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“Might go back”

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Islazul Villa Don Lino
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
London, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Might go back”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

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.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank brew24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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570 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

(April 11 to April 18)

What a beautiful resort!
I just got back few hours ago!
I got a great room in one of the new bungalows with ocean view!
The food was good and the service was great!
Mr. Adrian Moreno (the manager) is a very hard working man and he has a great team!
I had never seen a manager before clearing up tables, serving in the bar, wiping something from the floor, etc...
The people working there are just amazing!-Yes, Jesus really makes good pina coladas!
I liked them all:Junior,Jesus,Alexis,Ruben,Renne,Daimi,Barbara, etc...but I want to highlight Angel.I traveled solo and he was working in the lobby bar when I told him that I was going on a horse and buggy ride.He called one of the guys who stay by the entrance of the resort to take me and he gave him instructions about what to show me and he asked him to take good care of me.That really touched my heart because he made me feel safe and protected.Especially when you are in a rural place without any houses for long periods of time.Every waiter,waitress,maid,bartenders,front desk people, etc...were very friendly and very professional.
Yes, we can exchange money at the Front Desk.I did.
There is no internet but the phone calls were much cheaper than in Varadero.Jose at the Front Desk is a sweetheart!
There is a store in the lobby where you can buy snacks,water,beer,liquor,cremes,beach towels,etc...There are 2 bars that open from 10 to 10.The beach bar is awesome compared with most beach bars (tiles on the floor,lots of tables) In this bar there is also a a beautiful pirate like boat and inside it is the kitchen where they cook hamburgers, fish and french fries.
I interacted with several tourists from Quebec and they were very friendly,Hi Michelle!
The beach is beautiful and very intimate because it's situated between 2 promontories.
It's a windy beach indeed and that was the only negative factor. However I spoke to other tourists coming from different resorts and they said it was very windy there as well.
Lots of palapos and beach chairs.They have beach towels.
Take water shoes.The best part to swim is to the right at the very end.
Great band playing every evening in the beach bar and the tourists dancing!
I was sad that they sent the dogs away 2 nights before I left.Most of us have pets back home and we were glad to see a few dogs (I only saw 3) and a cat or two.In fact these dogs behaved very well (unlike mine) I heard someone had complained.If it's true, shame on that person!
I would like to make an appeal to Mr.Adrian: these dogs that have been living in the resort, is it possible to feed them even if it is in a different area?-I was so sad because I saw one of them hiding behind a tree watching the people having dinner but he knew he was not welcome there anymore.I even prayed for him and for the other ones!
Going to Don Lino and taking the horse and buggy ride brought me back to my childhood in Portugal.I saw a lot of cows, horses, pigs, goats, chickens,etc...
There was a wild turkey that used to come to my area every day (don't send it away too) and I used to say 'hola' to it.I even apologized to the turkey for eating his cousins back home every Thanksgiving.
If you go there please take gifts to these precious people!
I even asked my neighbors,my friends and my children if they wanted to donate some used clothing.One of my neighbors gave me brand new clothing with the price tags still on.
This resort is a good place to rest.
About the bars; even though they close at 10 PM you can take a bubba mug with you and take the drinks to your room.
I wish I could go back again even Today!
Everybody who travels to Cuba should try Don Lino at least once.
I'm going to look for a trip for my husband.
We have dogs and since my children moved to other cities (Whister and Orillia) we are not traveling together for now.
To the Don Lino people: Muchas Gracias and God bless you all!
Maria (crazy4yeshua)

Room Tip: Almost every room has an ocean view except the new bungalows on row 2 and 3.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank crazy4yeshua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kvbrd
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

We are just back from Don Lino. You get what you pay for, that is sure.

Lets see. Dirty beach, dirty restrooms, water shoes a must. No money exchange, no idea when there might be a money exchange. Cuban cuisine is a given, but very little variety of it. There was green vegies one night, but just one tray. By the time we got there, people had already scooped up mountains of it.

People feeding a dog on the restaurant deck area, try doing that in a restaurant in Canada.

Friendly staff for sure. Nice music at night.

Free bicycles, with flat tires, seats that swivel and chains that continually come off.

Very little to no daytime animation. however, if you want to get to a nightclub, or you want a Cuban hooker to visit you, there was one Cuban woman who was very present in the evenings to arrange things.

I read a comment about "Too many rude, loud French Canadians." I would say most Canadians there were rude, with thier oversized thermo mugs. I observed lots of anglophones from either Ontario or Nova Scotia, who had no notion of manners. No "Please" or "Thank you" in either English or Spanish, let alone French.

The family staying the building next to others choose to have thier discussions via the bathroom window, while the mother was having a shower. The husband demanding his wife through the front door if she was feeling "in the mood". Really people, you may think you are alone on th earth, but get a reality check.

People ordering food from the snack bar, or taking from the buffet table and not finishing it. What a waste.

The place could do with some garbage cans around, maybe people would put the cups in the can, instead of leaving it on the chair, floor or beach.

The room was fine, one of the new bungalows. Neighbours were quiet, so it worked out well. We think the towels wer not changed. Not sure

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kvbrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Rafael Freyre hotels

Princeton, Ontario
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

Avoid the "upgraded" rooms - "I could hear the guy next door snoring". Too many rude, loud French Canadians. They need to expand the dining to reflect the increased tourist #'s. People waiting with full plates for me to vacate a table. Too many Canadian men bring their local chicas for the week. 8-10 last week. Uncomfortable to be around so many.

Room Tip: bungalows at end of groups of 8 - #1025, 1026. Has cross ventilaton. Away from noise. Right on be...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Marilyn_from_Ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

Loved Loved Don Lino and all the ppl who work there. Diani, Obi, Barbara, Jesus, Ruben, Junior, Armondo, Megdalisa sr and jr and everyone else are like family now. Cannot wait to return. Rooms clean, food plain but plentiful. Juices were great as we don't drink and lots of it. Beach great for snorkeling. Sun great. Windy but when wind stops you beg for it to start again. Quiet relaxing place. Activites only happened if you asked for them and when they did they were great. Mostly canadians and all friendly. Will try to learn some Spanish for next time. Can't wait to see our friends in the band Ilusion Wilbert, Danielle, Ramiro, Rigoberto, Jorge, LeSando and Sando and all their families. Stay well until we see you again.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Laura A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Islazul Villa Don Lino

Property: Islazul Villa Don Lino
Address: Playa Blanca, Rafael Freyre, Rafael Freyre, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Rafael Freyre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,534 - ₹ 7,453
Hotel Class:3 star — Islazul Villa Don Lino 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel Rafael Freyre
Hotel Islazul Don Lino
Islazul Don Lino Hotel
Islazul Villa Don Lino Cuba/Rafael Freyre, Holguin Province

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