Framed by exotic greenery and set alongside a stretch of ice-white sand, the Sol Rio is in a first class spot. What’s more, there are a whole host of free watersports on offer at the beach – think windsurfing, snorkelling and catamarans – so there’s plenty to do besides relaxing.
Alongside the tropical gardens that cocoon the complex, the lagoon-like pool scene deserves a special mention. There are two huge outdoor pools to choose from, as well as a selection of roomy sun terraces. Factor in a poolside bar serving made-to-order cocktails throughout the day and it’s a great place to chill out.
Head inside, meanwhile, and you’ll find the vibe is just as laidback. Fresh cream walls provide the backdrop for simple wooden furniture and beds dressed in soft red cotton. Balconies or terraces come as standard, as do views of the gardens or the sea. In-room comforts like air-conditioning, satellite TVs and mini-fridges complete the picture.
On the food front, this place serves up no less than five restaurants. And with everything from big international buffets to authentic Cuban cuisine on the menu, there’s always plenty of choice. There’s a piano bar, too, and a beachfront disco, so nights at the Sol Rio can be as laidback or as lively as you like.
Based on 3265 reviews
- Official Rating
Unbeatable value holidays
- Wide range of destinations
- Opt-in extras like transfers
- Fantastic value for money
Food & Drink
|Dining options||Breakfast||Lunch||Evening meal||Drinks||Snacks, Icecream|
Buffet meals. 2 visits per week to the à la carte restaurants. National and international non-premium alcoholic, soft drinks and cocktails. Snacks at set times.
Facilities► View all
You'll find this good-sized pool at the Mares hotel. There's a section for kids, a sun terrace and a shower area. And there's a swim-up bar with drinks and snacks on offer.
Available from the nautical centre on the beach at no extra charge. For adults only.
Daytime activity programme
A varied entertainment programme for kids, teenagers and adults runs at the hotel during the daytime and evening. During the day we're talking archery, aqua aerobics, darts, dance and Spanish lessons, badminton, ecological tours, minigolf and horse riding.
Rooms ► View all
double room with sea view
Double room with sea view sleeps up to 3, with 1 double and 1 single bed. This room comes with an iron and board, TV, mini-fridge restocked daily with water and coffee-maker.
double room with garden view
Double room with garden view sleeps up to 3, with 1 double and 1 single bed - can be sold as a single. This room comes with an iron and board, TV, mini-fridge restocked daily with water and coffee-maker.
TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »
Great time at Luna Mares
Great experience. First time in Holguin. Beach is fantastic, deep and long with white sand and majestic palm trees and some other trees besides the usual palm leafs covered shades. The hotel grounds are beautiful with a lot of palm trees of all kinds and flowering shrubs and the cleaning is constantly going on. People are very polite and friendly. There are many bars and restaurants. We were staying in Luna but where mostly eating at Mares where there is a main buffet restaurant. Choice of food is great and we really appreciated fact that the food is healthy without hormones and chemicals. I loved having a juice, in the morning, that has been made out of the real fruit right in front of my eyes. We had reserved dinner at Cuban and Mediterranian restaurant. We liked food in Cuban and liked location of Mediterranian. Rooms have seen better times but everything was very clean and room decoration was of not importance to me. We have taken a trip called Cuba in side which included visit to Holguin, Gibara and the cigar 'factory' and where able to see how ordinary Cubans leave. I highly recommend it.More
lida p, Toronto, Canada
Fantastic Holiday, but hotel needs investment. Go with an open mind
