little in advance.
The trips – dinner with the dolphins, an absolute MUST. Unfortunately due to an accident I was unable to go but I’m reporting back from everyone else. Three of our party were non swimmers and they were a little nervous to start with but loved it just as much. After swimming with the dolphins, there were some tricks with them and then a show with dolphins and sea lions. While eating dinner there was a show, with glass walkers. Another trip I couldn’t attend, but that had very good reports was the Cuban Life trip, where a school, village and market were visited. The longest time on the coach was half an hour, which was a bonus. The deep sea fishing trip was also heralded as great fun, even though they didn’t get a nibble, this was after earlier reports of a 350lb Marlin being caught. Before my accident, we did get a chance to go on a horse and carriage ride, where we ended up on a farm drinking fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut, lovely.
Yilena, our wedding co-ordinator made our wedding the best, the gazebo was decorated in beautiful blue material to match the sea. My flowers were the most huge, gorgeous, fragrant roses, carnations and gysophilia, as was the buttonholes etc. We paid extra for a Cuban band and it was well worth it. Everything was wonderful, right down to the lovely ladies in the hairdressing salon. My hair took 2.5 hours but it looked just how I wanted. After pictures and fizzy wine, we went up to the Luna bar before moving on to our reception at the Cuban restaurant. The food was delicious if a little different, the staff, however are quite happy to go and get different food for those fussy eaters! We had an amazing sponge and coconut wedding cake in the shape of a heart, 3 tiers, yummy. We had a section of the restaurant to ourselves and were not pushed to leave even when we were the last ones there! The staff, the food and everything that went with it made the day perfect. We were lucky enough to have a professional photographer in our group, but the one picture we did get was very good. Yilena was fantastic and we didn’t have to worry about a thing.
Of course you may get tummy trouble, this quite often happens with a change of climate or food which you wouldn’t be eating at home and more often than not, not drinking enough water, especially when you’ve been out in the sun. Just take the normal medicines and everything will be fine, if you get bitten, which actually not many of us did, have some piriton with you and that helps.
All in all this resort is lovely, yes it needs a little bit of updating, but the staff, the grounds, the beach and yes the food all make this place like a little bit of paradise. As someone who has vowed never to go back to the same place twice, we are already planning on returning.

Room Tip: The Luna side of the resort is quieter, however we stayed in the Mares side, which is busier, and no...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank Selina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Returned to the Luna on our anual visit from England, Had a great time, many friends among the staff, a real pleasure to see them all. Met some returning guests from Toronto, hi Karen and John, (Please send e-mail again as I have lost your adress).
The beach is amazing, soft white sand, clear blue sea, good snorkling from the beach near the cliff at the end of the beach.
The food was excellent, the buffet and restaurants alike. Friendly service, wether tipped or not, a smile goes a long way.
Stayed at the Luna side as it is much quieter.
Look forward to a return visit next year.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Doc'n'Doris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

just returned on the 5th and wanna go back,i could waffle on about the hotel ,beach,food etc but at the end of the day its just my opinion the rooms are clean,the staff are friendly,and the rum is lovely (isnt it simon,lol),...book up and enjoy .i promise you its hard earned money well spent..the whole place is great..enjoy....

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank paul207
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

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: RM478 - RM1,435 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Rio de Luna y Mares 3.5*
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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