Sol Rio de Luna y Mares
Talk to an expert who's been here!
Call 1 888 685 6888
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
This review is slightly late as I stayed here from 6th - 20th September 2016. Getting there:Firstly, flight was delayed by an hour, nothing you can do about that - it happens. But, after a 9hr 40min flight and approx. 1hr 15min transfer from the airport to the resort we had arrived. We were greeted with cocktails which was a really nice touch. However, we stood in line waiting to check in, just to find out that they clearly hadn't even noticed we were coming as they could not find us on any of their sheets. However, after penciling our names they gave us our room key (a blank card). We went searching around and found our room door. BUT, the key they gave us was not working! so my other half went to reception to highlight the issue and they told her that we wasn't opening the door properly. I beg to differ, we tried every possible way with no success. There was just a red light flashing every time we swiped our room card. After going backwards and forwards to reception several times I had got fed up and decided to get their "manager" who was useless and tried saying that it was the battery on the door that had died and they would get a technician to check it out. Therefore, I had asked for the "managers" manager to speak to me and they were seriously useless. They were a bunch of women who had no clue what they were doing and were just sniggering and slating people off in Spanish/French. Eventually the maintenance man came to our room door who was really friendly despite not knowing much English. He had explained to us that it wasn't the battery, it was where the women at reception have not correctly linked the card they gave us to that room door. Rooms:Well, after the long anticipated wait for our room, I wasn't expecting anything amazing after I had seen the state of other peoples rooms. It was OK, apart from a hole in the wall that had been disguised by pushing the bed up against it and broken plug sockets, it wasn't that bad. Oh, and the cat that had managed to get inside plastic roof outside our door and when there was a huge bang.. I looked outside and the plastic ceiling panels had fallen down. Excursions:However, besides from that incident that happened on the first day, the rest of our time was amazing. I would definitely recommend the dolphins. However, don't do it with Thomas Cook. As they charge at least 79 peso's just to swim with them. But, if you walk to the temporary dolphin pen which is a 2min walk from the hotel then you can do it for 20 pesos! And the person there took photos and videos on our phones for a tip. We gave 10 pesos as well as buying 1 professional photo from the screen booth for 10 pesos. The nature trail is on the way to the temporary dolphin pen and it costs 3 pesos to enter which is cheap. Took us an hour, you get to see a great view when you reach the viewpoint. We also done a daily activity through the hotel entertainment rep: Robert, which was the equivalent to doing Cuba Life through Thomas Cook. However, ours cost 15 pesos each instead of 55. I would recommend doing it as you get to see the real Cuba and not the watered down version that you see at the hotels across Cuba. You are free to walk off the hotel grounds whenever you like so don't be scared to get a taxi to Guardalavaca town and visit the markets! They have great things to offer. I would also recommend the horse riding, this cost 10-12 pesos per person and is a great experience.Food:If you want to go somewhere for nice food then it wouldn't be here. The Italian restaurant gives you a dodgy stomach. We didn't go to the Mediterranean restaurant as its just like eating from the buffet bar. The French restaurant is the best by far. However, the day after I was feeling rough and had dodgy stomach, I think it was from the French restaurant but it could of been a build up from everything at the resort. The food in the buffet bar is same-ish 7 days a week. If you're a picky eater then there is 2 shops on the resort which sell crisps, chocolate etc.Flies, birds and cats:Please be warned: If you don't mind having flies on 90% of the buffet food, birds flying in and sitting on the bread baskets and cats hovering around your legs then perfect - you're in heaven. However, if you don't then I would get to the buffet bar as early as you can before the whole animal kingdom swarms in on the food.Entertainment:They do try their best with the entertainment. But, it is very repetitive. Each week they have "fashion" shows, mediocre singers, karaoke etc. All the entertainment is on the Mares side. The Luna side is the quiet side, nothing over there. The Mares side is always lively. However, trying to get a table at night to sit at is like gold dust.Weather:The sun was scorching everyday, we couldn't leave the beach for a whole week - we were addicted. Average temp 34 degrees, breeze on the beach was so beautiful you could barely feel the heat. Spent 7 hours sun bathing one day, it was gorgeous. It rained 2 days for about half hour and that was it! To improve on:It would be nice if the Thomas Cook reps could make their selves present when guests arrive at the hotel so that issues that occur can be resolved very easily. Instead of having to wait until the next day to actually meet and greet your rep. Also, I think that throughout this review I have been very generous as there was LOADS of guests filling out complaint forms over the duration of the holiday.Overall:if you want to come here based on the food and quality of the rooms then you've got the wrong place. However, what you have to take into consideration is that this is Cuba. It is a poor, communist country so to many people this maybe luxury. But, to me it wasn't 4 stars as advertised. The reason I came here was to explore the beautiful island of Cuba, that is exactly what I done and I loved it. Most people are so humble, grateful and friendly. They appreciate all the little tips and go out their way to make you feel so welcome. The white sandy beach is to die for. The turquoise waters are beautiful. I loved Cuba, the scenery is gorgeous, the history is interesting and I would definitely go again. Maybe Havana next time though!P.S Everybody has their own opinions, taste and preference. Don't choose whether to go or not based on the reviews alone as some people may have just been unlucky, take the reviews with a pinch of salt! Good day.
