Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

4.0 star rating

Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 6685 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-3.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Barry willey

    Reviewed by Barry W() on Sep 22, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    Brilliant hotel excellent staff very friendly and helpfull entertainers were fantastic you have to try the rum tasting with roberto he is excellent 5star treatment from himself and his staff the beach is fabulous so white and views stunning

    6th Visit and counting - home from home!

    Reviewed by Emma_sheffield(Sheffield, United Kingdom) on Sep 19, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    k so after returning from Cuba from my 6th visit and with family who have been 13 times to Cuba and over 10 times to this hotel I should be able to give you a pretty accurate review. Sorry it's long but just wanted to be as honest and accurate as I could be! Firstly, a little about Cuba. Please read up a little before coming to Cuba so your expectations are managed. Due to the political and economic situation sometimes things are not available...if you are missing tomatoes for a week (as we were due to a severe drought this year and crop failure), and this will ruin your holiday then don't come to Cuba! If, on the other hand you are looking for an experience where you can chat to a barman (/lady)/ horse and cart driver etc. and the next day you are going to thier house for dinner this is the place! Cuba is easily the safest island in the Carribean, the government understand that tourism is a massive industry and you are protected so much. I have seen instances where if guards on the beach in Guardalavaca even think you are being annoyed, they will haul a local away. ..and a note for the guy earlier in a review with the comment about "lazy" Cubans! You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about about and don't deserve to be in this beautiful country! They are the hardest working people I have ever met. Just to put things in perspective when we all think we have had a hard day at work. My Cuban friends work 6 days a week every week, often on 12 hour shifts. Nobody can afford cars as the old American ones are about £40k + to buy and a new, basic imported car would be £230k to buy for them!!! The last Wednesday before I left there was a meeting about a national diesel shortage so everybody had to change thier shifts to work 16 hours a day as the busses were only dropping off at 7am and collecting at 11pm. And all the hotel staff are STILL laughing and smiling and making your holiday amazing....oh and one more thing....all this for the basic living wage of around £40 a month and working in 35 degrees of heat day in day out over hot stoves, gardening, cleaning, running around waiting on people...and that is one of the reasons I love the Cuban people so bloody much. Sorry just needed to explain that! So about this hotel in particular... Luna VS Mares- so Luna is the quiet side with quiet pool, snack bar, international and italian a la carte restaurants. Mares is the more "noisy" side where there is a pool with bar, activities and entertainment as well as the main buffet restaurant. Food- Anybody who says the food is poor...I really don't know what you expect- Caviar for breakfast?! The main buffet has everything you can imagine for breakfast including meats and cheeses, pastries, toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, chorizo, bacon, yoghurt, fruit juice, cereals etc etc. Also there is a grill chef everyday to cook bacon how you like it/ fry fresh eggs and omlettes with your choice of ingredients. Lunch is a mixture day by day but always with a variety of foods. The snack bar at lunes has the most amazing beefburgers...think Macdonald's signature burgers but thicker ?? they are amazing! There are 2 x restaurants on the beach La pinta and La Niña. La pinta was open for the first week but currently closed for refurb. Both offer snacks at lunch and drinks from a bout 11-5pm. Dinner at the buffet is always a wide variety, I forgot to mention the pasta bar earlier but again you have a live chef cooking exactly what pasta you want...and the carbonara is just incredible! Only downside and the reason for 4 stars this year is that I don't think the food in the a la cartes is as good as it has been in previous visits...but have fed this back to management...hopefully it will be better on the next trip! In all honesty if you want good, honest food it's great, if you want smoked salmon and caviar you need a 5* somewhere else. Entertainment - Again it's Cuba so don't expect to be comparing it to the Cirque De Soleil! However there is something on every night and often from about 4pm in the Mares lobby they have something going on. The house band Carribean Son are amazing just to sit and chill to some amazing Cuban tunes (with a Spanish coffee-a must try!). They also have a water ballet show (actually this is similar to cirque de Soleil!) Which is unmissbale! They also have  other various shows which are worth a watch too. There are things going on all day from volley ball, to crazy pool games, to Spanish lessons, darts, scuba diving introduction, pool, horse riding ect ect. Robert on entertainment also runs local trips from the hotel for a few pesos, well with it! Most activites are free including the hobby cats, pedalos and cayaks on the beach. Rooms - Hotel is undergoing a refurb currently so it may be pot luck as to whether you get an older or newer room. The newer rooms have walk in showers and are stunning but even the older ones, although more rustic are always completely spotless!  Though in typical Cuba fashion I would check everything works as soon as you check in. If not, a quick call to reception and one of the great maintenance men will be up in 10 mins to fix anything! Safes and fridges are in all rooms and are free to use. Staff- The staff absolutely make this place. Jose, Junier, Yesisi, Yunier, Janet, Yusimi, Jorge, Liliena, and so many more!! I've been coming since 2011 and my family earlier than that! It's just home from home coming back the staff greet you like hero's and is never ceases to amaze me how they remember you! Talk to the staff! They are lovely and you will often find out so much about this wonderful country by having a conversation...i.e. due to the wages your barman could be a doctor/ teacher ect but it's more profitable to work in the hotel through tips...which leads me on nicely to tipping! Although nobody expects it from somebody earning £40 a month a couple of Pesos here are there will really help thier families and will be very much appreciated...plus to be fair aside from excursions it's the only way you will spend money! Money- As Cuban Pesos (CUC) are a closed currency you will need to take money in and exchange in Cuba.  There is a bank in the hotel to the right of Mares reception.  Make sure your bank notes are pristine! My dad had a few rejected for having marks on and one had a tear out of it that was about 3mm x 2mm and it was rejected. The bank's won't accept them so make sure these are perfect! Guardalavaca- Is a short way away and super safe to visit. There is a little market and then a boulevard to the left with some bars (it's about 1 x CUC for a can of beer!) plus a nice (though busier than the hotel) beach. You can get a bus or train from the hotel but I would go with one of the horse and buggy drivers. For about 10CUCS each way you have a nicer trip and often with a Cuban who can tell you about the country too ??. Ask for Udelkis (Pron. Adele-kiss) who speaks amazing English and will tell you anything you want to know about this amazing country! Had some great history lessons from him over the years Spa - The spa is a great place to relax there is a sauna, jacuzzi, plunge pool and sauna all free to use. Or you can treat yourself to the great services like massage, nails, hair ect. The team - Janet, Liliena and Fernando are brill there ??. That's about all for now any questions please ask and I'll do my best to answer...I am already booked to come back in May 2020.

