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Don Lino Hotel a small budget resort. Nice, quiet beach, few amenities. Flew with Sunwing Vacations were dropped off at 1:00am and then we were pretty much on our own. Local rep did not show up at anytime and we eventually had to track him down to confirm we have transportation back to airport.Some staff were friendly others not. No money changing services on site. Limited servicesIf your looking to sit and read your book and get some sun then this place may be for you. If your looking for lots of activities etc then not
Whenever I search online for all inclusive deals, I see Don Lino as the cheapest hotel all the time. Having been to many places in Cuba and Mexico, I finally decided to take a chance and visit this 2 star resort for 2 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised. I see lots of repeat guests. A gentleman who has visited all over Cuba 77 times said he likes it here.The good: clean, functional room with hot water at all times; free little safe (vs the usual 2 pesos per day charge at other hotels); beautiful ocean view; free beach towel, no 20 pesos refundable deposit is required; good food, fruits, deserts, I like their pasta, pork ribs, beef/fish fillets, chicken, beef stew with potatos and beef tongue (very tender and tasty), their fresh mango juice in the morning is my staple drinks; free one-hour catamaran cruise in the Atlantic Ocean; free daily horseback riding: I rode the horses 4 times, but a Quebec couple ride daily. They come here twice a year, and stay for 2 weeks each time; free bike rental daily, I love to bike to Playa Blanca (10 min bike ride away) to swim; horse-cart trip to Bariay Bay's aboriginal museum (15 pesos per carriage, regardless of # of tourists), that's where Christopher Columbus first landed in Cuba in 1492, and declared that this is "the world's most beautiful place human eyes have ever seen", not to be missed;amazing water ballet show by local performers from Holguin;I get to play billiards everyday. The not so good:the daily activities posted on their board in the lobby bar are non-existent; Ping Pong table is broken and not fixed;very rocky beach where swimming is virtually impossible; no evening entertainment shows, except for the water ballet above, just once;limited drinks choice: no mojitos, no pina colados, so I had to settle for beers and screwdriversthe catamaran cruise hours should be adjusted so that guests from Don Lino can make it to their lunch afterwards;If you want to unwind and relax for dirt cheap, this hotel might be for you.
I spent two weeks at Don Lino. Second time there. Everything was great , amazing staff, good service, food was fine, accommodations were nice. I suggest the rooms ( 4 rooms in each unit)Don Lino may not be for everyone, but if you are looking to kick back and relax, this is the place !!If you want to go anyplace (Holguin etc.) Please look for Rueben (bartender). He has his own cab, and is a great guy.(very fair price wise, and he speaks excellent English.) Any questions you may have about the resort or what is available see Anna. She will be happy to help you.
First thing we have to say is there was a bit of confusion. We stayed at the Don last year in one of the wooden 4-plexes. This room was nice but we wanted to try one of the older rooms with the veranda and view. So we paid more to upgrade to a bungalow with ocean view. When we checked in, we found out that the "bungalows" were actually the wooden 4-plexes and that the "standard room" was the older room that we wanted. So both we and the staff were confused, but once they figured out what we really wanted, they worked very hard to find us the type of room we wanted. So we were put into room 11 (and our buddies were put into room 1). The staff would have moved us the next day into the ocean-front bungalows, but we were happy with our pool view. It was nice to sit out front and see our friends walk by.The weather wasn't great, it was cloudy or rainy 5 out of 7 days, but we were happy for the locals, as that rain was desperately needed. So we didn't spend every day on the beach, but we walked down to Playa Blanca and beyond most days. On Saturday we hired the horse-drawn buggies to go to Santa Lucia, where we went to the market and out to Lleni's for lunch. The lobster was awesome! We ate twice at Don Pipo's (mahi mahi fresh caught that day; pig roast meal) and both meals were delicious.The service and friendliness of the staff at Don Lino was superb. Many of the staff from the prior year were there and remembered us. The new staff we met were all excellent. We had no problems with the food or drink - - there was plenty and all was tasty. On the Sunday, we booked into the a la carte for lobster. Michael cooked us a spectacular meal, all for only 10 CUCS each. Amazing lobster!Even though there was 8 in our group out of Regina, we ended up being a group of 13-15 with all of the great people we met, so every meal we pushed tables together and met and hung out with people from Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec - it was unreal (as it was last year). Every night there was a band playing in the dining hall as well as at the Pool bar. There were numerous upgrades from last year, new tiles in lobby bar, new tiles and railing at the pool bar. They were also working on both bathrooms at the pool bar too (not a good smell!). Those bathrooms certainly needed renovation! There were new palapas and lounge chairs on the beach.We really love the Don Lino, folks are friendly and the pace is relaxed. We will return!