The wife and I are regular visitors to this hotel and my review will not be the normal type. Being regulars we oversee and can forgive many of the minor problems that the hotel has. It is a three star hotel with five star staff,set on one of the best beaches in Cuba. We were at the hotel prior to [ and during the non-event of ] Hurricane Matthew and I would like to express my praise to a couple of people who worked above and beyond their normal capacities. Firstly - Lisandro. He worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of guests and safeguard his hotel from the ravages envisaged by the threatening hurricane and yet still found time to go out of his way talk to guests in a calming way. Secondly the Thomas Cook Rep- Nancy. She kept regular meetings with her clients to explain what was requested of them during the event of a full blown hurricane,and what could be expected during a hurricane. I could not imagine trying to tell people that they are likely to go through a life threatening event in the near future. She pulled it off in what I would call a very professional way. Lastly re the header---- the blue bridge over the lagoon has been painted two shades of brown.
Beautiful Cuba.If all people can do is take photos of room defects in this poor country then shame on them.As usual Luna and Mares was fantastic.Staff are the best anywhere in the world.Plenty of good food to choose from.Beach one of the best ever.Yanet in the luna bar along with amauray are the best.Nancy the Thomas cook rep was very good and gave us all plenty of information on Hurricane Matthew.Love to staff at Luna Mares
Arrived on the last week of Sep 2016 and stayed for two weeks. When arrived, my wife and I was allocated within the Mares (quieter) part. Room was large enough for the two of us, but was in need of decoration. Lamps were crooked (and stained), fridge rusting (altough clean on the inside) and many of the power sockets would not 'hold' either a USA or europe plugs (had to prop books against plugs to stop them falling out) - Balacony light switch was broken, passage light was not working, and main room lamps (either side of TV) rarely worked - sometimes both came on, or just one and even sometimes none.Air-con on was working - on the highest setting, cooling the room nicely.Was going to ask reception to move us, but when in reception, found many others having similar problems, with many with poor air-con, so decided to stay put.Spent most of the time around the Mares area, but then carpenters started to construct canopies, thus reducing the space around the beds around the pool. Many holiday makers resorted in using the Italian Restaurant area to place their sunbeds.At both pools, there were plenty of available sunbeds, so no need to 'reserve'.Didn't use any of the restaurants, other then the Snack-Bar and Buffet. There seemed to be mixed reviews, but looking at the menu, couldn't see anything that said to be 'yes, lets book a table'.Bars - Mares bar was quieter, usually a small band playing instruments to keep you entertained. If you ordered at the bar, waitress always said 'sit down, I'll bring your drinks to you'. Luna Bar (1492) was busier, but still waiters, came to tables asking you if you wanted more to drink.Beach - nice white sands, with palm trees. Accessible from either Luna or Mares.Mini-Gold - looked a bit tired - never say anyone using it. Pool table and Table Tennis Table in the Luna Bar.Two decent tenis/basket ball courts which were used frequently by holiday makers especially before breakfast before it became too hot.Shops - Mares had one, and had a few 'market' stalls selling cuban gifts. Luna had a few shops, but you had to know where they were. Also had similar 'market' stalls around the pool area. Bank - There was a bank, but each time I went (during it's advertised opening hours) it was always closed - However reception can change currency for you.Staff - All staff was found to be very helpful - this is what gives the hotel a better scoring with the holiday makers.Evening Entertainment - Shows in the Theatre - Circus, Black Night, an International show, Cuban show and in Luna Bar area a Retro Night, Karaoke, White Knight and many fashion shows. Water Ballet was cancelled. A few days later (Sunday), we were informed of the approaching Hurricane. Many guests, we thought were leaving for home after finishing their holidays, were actually being evacuated to the Cayos for 'Safety', and also those whose flights were due to depart on Monday/Tuesday.We were gathered in the Theatre for a meeting by the Thomas Cook rep (Nancy) - She explained what was being one, and what was requested by Thomas Cook, and refused by the Government. She stayed with the remaining guests until the Hurriacanne had passed, without leaving the hotel.We were moved into a 'safer' room on the Monday with the Luna part of the hotel. The room was in a better decorative state than the room at Mares, but the air-con was very poor - did not cool the room down at all ! No Bed clothes, but we were expecting to spend the night in the bathroom.Facilities reduced on both the Mare/Luna sides as they prepared for the hurricane, with tours being cancelled. No entertainment on the Monday night, but one of the musical guests who always takes his guitar on holiday, was allowed to play and sing a few songs.Then alcohol drinks stopped being served - a procedure the hotel followed, as a safety precaution. The Buffet restuarant had revised opening times. We were expected to be in our rooms by 8:00pm that night, and remain in the bathroom until you had the 'Knock' that informed you that the hurricane had passed.Nancy had regular meetings, informing not just the Thomas Cook customers, but those from other tour operators. Not sure why many reviewers thought they were left abandoned by the rep (unless they weren't a Thomas Cook holiday maker)We moved back to our original room on the Wednesday - It was good to have air-con again. Alcohol drinks were available on Wednesay morning - Really! is it that important. Services slowly resumed - It seemed Pool/Beach areas first, but generally all services back to normal with 24 hours - TV service in rooms took a few days before any TV channels were available again.Tours resumed - So those who had cancelled tours could reschedule.( A good selection to choose from ranging from around 40CUCs upwards, hotel did a few shorter tours for approx 10CUCs from the Luna side)As mentioned at the start of the review - I am not sure how this is classed as a 4 star hotel - maybe I've missed something !The 'experience' would stop be from visiting Cuba again, but next time it will not be this hotel.