    Good but needs updating

    Reviewed by Siân M() on Sep 15, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Admittedly the hotel does need modernising, however the management know this and have started this process with a 5 year plan. The rooms are clean enough and comfortable, just need better aircon. We were given clean towels when we put them in the bath and given a bottle of water for the room everyday. This hotel is old and you must understand that this is not the luxury expected, but the staff offer excellent service to make up for the shortfalls of the buildings. Yes, the only available food cooked to order is omelettes, fish and pasta but people fail to say how good this service is. The cooker to order food is tasty, hot and well prepared. The servers in Colon restaurant make sure you always have a drink and are the most friendly. Noelia (the most wonderful lady, alongside Lucy at breakfast) recognised me even though the last time I came here was 14 years ago and I was 7. The staff care and that is enough to make this holiday good. The beach is stunning and you can change your beach towels as much as you like. The beach bar is merely a short walk away from wherever you sit on the beach. WiFi is 1 peso per hour and yes this is for one device but please tell me what other hotel, apart from those where WiFi is free, offer this kind of deal. Most hotels in UK or other European countries offer per GB you use and at much higher rates. We used the pharmacy for after sun and were surprised how cheap it is. Definitely good to use this service if you need it. We partook in the rum tasting on Sunday, which is Cuban day. Robert and Anyer (sorry if spelt wrong) were fantastic hosts and made everyone feel part of the activity. I have never been to a hotel, all inclusive or otherwise that offers rum tasing, charactures or fresh coconut water for free. The staff do not expect a tip, however they deserve it. You do not need to speak Spanish to be made to feel welcome. It is polite to know basic phrases like “Hola” and “Gracias”, and you would expect to do the same in every other country. All the staff speak some English and various other languages and try their best to help you with this. The hotel even offers Spanish lessons every day. In 5 years when the modernisation is complete this hotel will be amazing. In the meanwhile, the service and beach makes up for all that needs doing to the buildings. Huge thank you to all the bar staff and waitresses and animation team for making sure this holiday is great. It must be difficult to face criticism for things out of their control.

