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Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A fair review!”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Hi. My partner and I (both early 30s) stayed at Sol Rio De Luna y Mares June 2011 for 2 weeks. All in all it is better than average resort. I have travelled a fair amount of times so I'll judge taking in account it is Cuba (do not expect to get the same star rating as in the US or UK). I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said re the interior etc. so I'll write my pros and cons.

Pros: great location - beautiful beach (BTW the next door hotel - PRDO is totally overrated, the beach is horrible, you can't even walk normally let alone swim); big resort which gives you more opportunities to do things and you don't feel like you are stuck there; good choice of bars and drinks; few water sport activities; some excellent excursions i.e. Island Paradise, mangrove fishing - we loved it, dolphins if you haven't done that before. And you can drink 24 hours a day – bars are open (SALUT!!!).

Cons: the food - disappointing in sense of it was all cold, uncovered (insects and birds - yuck!) and had VERY long queues however the choice was quite good; rooms a bit outdated but not a major tragedy as everything works and if not they fix it straight away. Entertainment was poor but I haven't been to a single hotel (hopefully just yet) that actually had good entertainment unless you are an older couple or a child; disco party on the beach (once a week) was nice and good fun but exactly the same as the previous week. A la carte restaurants – I personally didn’t find it amazing like someone said here or even great if I am honest. It was OK.

Tipping: do not know nor understand why people on here make such a big fuss out of it but we haven't experienced better or worse service if tipped or not. We did tip almost every time (not £10 notes but a peso or two) as the staff were generally nice and attentive so why not.

All in all it is worth a visit but DO take extra cash with you to go on the trips as they were amazing and don't be a scrooge - tip the guys a bit, they really do appreciate it!

Room Tip: Sea view is a must, you won't regret it. Luna side is not as loud but even more outdated than Ma...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank AlinaM84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,538 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,363)
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england
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Arrived back at SMRL for my 4th stay on 1st of Feb, Told by the TC rep Nancy that my room was all ready for me, great views from my room over pool and beach areas. Flowers and a bottle of rum in my room. Greeted by staff like family and in truth many have become like family. Weather was fantastic for both weeks except one overcast day. Great service as always, entertainment very good this year. My only complaint this year was a group of canadians who were extremely noisy at all times of day and night, setting off fire alarms,fighting and screaming in corridors, playing their ghetto blaster over the top of music already playing around pool, I could even hear it with my earphones to my ipod in and they were extremely rude to the members of the son band in the lobby bar one night, if they don,t like cuban music then they should have gone elsewhere. I think security threatened them with the police after the fire alarm incident and things quietened down. However I had a wonderful holiday anyway and have booked to go back next year in Feb. I look forward to seeing my friends, Ivan, Jose, Sandra and of course Nancy who very quickly became a friend.

Room Tip: If you like quiet then ask for the Luna side.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank elenaEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

Beautifull settings, great food, superb service, very nice rooms, great beach on Mares side. We were lucky to get room number 0001, with a wonderfull view of the beach and the sea !
The room was average, and if anything was missing, we got, when we asked for it. Super service, all around, everywhere ! Loved all the artistic sculptures, all the flowers everywhere.
The shows were excellent, very professionnal, especially the one at the Mares Pool: Cirque du soleil: watch out !!
Hoping to go back soon !