This was my 4th trip to Don Lino, and 23rd trip to Cuba. However, I had not been to this resort in 6 Â˝ years, so there were a lot of changes â€“ mostly for the better. I stopped going here in 2010 when they were building the first new wooden Chalets, because I liked the small quaintness of the resort at 36 rooms, not 100+ that it was increasing to. Not to mention ,as I kept reading in subsequent reviews, it took them 6 years to increase the facilities to accommodate the increase in guests â€“ new Buffet Dining Room facility, where there were enough seats , plates, cutlery so that people were able to eat , and not continually complain about lack of these things â€“ kudos to DL for finally doing this !On that note, I was always satisfied with the food in the past, the freshness, taste, traditional Cuban style, and sufficient variety expected at a 2.5 star â€“ no complaints from me. But now, I found it even more delicious, fresh, plentiful, well presented, and yet still served up with the same Cuban warmth and hospitality by the Dining Room staff (most of whom were there 7 years ago). I do miss the open air of the old Buffet, as I am not in Cuba for Air-conditioning, and it is too bad they have nailed all the windows shut in the new facility. But it is what it is, and I am not a complainer... it is comfortable, bright, clean and, most importantly - sufficiently larger. I also must say that I read a few previous reviews from this year, and I honestly cannot understand the issues some people have with the food- yes, I saw the oxtails, beef tongue, or liver on the buffet, same rices, pastas daily, and chicken hash- but guess what, if you donâ€™t like those foods, donâ€™t eat them, simple â€“why complain? Besides those traditional variety meat dishes, there was ALWAYS at least 2 other choices of grilled chicken, pork, or fish. I had roast turkey, roast chicken, grilled chicken & pork tenderloin, fish, tender beef, fresh boiled potatoes daily, Brusselsâ€™ sprouts, mixed veg , and many other tasty cold & hot dishes most days , not to mention fresh fruit & veg, delicious desserts available at every meal- it is unbelievable to listen to these unwarranted complaints about food â€“ Cuba is not Paris, please realize this, people!Someone else was kvetching in a review about the Lobby being disgusting and all ripped up when they arrived. Oh dear, how inconvenient for you! It was ripped up section by section, each day while I was there, and before the end of the week, it was finished & looking great, with brand new non slip tiles! Come on people- they are just making improvements for the guests!! The day before I left they had moved the Lobby Bar across the grass, to where the old Beach Bar was â€“ to now reno the Lobby Bar â€“ great idea! But again there were grumbles from the naysayers that week, too....Some other new changes for the good were the newly Renoâ€™d Beach Bar, the games room, the A La Carte Restaurant, nightly entertainment, 24 hour Bar, Towel Center & massages - all the flora, foliage, shrubs and trees have grown and are more beautiful , well groomed, and healthier than ever. Most of the staff are the same as when I first started going there, and even though I had not been in that many years, they all still remembered me, and greeted me with warm smiles, great big hugs and besitos on both cheeks- this was a great feeling of comfort and security â€“ itâ€™s why Cuba always feels like my second home â€“ the wonderful lovely people!My room was across from the pool, and had the same quaint charm as always, as well as being clean, comfortable for sleep, quiet , & air conditioned. It was nice to now have the option of seeing a nightly show, or going for a late drink at the Bar, if one chose ( No nightly shows in the past & Bar closed at 10pm). I enjoyed a delicious dinner for repeat guests at the new a la Carte restaurant, a 5 course meal featuring tender chicken breast. The others at my table had lobster, and beef tenderloin, also delish. All was served efficiently, in a friendly manner, with great care to detail â€“ well done DL ! As for someoneâ€™s review comments on Cuban guests being loud & leaving garbage, there were several large groups of Cuba families there during my week. Firstly, they are paying guests and have as much right to be there as you! They had fun like the rest of us, maybe they are loud, but guess what â€“ they are Cuban â€“ just a passionate people! And as for garbage left behind, I saw none of that. However, I always take my empty cups, glasses, trash to the Bar when done, just the right thing to do â€“ and it disgusts me at how many other non- Cuban tourists just leave a huge mess on their tables, and do not clean up after themselves ! Just sayin â€“ check your own back yard before you criticize others.Having touched on the good stuff- I do have several Cons to point out:1. On Cuban Day, they had Cock Fighting - I realize it is a Cuban tradition, thus it is part of the celebrations, but I am one of those who do not believe in cruelty to animals. I know they had them protected from hurting each other, but itâ€™s the principal of the matter. Unfortunately, there were some of us who did not attend the Cuban Day meal or celebrations, but that was our choice. Perhaps they could omit this part of the celebrations in future ... just a suggestion - not the end of the world if they donâ€™t. 2. The other thing, which again could not be helped, was construction in the bathrooms at the Beach Bar, which are the closest to A la Carte Restaurant. I had to use the bathroom the night I was in the a la Carte, and was led by Kitchen staff, through a muddy puddle path (was raining) in the dark, to a bathroom behind the kitchen, without a door, & no lights. Ok, I can deal with all that â€“ itâ€™s Cuba after all â€“ but there was not even running water in the taps to wash hands!!! When I questioned the kitchen staff, they just said sorry. Ok if this is the bathroom for kitchen staff â€“ I truly hope they are washing their hands when back in the kitchen!! Again, for me, itâ€™s just one of those hygienic things that some of us try to ignore, as itâ€™s Cuba - but it does bear mentioning, as there are folks who would be extremely alarmed by this, so it really should be addressed!After a most relaxing and enjoyable week at Don Lino, I have to say Gracias de mi Corazon, to all the wonderful hard working staff at Don Lino ( too many names to mention), but especially Adrian , who has made a lot of differences in improving the resort, and for being so approachable and easy to talk to, not just to the guests , but also the staff - it really makes a difference ! After 6 Â˝ years absence, I will not stay away so long again, and canâ€™t wait to return for my next relaxing week and see what new improvements await. Cuidate mucho, a mi gentes de Don Lino !
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 Meals daily plus snacksÂ
- All drinks (domestic beer & cocktails)Â
- Daily activitiesÂ
- Nightly entertainmentÂ
- Tennis courts
- 36 cabana style bungalows
- 1 Buffet Restaurant
- 1 Snack bar
- 2 Bars
- 1 Pool (with children's area)Â
- Games roomÂ
- Tennis courts
- Sport area for playing baseball and beach volleyball
- Horseback riding (fee)
- Bicycles (fee)
- 2 Twin bedsÂ
- Satellite TVÂ
- Safety deposit box (fee)Â
- Bathroom with shower onlyÂ
- Max occupants 3 (no more than 2 adults)
Resort Location Map
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Playa Blanca, Rafael Freyre, Rafael Freyre Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
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