We arrived on Feb 17th and decided straight away to upgrade to a sea view room, much cheaper at the resort than through Thomas Cook. We were handed the keys to 2 rooms and told 'take your pick', great touch we thought. We picked a room in the 5 block, unpacked, went to the buffet, got back to room, all 3 of us (including 11 month old Daisy) fell asleep on the massive comfy bed. Both rooms we saw were tired, but read all the reviews so was expecting this. Then at 4am I awoke to a dripping sound....... The room was leaking from the balcony above directly into Daisy's travel cot. Lucky she was not in there. Trek to customer services saw us moving to a better (dryer) room 6314 with a fantastic view at 430am on the first morning. We are open minded people. Happy a new room sorted quickly, and hotel washed our bedding and cot mattress we took. However, air con really was poor, nothing could be done, our flush broke and toilet leaked on the 3rd night in the room, and there was a mix up with 2 birthday cakes, one which we eventually got with no knife to cut just as we were getting into bed. All discussed with customer relations through our excellent Thomas Cook rep Urli, and they made things right with a special night with sea view meal, late check out, and a cake at last! They really did make us feel special, and that is why I give 4 star and not 2 or even 5. They do well at putting right the wrongs, but as the buildings are tired a lot can go wrong. We were really bored of the buffet food by the end. The standard and choice at the Sol Cayo Coco was much better. We felt they were under staffed, particularly at the breakfast buffet on the quiet side where there were always plenty of tables but none of them set up. This is not the staffs fault as they work tirelessly and are brilliant. The French was excellent, closely followed by the Italian , then Mexican. For Cuba that is. Bones and gristle in the chicken at all 3 were standard. The pools are big and well maintained, the grounds are beautiful and immaculate. The beach stunning. Loads of shade at all times and plenty of beach beds brought to you with a signal of how many you wanted. The sea was clear and warm. Entertainment through the day - wonderful. Always something on. And no pressure to join in, just do it if you want. Loved coming from lunch and seeing live musicians at both lobby's. Did not see any of the night entertainment. We go to bed early and sober to enjoy the next day. I really liked I could get 7 year aged Havana Club in the AI. Great rum I can recommend to all. As I said we travelled with our 11 month old and took our own travel cot. Having seen some of the cots used, I would recommend taking your own (free to take with Thomas Cook if travelling with infant under 2). Urli the TC rep was awesome and we did the Dolphin Trip. Urli gave great advice about this which enabled us to get Daisy to meet and touch 2 Dolphins for free. And I got to take part in the show. We took a horse and cart to the local market. At 20 peso return worth doing. The cigar shop and 2 shops are stocked well, and always local traders about the hotel too. We also did the nature trail. Hard work with a buggy but again nice to get out and do something different. But what made this trip and hotel great was the staff and guests. You all made our 11 month old Daisy feel like a princess for 2 weeks. Whether you waved, gave her chocolate, spoke to her or made her smile. Daisy also had hand and mouth on the trip which was caught in the uk, and symptoms developed on holiday. The medical staff at the resort are brilliant. I just want to thank everyone for making Daisy feel so special for 2 weeks. We hope we did not ruin anyone's time when she got grumpy on the odd occasion when tired. Special thanks to the Canadian lady who looked after Daisy when I had to take her to the buffet alone one night when I got her food. Overall, we preferred the sol Cayo coco for the food, rooms and sea. This hotel had a better beach, entertainment and variety of things to do. You can find that review on my profile Please do go to the SRLM, but be polite when it does not go to plan, the customer relations team do put things right. Once again, thanks to all the staff and guests who treated Daisy so well. We were privaliged to spend 2 weeks in your company.More
Stayed here February 2013 . We stayed in the older side of the hotel, rooms were clean , but could do with a refurb. Food was good cocktail's very good, Staff were very friendly. The beach was lovely and the beach bar were also you could get lunch was a friendly atmosphere and handy , no need to get changed to go for a drink or food at the main restaurant's during the day, all cocktails made fresh at this bar also. We did the trip swimming with the Dolphins which we both really enjoyed and got some great photos for the albums. All in all a very good Holiday and great place to stay ....More
Carol P, Telford, United Kingdom
great two weeks.. but !!!!
