We went the first week in April, two adults and three teens. We booked the ocean view rooms with Holasun but when we arrived they had only one so they upgraded two of our three rooms to the superior bungalows. The new bungs are not sound proof so ours was day use only and we slept in the ocean view room which was quiet.
The beach was clean and I noticed someone tidying up down there occasionally. The east end of the beach was good for swimming otherwise you needed water shoes or fins to enter the ocean. Note that you need to venture out a few hundred metres for decent snorkelling.
The six bikes were fine and were good to take for a ride to Playa Blanca, a nice beach about one kilometre away. Along the way you will pass many houses and a fruit stand.
The washrooms were cleaned regularly but often lacked TP. The pool was on the small side but adequate and warm. We never seemed to have a problem getting four or five lounges at anytime. There were however a fair number of ants on the deck.
Omelettes were good at breakfast and ingredients like ham, peppers, onion, tomatoes and cheese were plentiful. Fruit included papaya, pineapple, melon, guava and bananas. The yogurt smoothies were awesome.
The snack bar served up whole red snapper(my favourite) and fries and ham burgers and cheese on a bun also occasionally pizza. The ketchup tastes fine by the way and was usually plentiful.
The buffet served up beef, spare ribs, chicken, fish, and most was very good. Vegetables were a little sparse but plenty of yucca. And always yummy tomatoes and cukes and sometimes lettuce. Tip #1. Take some oregano to add to the oil and vinegar. Quite often there was pasta and sauce and they served up tacos a few times on the grill and fried rice and veggies. They usually had ice cream and cake for desert but you had be quick before it got too soft.
Pina Colladas were best from the lobby bar made by Junior IMHO. In the evening order up Capaccinos with brandy and add (Tip #2 Buy a bottle of Baileys at duty free) Baileys to it. Mmmh what a treat. If you have any Baileys left at the end of your trip Junior likes it.
Felix the Holasun rep was very helpful and his English is excellent. If you take the Toronto Star he likes to read it. He also plays baseball so if you have a good ball laying around they are hard to come by and he was very grateful for the one I gave him.
The staff at Don lino were very friendly and helped make my trip wonderful. A must do is a trip into Santa Lucia which is only eight kilometres away. Treat yourself to a meal at El Tuipan while there(see my separate review and pics). You should be able to get a taxi for $5 CUC's each return if sharing a taxi wit others.
There tends to be various critters roaming the resort and one evening we came across a large black bull munching on the flowers by the bungalows.
If I were the manager/owner I would make three changes. The first would have the lobby coffee bar open at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning as there are many people up and wanting coffee. Also whoever is working the front desk should turn the coffee machine on before the server arrives in the morning which would speed things up.
The second would have the main bar open until eleven. Ten is too early.
The third would have the house band "Illusion" play until eleven because they are awesome.
Had fun and will likely go back.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel Rafael Freyre
- Hotel Islazul Don Lino
- Islazul Don Lino Hotel
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Cuba/Rafael Freyre, Holguin Province