Sol Rio de Luna y Mares CUBA
Let me share with you our CUBA experience and all the important information and facts we had a chance to find out during our holiday. We visited Cuba in March 2015 by Thomas Cook UK from Gatwick Airport – 14 days all-inclusive in resort Sol Rio de Luna y Mares in Guardalavaca, Holguin, Cuba.
It started in December 2014 when we saw nice pictures in the windows of Thomas Cook at Marble Arche in London. We know we must visit this beautiful country. It took us a few days to choose the resort where to stay in Cuba because we wanted to fly only from London we chose to go to Sol Rio de Luna y Mares, a great resort with an awesome beach and beautiful dolphinarium just 10 minutes away. When we were choosing this resort the most important was: “AWESOME, GORGEOUS BEACH WITH A LOT OF PALM TREES.”
Holiday package price: £1,045 per person
Our all-inclusive holiday included:
- Flights including 20 Kg luggage and meals + we paid an extra £15 for window seats – this we can recommend for 8,5 hours flight
- 14 nights standard room
- All-inclusive 24 hours for all food and beverages
- 4 x free dinners in A La Carte restaurants of the resort
Sea View Room
We just finished our drinks and check-in was done. We changed our standard room for an Ocean view room on the second day.
Room # 3040 in Mares part, was not a standard room, we paid extra for it – 15 CUC = USD per night = 13 nights x 15 CUC = 195 CUC.
There was a huge bedroom, a large bathroom with a toilet, an extra separate toilet, a private bar with a living room, and one small room and a large balcony with amassing oceanview. Our apartment had a beautiful view of the ocean, beach, pool, restaurants, and the whole resort.
The room was really big for us – 2 adults.
There was an old TV, radio, coffee machine, and fridge in the room. The whole room was beautiful.
We had very good cleaning service every day – new mineral water, new towels every day.
Sol Rio de Luna y Mares – check also the video of our standard room in Luna
Mares part of the resort is busier because in front of it is the everyday program, main restaurant, and bar. We loved it because we had nice music in our room and it was not boring. We could watch the program from our balcony. We enjoinedit because we are young 🙂 I think Mares part is more for young people because it is more busy and also more comfortable. The best thing was that the main restaurant was on the ground floor of the Mares part so we went down by elevator and we could eat. People from Luna part had to walk to come to eat in the main restaurant, to see the program and so on. Lunapart was quite good for reading books, relaxing, and families with small kids.
We also visited the nearest small marketplace in Guardalavaca by a horse coach taxi for 15 CUC return ride. It was lovely! The market was small just to see some homemade souvenirs and go back, there is also a beach next to the market but it is open to the public so many Cubans are offering you their goods.
Beach, Pool, Sun & Towels
Playa Esmeralda is the name of Sol Rio beach, it is an amazing huge beach with soft white sand and a lot of sunbeds withumbrellas. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a sunbed with an umbrella because many people wake up early morning to put on sunbeds their towels or hang a bag under an umbrella to show that it is only for them from 6:00 AM to late evening, even if they spend there only a few minutes they keep their sunbeds reserver the whole days and the same problem is with sunbeds next to the swimming pools. You can see it also on our videos the beach and pool are empty but you do not have any place because of people who reserve their place for all day time.
Sol Rio de Luna y Mares Swimming Pool Area Mares
We arrived in the evening in Cuba and in this resort so we were really happy to go to see the beach morning. We run to the beach early morning to see it for the first time and believe us we were surprised that the beach is full of towels on sunbeds under umbrellas! No people in the water, no people on the beach, no people anywhere! Only towels 🙁
There is no problem with sunbeds but you can not be under an umbrella, there are 2 or 3 men who will bring you new sunbeds anywhere you want but you will need to stay under palm trees or in the sun. It is funny that all sunbeds with umbrellas are reserved but when you are there you don´t see anybody to use them only towels. Sometimes we stayed there the whole day and from a group of 7 reserved came 1 or 2 and the other stayed in the bar or somewhere, but not on the beach.
We had a nice view of the main swimming pool in Mares part from our balcony. After some time we realized that the same people reserved the sunbeds next to the pool and also at the beach but they even did not use them. Usually you could see them at the bar, or in restaurants or you even could not find them.