bit late to write this review. stayed jan 6th- 20th. great weather, food and fantastic staff. one minus point. the BENIDORM lot have found cuba thanks to thomascook. iam no snob but they will kill this resort.... More
simon m, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Long Overdue Review: Best Service & Beach EVER
Let me first say, this will be long! I am long winded in general, and I've been meaning to write a review for SRLM for the past year (or three), since I returned from my second trip to this amazing resort. So sit down, grab a drink, and make yourself comfy! Where to begin...Me and my wife picked SRLM for our wedding back in May 2011 and took a return trip April 2013. For those folks looking to get married at this resort, let me say it was one of the best decisions we ever made! We actually had a huge medical problem when we had our wedding, through no fault of the resort, and their help in that matter let us know this was the right place and also ensured we would remember the resort fondly for the rest of our lives. I was a bit wary at first, as I am very detail oriented and it seemed like some of the planning was left a bit too up in the air for my liking, but with my wife’s direction I was able to relax and let things unfold as they may. From the moment we got there, my mind was put at ease about the wedding plans. The customer service at the hotel was on top of EVERYTHING, with a very special shout out to Lily as she was everything you could hope for and more, in terms of a wedding planner. Everything was set to go and then BAM! the day of our wedding my wife gets extremely ill and everything is thrown into disarray. Compounding this problem is that the law official preceding over the wedding is only there certain days (we wanted to reschedule for later in the week but they were booked with weddings every day and only schedule so many a day as to not interfere with each other), for certain hours, as they are shared among the hotels to perform services. As my wife’s condition deteriorated further, it is clear we are not going to be able to go ahead with the ceremony as planned. At this point (much to the dismay of my Mother who still has yet to forgive me) we decided that in order to get this done and be married officially, we would do the proceedings in our hotel room with just the law official, Lily, and our witness's from the wedding parties. The resort was more than happy to accommodate this request. The only real downfall, besides my mother’s anger, was that the official wedding dinner was unable to be rescheduled, so it still took place that night without us in attendance. By all accounts it was a beautiful dinner and setting (beach bar) and since they knew we could not attend, the staff brought us up the wedding cake and a few bottles of champagne. Now this is where they really went above and beyond and Lily endeared herself to us for the rest of our lives. Knowing that we obviously expected to have a ceremony, and that the large party of people that came with us expected to see one (45 other guests came with us for the wedding), they helped make that happen even though it seemed improbable as they were busy with many other weddings scheduled to take place. As stated before, they will not do too many weddings on the same day, and there was a wedding already scheduled for the afternoon the day after we got married in the hotel suite, BUT, it was an early afternoon wedding so that left some time afterwards. Lily arranged for us to still have a ceremony, after the other wedding took place. Above and beyond that, she saved the flowers from the day before and arranged them at the Gazebo as we had requested originally. She also decorated with our original supplies, and rescheduled our reception so it was held that night after our "faux" ceremony. Lily also attended to being the "faux" official and read through the ceremony as the law official would have. Lily also rescheduled the photographer for us, so everything was captured in pics and on video. Last but not least, the cost ended up being much much cheaper then we budgeted for, to the tune of a few hundred! It doesn’t seem like much, but for people that are already dealing with the high stress of getting married, and then to run into such a dilemma with somebody falling ill, the steps Lily and the rest of the staff took to ensure we still had our dream wedding, well that kind of service is beyond words. They had many other things and weddings to attend to and it would have been easy enough for them to leave it at us getting married in our room, so to go out of their way and ensure we still had a ceremony and reception to be proud of is something we will always remember. Almost all staff we ran into, once my wife was up and about, had kind words for us and asked with concern how my wife was feeling/doing, just amazing. One last huge shout out to our bartender at the reception, who we also befriended and saw on our last trip there, Ivan, hope all is well friend! What a hard working individual, that always had a smile on his face and a kind word…can’t wait to make it back and see you again! Now to the meat of things…told you this would be a long one! First trip we were in the 5000 block in the suite on the top floor…AMAZING is all I can say about that room! I stated several times to my travel agent and customer service at the resort, I don’t care what it costs I just want the best suite the hotel has to offer and boy did they not disappoint! Two bedrooms, of which we only needed one, but the extra one was a blessing