My wife and I traveled to this hotel on the 22nd September for two weeks. As you will have read from other reviews there are certainly a number of pros and cons associated with this hotel. The positives of the super-friendly staff - they treat you like long lost relatives, impressive evening entertainment and beautiful beach certainly outweigh the negatives; out-dated rooms and poor food. The food was cold and repetitive. The live cooking stations were good though, as was the beach restaurant for lunch. We read about the rooms prior to arrival so we requested an upgrade which, after negotiating the price, we were very happy with. Room 5318 is huge, the views are stunning and it's highly recommended. The reason we chose this hotel was because of the beach and it didn't disappoint. We spent as much of our time as possible on the beach and in the sea. If we ever went back to this hotel it would be because of the beach. The staff are all really friendly, and are a credit to the hotel. Nancy, the TC rep is wonderful as well. We'd highly recommend hiring a Cadillac for the day and exploring the place. Our guide, Julio was terrific, despite having to spend half an hour fixing the car on the way home when it broke down. A great experience nonetheless. After visiting the 'paradise island' during our stay in a TC hotel in Mexico we were excited about the Cuban version. Don't waste your money though, we felt it was a real disappointment. The 'safari' was also a complete waste of time. The real negative for us was the hotel's handling of hurricane Matthew. They effectively shut the place down on Sunday evening, including sun loungers on the beach and pools and didn't reopen until Thursday. We lost three days of our holiday - everyone sat around doing nothing - and while the hotel can't affect the weather, they were very premature in closing the facilities. We had to move rooms as well but we received no help from the staff during the move. Overall, we loved the area - Cuba really is beautiful - and the beach is to die for, however when we go back to Cuba we'll likely try another hotel.
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
- Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
- Snacks 24 hours
- A la carte dining w/reservations
- Unlimited House Wine with meals, Domestic beer and International brand drinks, 24 hours
- 1 Introductory scuba diving lesson at pool/person/week
- Daytime tennis
- Use of mountain bikes
- Board games
- Pool table
- Horseback riding (1 hour per day, subject to availability)
- Daily activities
- Nightly entertainment
- Free admission to the Disco, drinks included
- 464 rooms in several 3 & 4-storey buildings with elevators
- 2 buffet restaurants
- 4 a la carte restaurants: Mexican, Italian, Creole and Mediterranean, dress code & reservations required
- 2 snack bars
- 24 hour Lobby bar
- 7 bars including Beach bar, Pool bar, Piano bar
- 2 outdoor pools
- Beach towel & chair services
- 2 tennis courts on-site (not lit)
- Meeting facilities (fee)
- Shopping on-site
- Scuba diving on-site (fee)
- Exercise room
- A range of non-motorized watersports available
- Beauty salon
- Massage services (fee)
- Car and moped rental
- Internet access (fee)
- Medical services (fee)
- 1 queen or 2 single beds
- Cable/Satellite TV
- In-room safe (fee)
- Full bathroom 220V (converter & adapter required)
- Max occupancy 3 persons
- Same as Hotel Rooms but with 1 king size bed
- Living room
For the Kids - Kids 4 to 12 enjoy supervised activities at the Kids' club, Playground and Wading pool. Babysitting service subject to availability. (fee)
Honeymoon Bonus - Includes: Guaranteed Private Check-in, Guaranteed Private check out, Room Upgrade Guaranteed, Flowers in the room upon arrival, Fruit basket and bottle of Cava in the room upon arrival, Housekeeping service after 11:00 A.M and before 15:00, Turn-down service in room, Amenities put in room daily, Welcome cocktail, Honeymooners romantic dinner ( for 2 people) and Honeymooners breakfast in bed day after arrival. Reserve at time of booking. Marriage certificate required upon check-in. Valid up to 6 months after wedding. Minimum of 6 nights stay.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Sol Rio de Luna y MaresHolguin,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Ctra. de Guardalavaca Playa Esmeralda, Guardalavaca 84170 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.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.