This was only negative of our Cuba holiday but it is not because of the resort but guests.
Food, Drinks, Service & Tips
We must say that the food was excellent and we could eat as much as we wanted. There was a main restaurant in Mares part which served Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in the form of a buffet with fresh stations such as a grill, pasta, pizza, and a fresh juice bar. The selection of food and desserts was huge.
Every day we saw from our room that the breakfast was ready so we sat on the terrace on one of the best tables. We loved the fresh juice station and every day we ask a chef to make us fresh juice without added sugar from guava, banana, and papaya.
There was also a fresh omelet station with a very nice lady making omelets as we wanted.
LUNCH & DINNER
Lunch and dinner were quite similar with little differences. There were fresh grill stations for meat, fish, and pasta. Usually, we had to wait a short time to get fresh grilled food because of a queue waiting for their food. There were also fresh pizza, seafood, and fruit stations. At the end of the restaurant was a huge desert buffet with a great selection of Cuban deserts.
A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS
A part of our all-inclusive package was also 4 included dinners in the A la Carte Restaurants of this resort. There were 4 restaurants:
We could book them even more times because if some of them were not fully booked between 14:00 – 15.00 anybody could book any restaurant which had a place for free.
We must say that all of them were amazing and greatly decorated with friendly service and lovely food.
RESTAURANTS & SNACK BAR
During the day we could eat any time in 2 beach restaurants and also in the 24-hour open Snack Bar in Luna part. It was excellent to go to eat at a beach in a beach restaurant with a beautiful oceanview. We appreciate the nice service of the staff. When we went for a trip early morning we always eat in the snack bar in Luna part.
BAR & DRINKS
We could not believe when our all-inclusive package included all the expensive alcohol. We loved pina colada with Santiago de Cuba rum or Havana 7 years old Cuba libre, unbelievable! LOVE YOUR DRINKS 🙂
SERVICE & TIPS
The service was mostly fabulous and we could not say the opposite. Even the drinks were great and the bartenders did an amazing job.
We must THANK the receptionist who gave us our excellent room in Mares part and always was very friendly when she saw us.
According to the tips we are happy to give but sometimes you should give them to the people who help you but are not the biggest stars grilling your fish. We mean think also about guys at the beach bringing you sunbeds. 🙂
Events & Program
The most amazing part of Sol Rio de Luna evenings was their great events. The entertainment team made a lot of good job bringing us fun. They did a lot of events during the whole day so everyone could do what he likes. Our favorites wereWatter Ballet and Noche Bianca with the fashion show.
Everyone had dinner next to the Mares pool at Watter Ballet Show. We had it the first week of our holiday and we loved it! Great show.
We definitely recommend this resort and for sure we will come back! Thank you to the whole Sol Rio team who made our holiday unforgettable.
Top Things To Do In Cuba
This was our first big holiday far away from Europe and it was gorgeous. We wanted to try everything typical Cuban and also our dream was to travel all around this beautiful country. We planned all our trips on the second day and we booked them with our Thomas Cook representative in the resort.
We booked 4 trips, all by Thomas Cook Rep. in Sol Rio de Luna y Mares. It was a nice gentleman having a table next to the reception in Mares. Good to know – You can only pay for the trip in CASH! He will give you all info you need and also good advice. There is also the possibility to rent a taxi with a driver who will show you nice places, next time we will for sure use this option because we lost a lot of time in the wrong places and we could see definitely more for the same money. For sure choose the first 2 trips and the rest you can make on your own.
We were sure that we want to swim with dolphins it is the most exciting thing ever. When we were booking this trip we had a choice of Swimming with dolphins or Dining with Dolphins. There was a difference of just 1 CUC = 1 USD but the trips were completely different! Swimming with dolphins was just a half-day trip which included just 1 hour of swimming with dolphins with another 20 people. Dining with dolphins was much better it included 2 x 1-hour private swimming with dolphins (1x evening & 1x morning) + lobster dinner + 1 night in the dolphinarium house. This is our unforgettable memory which made this holiday magic for us.