in disguise as it was the overflow room for bridesmaid dresses and wedding gown. Living room area with two nice chairs and a couch, tv, coffee maker and sink and full bath. Huge main bedroom with a balcony off of it, and an ensuite full bath, and of course a huge king size bed! The feature that really blew me away was the balcony off of the living room, or as it should be properly referred to, the terrace. There was enough room on this terrace to fit 20-30 people comfortably! The view from there was incredible, and if you didn’t feel like going to the beach or pool, the terrace provided plenty of space and sun to relax. Second go round we got a standard oceanview room, however, we specifically requested the 5000 block again (we are biased but we feel it has the best views, and most importantly it is the most central building on the resort straddling the Luna and Mares sides, while also being the building closest to the main entrance to the beach and disco bar area) and since we were in touch with Lily beforehand, she had arrange for us to be in the 5000 block as requested! The room was again great, albeit not as wonderful as the suite, but definitely nothing to frown at. A little disappointed in the towel art the second go round, but if that is the most major complaint, it means things are pretty good! I’d also like to mention that, during our wedding trip, there was a handful of young people around our age in attendance, so on our second last night we decided to hold a little youth gathering on our terrace. The hotel was kind enough to grant my request for a few bottles of bubbly, which again just goes to show the above and beyond nature of service. One final service detail from our wedding there, on our first day there (as we arrived late at night) we sort of threw stuff out of our luggage and had the bed, as well as a bit of the floor, an absolute mess with clothes and wedding stuff. When we returned from the beach that first day, I thought to myself in horror, oh no we forgot to put up the do not disturb sign, so I hope housekeeping didn’t come by because we had left the place a mess and hadn’t left a tip! (not obligated to tip, we just believe it is a common courtesy). What I saw when I entered the main bedroom floored me…not only had they came in and cleaned, but they hung up our jackets and some other items that should be hung, and had cleaned the whole room and made the bed, however, they must have moved our items to attend to the cleaning and yet they left it like they never been there as they put our items back in place! So the bed was made, but our pile of stuff on top of the bed looked untouched! I was truly impressed with that as I figured they would leave the stuff in a pile, or just think we didn’t want our room serviced and forgot to put up the sign. The resort itself is nice and large, but also doesn’t feel too big. If you are going with a group of people, you can easily find them or run into them, but you can just as easily go all day without seeing them if you wanted! Great amenities on site, with a cash exchange, cigar shop (great service in that shop as well, had an issue with a cigar or two and they were happy to replace them without fuss), and two “corner” stores. Plenty of bars, so one is never too far out of reach. Cocktail bar/lounge by the jazz bar was our bar of choice, but if you want things more lively the main lobby bar is the place to be. That being said, we always ended up at the disco bar every night and afterwards the 24hr snack bar to finish things off and help soak up some of the drinks! Not to mention the BEST bartender on the resort resides at the disco bar…Thank you Rudy, for all of the late nights and great service! Sometimes, at some bars, drinks would take a little while to get, but it is a busy place and just remember the staff is there to serve everyone, not just you! We did not find we got preferential service for tipping, which we actually appreciated, so do not think that is the route you have to go, if you want better service. If anything, be friendly, respectful, and engage in some dialogue and that will go farther than any peso tip. For those looking for great lattes/cappuccino, 24hr snack bar and cocktail bar nearby are great, but the main lobby bar always made the best ones! There are well kept tennis courts and a basketball court as well that is in good shape. The mini golf is a little lacking though. I cannot comment on the gym, however, the spa became a daily routine for me on the second trip. Nothing like hitting the beach at the end of the day, and then heading up to the spa for a quick hot tub dunk, good steam in the sauna and then a cool down in the warm wading pool! In terms of shows/entertainment at the theater, I can’t compare but I have heard many people say it isn’t better or worse, then any of the other resorts. Me and my wife attended almost all of the shows our second trip around as we figured might as well get our monies worth and there wasn’t much else going on at that time of night as the disco would not yet be open. We enjoyed the shows, if for nothing else then it being a change of pace. As always the water ballet is the best show by far, don’t miss it! Access to free paddle boats and mini catamaran (hobby cats) rides was also an added bonus. I can’t speak for archery and shooting, but the animation staff did seem to have some success organizing beach zumba classes as well as some beach volleyball. I am, by all accounts, a very picky eater (do not like diary, cheese, creamy sauces, allergic to shellfish) and I liked the