Room Tip: MARES SIDE: Pay a little more to get a room with Ocean view! We had room 0001 on first floor with...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank Denise C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bear River, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Arrived in Cuba on the 10th of April to find out we had been moved to SRLM instead of Blau Costa Verde where we were returning for our 3rd time. Were told by the Holasun Rep that this was a better resort with more amenities than the Blau. We were hoping to get moved back to the Blau once the issues there were resolved because we were the only returning guests on our flight, so we settled in for what we expected to be a short stay.
Checked into our room which was clean, but in need of a spruce-up. All the electrical outlets in the rooms are 220v, even in the bathroom; no 120v anywhere. All plugs except round or flat plugs and they will take a polarized plug as well. The beds at SRLM are more comfortable than at the Blau with big body pillows and extra pillows and blankets in the closets. Woke up the 1st morning at 5:30am to find our bathroom flooded with water pouring through the light fixture in the middle of the room and through the ceiling over the sink. After being told leaking rooms was one of the reasons we were moved, this was not a good start to the day. Reported it right away to the front desk, then to our rep when he arrived at 11:30am and it was almost 4pm before we could use the bathroom in our room. Maintenance however was able to find and fix the problem, as there were no more issues when it rained again.
Bar fridge in the room had two bottles of used water only in the fridge. Had them replaced abd was told if we wanted pop and beer, we would have to pay; something we never had to do at the Blau.
Hard to find a good slushie drink, unless you went down the beach to La Nina or to the pool on the Luna side. Blau on the other hand has slushie machines at all the bars.
Staff, like everywhere in Cuba are friendly and helpful. Avelio and Luis at the lobby bar were our favorites. Luis is now the proud owner of my Alexander Keith's ceramic mug.
The little hut by the pool has great chicken sandwiches during the day but get there early because they will run out. They also have burgers and hot dogs. Best place for a burger is the bacon cheeseburger and La Nina.
Food at the buffet was good but by the time you worked your way through the long serving line and got to your table, your food would be warm at best. Having all the grill stations and hot dishes in the same area is not the best set up, you always had to ask people to move so you could get what you needed, as they were lined up waiting for items off the grill. The Blau is set up with separate grilling stations with a centralized buffet area which cuts down on line ups and wait time. All the seasoning in the world won't help your food when it is lukewarm.
We booked the Romantico Restaurant as our 1st Al a Carte. You had no choice of what you could have, as it was a set menu. Ham salad( a little lettuce, one thin slice of proscuitto ham,two half slices of pineapple and some oil/balsamic vinegar dressing). next came a seafood kabob(green pepper, lobster and shrimp) with a slice of cucumber & tomato and a little piped mashed potato. Then they served a sorbet as a palate cleanser that tasted like a bad yogurt. The main course was beef medallions(more like a small thin slice of roast beef w/ mushroom sauce, only no mushrooms). rice(cold), Broccoli(cold), baby carrots and corn(cold also). I like my food hot so we left without finishing our meal.
2nd Al a carte was the Mexican where you basically have the choice of 5 different fajitas. Had indigestion and rolaids for dessert after eating there.
The Holasun Rep was hard to find and when you asked him anything, he just smiled, gave you a lame excuse and walked away.
Overall, the food was not that great, staff were wonderful, beds were comfortable, too many steps to the beach, no good snorkeling, mostly caused by the run off from the river at the end of the beach and high surf and winds all week. Maybe if we had of booked this resort instead of getting dumped here on arrival we may have had a better time, but at least we can scratch it off our bucket list of places to visit in Cuba.
One good thing that came out of this trip is that for the first time in three trips, I had not one bite of any kind. Maybe it was a different resort, or maybe it was the vitamin B1 and Reactine I was taking. Guess we will never know.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Jimbo1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

After reading literally hundreds of reviews before we went I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
The holiday exceded all my expectations and was one the best holidays I have had.
Travelled 28th March - 11th April with my husband and two boys aged 10 and 7.
Hotel is in a fantastic location just above the beach, lovely views from the pool. The beach itself is absolutely stunning, one of the best I have seen, just beautiful. Snorkelling was great, best at the Paradiscus end of the beach, especially if you take a bag of bread/cake the fish will go mad for it.
The rooms were fine, we had adjoining rooms on the Mares side, main building. The rooms were a little dated but immaculately clean, the TV had a good choice of channels, with the occasional film for the kids to watch while we got ready at night.
Restaurants - The Colon (main) buffet was good. Plenty of choice, service a little slow at times but then we had no rush to be anywhere. Had some very nice fish and meat cooked fresh at the cooking stations although there was the odd queue at times for this.
There are five al-a carte restaurants which we also tried, the best being the French, the Romantic on the beach was lovely, but we enjoyed them all (Mexican, Cuban & Italian)
We were invited to a meal served outside by the Mares pool one evening and another by the Luna pool( had some wonderful Lobster that night!) This meant we actually only eat in the Colon 7 out of the 14 nights. With the other various places to eat and the 24 hour snack bar there is certainly plenty of choice.
The drinks were very good too, the wine served in the restaurants was lovely (we had Red and White, didnt try the Rose) The cocktails were great, especially the Mojitos and Pina Coladas. The coffee was better than any I have had served at home.
The Pools were very nice, always clean. The Mares side was busier and has the swim-up bar and was where we spent most of our time if not on the beach.
Plenty of free watersports, we tried the Hobiecats and pedaloes. Kids enjoyed the shooting most days down on the beach, volley ball, football and also had a few games of tennis. Didnt try the spa, simply ran out of time!
We travelled with Thomas Cook, our rep Nancy was great, really looked after us. We did several trips with TC - Dine with the Dolphins, an amazing day, well worth it. A trip to Holguin and Gibara, had lunch out, went on a steam train and saw a lot of the surrounding areas and countryside of Cuba. A day out Horseriding and fishing, again with lunch, went round a small zoo, kids loved this day out!
All in all I can definately recommend the Luna & Mares, we have travelled to various places throughout the Caribbean and Mexico and I must say I think Cuba is my favorite. Just a lovely place with the most friendly people ever, it really is another world.
I am usually ready to come home after 2 weeks away but could have stayed another week, very sad to leave.
A lot of people had mentioned in reviews about tipping but we didnt see too much of it and certainly didnt feel pressured to do so. We did tip for good service however on various occasions because we wanted to, everyone works so hard.
So many people there we spoke to were repeat visitors to the hotel which says it all really.
If you have booked to go - Enjoy Amigos !

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank rachelwalt123
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
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): ₹ 6,996 - ₹ 18,461
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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