    Not a 4 star hotel as advertised, would not recommend

    Reviewed by Shr84(Shrewsbury, United Kingdom) on Sep 14, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    This was supposed to be a wonderful honeymoon experience for my wife and I. We were sorely mistaken! Upon arrival we were handed a small envelope with an out dated map of the hotel complex. The electronic room keys instantly fell out of it, glad that didn't happen when trying to find where we were staying. The room seemed ok to start with until we found the ceiling was leaking through the light fitting! Apparently this is acceptable by the hotel! After demanding we change rooms I was told to return to reception (10/12 minute walk) where they would give me a key card to another two rooms, if either were acceptable then we could use it for the duration. Unfortunately, both rooms also had issues, one with no functioning lights, the other had the bath panel falling to pieces. Again, I was informed to return to reception for a further two keys! By this point we had both been awake for over 20hrs! We checked the next two rooms and as one of them had a leaking ceiling again whilst the other had a rusted (unhygienic) refrigerator, we temporarily accepted the last room for one night as we needed rest. The following morning we consulted the receptionist again as well as the Tomas Cook rep. We were informed to return at 2pm once people had checked-out so there would be a wider range to choose from. Luckily, I think thanks to the rep stepping in, the room which was prepared that day was perfect ... we thought! The maintenance of the rooms leave a lot to be desired. Unsafe sockets which are not repaired after being reported, lights not working and/or being leaked through by rainfall, iron provided but can't get out of the wardrobe due to the rail being installed too close to it, bedside sockets can't be used with standard adapters without the light switch being tampered with (too close). The cleaners, whilst friendly, never changed the coffee cups or glasses, the bed sheets were only changed when we directly asked the cleaner, on occasion dirty towels were replaced with other dirty towels. WiFi is available ... at a cost of 1cuc (Peso) per hour but only in the main lobby on Mares side and only using one code per room on ONE device. This was only explained to us after we had paid for a few hours. Buffet (Colon Restaurant) - The same food options were served everyday, with the cereals and milk under a heat lamp! The only hot food available to order is steak, omelette, pasta, fish. Snack Bar (Luna side) - On two occasions we were served under cooked cheese burgers, these were followed by unsettled stomachs the following day! Facilities - Mares main lobby toilets are awful! The gents have 4 urinals which were all out of order for our two week stay, which left the option of three cubicles. The ladies (I've been informed) seem to be lacking in seats for the toilets and locks for the doors! Entertainment - Same routines by the same performers week after week which start at 930pm, more often than not we found ourselves bored waiting for average entertainment which would end 45-60 mins later. Also, if you have no basic knowledge of the Spanish language you are extremely disadvantaged at this hotel! General Info - Poor at best. No instruction on meal timings, entertainment timings, how to make a reservation at one of the other five restaurants, is the tap water safe to drink, what wild life to avoid if you see it (snakes do appear) around the complex, the map provided is out of date. Honeymoon experience/treatment - What experience? A bad one! What treatment? Poor treatment! If on honeymoon surely you should receive something above and beyond the normal? We did not receive any special treatment or gifts/surprises. I would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone at any time EVER! This is not a 4 star hotel, 2 star at best!

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-1

    Service

    Service-3

    FOOD AND FACILITIES

    Reviewed by bigleung() on Sep 14, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    FOOD repeating again and again from breakfast to dinner. If you don't mind , you can always sharing the food with the Flies on the Buffet table. Rooms with water leaking from ceiling. My review : The Beach... **** All others:,,, .. * Not recorded to any one.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-3

    Service

    Service-1

    Value

    Value-1