food at the resort! The best man in my wedding, who admittedly did not like the food much the first go round, enjoyed it very much his second stay after I told him to use all of his a ’la cartes, what to look for in the buffet, and most importantly got him HOOKED on the fresh pasta to order station! When we went to the buffet, we always attended the one off the main lobby, but we never found reason to go to the other honestly! The buffet is open for a while at dinner, so no need to rush! If you come in the middle of service though, expect to wait a few minutes before being seated. That being said, out of our weeklong stay we only had to wait once to get into the buffet. As with all buffets, if you get there early you get the pick of the best items available, as there were a few nights that we found some AMAZING eats, only for them to have run out by the time we went to get seconds and have the items replaced by something else. That being said, PLEASE do not over fill your plate with a bunch of food that you are not sure you are going to eat! If you haven’t tried it before, take a small amount to see if you like it and don’t just assume you will. I am horrible for wasting food at home, but when I am there it just felt so dis-respectful that I made sure to watch how much I put on my plate so that I didn’t have staff throwing out full plates of good food because I was full or didn’t like something. Buffet items get switched up almost daily, so don’t fall in love with something and be open to trying new things! That being said, if you can’t find anything you like then I would suggest the pasta bar, as who doesn’t like pasta!?!? Pasta made to order and it was always delicious, with a nice marinara meat sauce and some additions if wanted (extra garlic!, cheese, salt and pepper etc), combined with some of the bread and/or rolls they had available, there is no reason to ever leave the buffet hungry! They also had an alfredo sauce, again, picky eater so I cannot comment on if it was good or not. Bacon is a bit fatty at the breakfast buffet, but remove the fat, grab some toast (eggs if you wish, not for me with my dislike of diary), fresh squeezed OJ, fresh fruit, coffee, and some hash brown patties and you couldn’t ask for more! Apparently the made to order omelet station is a must as well. A’ la cartes were always good, yet we only ever tried the Mexican and French, and like everyone says the service at the French is extremely classy and a great experience. Lastly, the beach bar (the one that doubles as the disco) had the best lunches by far! Every day they had a chicken dish which was seasoned chicken pan fried with bell peppers, and the fries that came on the side were the best on the resort…truly some of the best meals we had while we were there! What can be said about the beach other then it is amazing! White powder fine sand, not many bugs, crystal clear water, always a shady spot to find and a nice breeze, not much debris or seaweed, and only once did we have to wait for lounge chairs and even then the wait was only a few minutes. Water was warm, and had some nice waves sometimes and the beach itself is huge so it never feels overcrowded even if the resort is rather full. A side note about customer service again…on our first trip there we witnessed staff help a gentleman (who was there with his brother but confined to a wheelchair) down to the beach by lifting his chair up and carrying him in it, which once again blew me away. Back to things, when you picture a beach of your dreams, I’m not sure what else you could imagine to top this beach. Combined with the paddle boats and mini-catamaran rides and you could spend an entire week on the beach and leave happy! Can’t speak much for the pools because we spent all our time at the beach! Most people agree it is one of the best beaches in Cuba. Even one of our excursion guides, commented that for their money it was the best beach in Cuba, and I take that at face value because before he said that he said that if he had to pick a resort to stay at, it would be a different one that is more family oriented then SLRM, so I believe he spoke the truth about the beach. Speaking of excursion, DO NOT BOOK THROUGH YOUR TRAVEL AGENCY! Unless of course it is included in the cost of your package. I say this because once you get to the resort, they have a board of excursions that they provide themselves, and they are usually a fraction of the cost. An excursion listed as 80-100 dollars in the travel guide, would only run 20-30 if booked off the resorts excursion board. We ended up doing the fishing village tour and it was a great experience to say the least! We also made a great friend in our excursion guide, which made the experience that much better…we look forward to when we can return, Roger, and will most definitely take you up on your offer for dinner at your place with your wonderful family! Lastly, if you want to go to the market (which we did almost daily) take a cab as it is usually cheaper, especially if you negotiate with the driver beforehand. Going to the market is like a mini excursion in itself and the vendors change almost daily so it always has a new feel to it. You also run into people from all the other resorts, so if you want to make some friends that is the place to do it, along with the beach directly off the market. If your adventurous enough there are small restaurants run out of homes called Paladar’s and if you want a truly authentic taste of Cuba, as well as a good cheap adventure, then hunt some of them down and check them out…there are also a few restaurants on the beach adjoined to the market that are supposed to have a great atmosphere as well. I cannot say enough good about what many travellers lovingly refer to as their second home in SRLM. Truly saddened that we will not be able to make it there this year, but I believe some of our past travel companions will be making the trip so we will have to live vicariously through them! A few tips, or things that helped us out anyway. Any tip is appreciated! So while they are not mandatory, they are more than appreciated and the staff will show you that appreciation. Again, you won’t receive bad customer service if you don’t tip, but if you expect the above and beyond treatment then make sure you are compensating appropriately! If you have a problem, ask for help! If they are able to help they will, but if you let some negative things build up and explode on someone in fury, then don’t expect people to go out of their way to attend to you! Chef and food staff can be accommodating, so if you have a want ask and they will try to make it happen. We always bring a few items from home, but some main items we must have with us are; ketchup, crystal light singles (you can put one or two in the large bottles of water you get and just like that you have a litre+ of juice) and flavoured splenda packets (French Vanilla) for the latte’s, and that’s it! We have brought snack item stuff with us (bits and bytes, pringles, crispers, easy to transport stuff) but honestly we never usually get into it at the resort as it seems to be mostly eaten on the flight to and from and while waiting to board when coming home! Have a special request for an anniversary or birthday? Then once again ask and they will go out of their way to try and accommodate it, not to mention provide a lovely turn down service for that special day/night. If you are a returning guest, get ready for a touch of special treatment! I find the extra touches given to returning guests a breath of fresh air, as rewarding loyal customers is a thing of the past in North America; we tend to only offer incentives to brand new costumers (think cable tv, internet, cell phones). The returning guest treatment can start before you even get there, as if you have any special requests such as a preference to room in a specific section of the resort (we LOVE the 5000 block) or special occasions like mentioned above, you can contact them to make said requests and they will do all they can to make it happen. One last note about tipping…depending upon who you ask, some will say that you shouldn’t or do not need to tip, some will say only tip in peso’s and some will say bring hard to get items and tip with those…we generally appreciated the service we get there so we tip well, and we do not confine it to one or the other, so we give peso’s as well as some items, depending upon the situation. We do the traditional bring hard to get items that we generally pick up at the local dollar store, and we also have peso’s on hand whenever we go out. Above and beyond that, we brought a ton of hand me downs (I have two little brothers that just hit their teenage years, so needless to say they were in the phase of outgrowing clothes quickly) last time and it seemed they were appreciated more than anything. None of the stuff was in bad condition, just things that were worn a few times before they were outgrown. That being said, the hand me downs included old sneakers, track suits, shorts and hoodies as well as a few pairs of soccer cleats as both my little bro’s played the sport. We provided some of the hand me downs to our resort friends such as Ivan (hope the baby gear served you and baby on the way, well!) and Roger (hope your boys scored some goals with those cleats!) as well as the maid service staff that cleaned our room. However, the most rewarding thing we did was to bring those hand me down items with us to the fishing village excursion and provide them to the two room school located there, as we knew they would go to good use. Well, if you made it through all of that then congratulations! Hopefully this will help some undecided travellers pick this amazing resort as I truly believe a decision to go there is one you will not regret. One last thank you to all the wonderful staff there that have made this our destination of choice; Lily is the best customer service rep I have ever encountered in my life and as long as she is there the resort has nothing to worry about in that regard. Rudy and Ivan, your skills and service behind the bar, and your friendliness overall, is something that has made a mark with not only myself, but I am sure countless others that have been graced by your excellent service. The excursion Roger took us on will not be forgotten soon, and we truly felt like we made a friend with you and your wife, especially after the tour of your lovely home. We were truly disappointed our stay was not a night or two longer so we could take you up on your offer for dinner, but hopefully you are still around when we next visit and we can happily take you up on your offer then! Many many many thanks to all our “friends and family” (I would love to name all staff that helped make our stay's memorable, but my memory is lacking in that regard) at SRLM and hopefully we see you all in the near future! If this review helped you pick this resort, then have a drink for us while you’re there, and make sure to sing their praises in a tripadvisor review when you return!More
BeezyWeezy82, Halifax, Canada
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