Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Reviews

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Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort  

Playa Esmeralda, Carretera Guardalavaca, Holguin
(Holguin Maps)

"Amazing vacation April 2015. Solid 4 Cuban star resort and 5 star service!"
Posted by: George  on Apr 24, 2015
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Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Reviews
Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Pictures and Information
Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Playa Esmeralda Cuba

of 2 Hotels in Playa Esmeralda

User rating 4.4

Based on 35 reviews

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Information

The resort is surrounded by beautiful gardens in an area of ecological importance, typical of the eastern part of the country.

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Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Reviews

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 4.4 of 5 35 reviews
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"Amazing vacation April 2015. Solid 4 Cuban star resort and 5 star service!"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  George  on Apr 24, 2015  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2015 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
100 people found this review helpful

For over 15 years friends have been telling me how good the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares is. I finally went for the first time and I can honestly see why this resort is a favourite of many of my friends and the many Europeans and Canadians I met at the resort. I am well-travelled in Cuba and my opinions are based on my other stays at 4 star Cuban rated resorts. I think the SRLM is a solid 4 star resort but I will give my overall experience a 5 star rating.

The price point was usually my main reason for not choosing this resort in the past but I truly understand that you usually get what you paid for. We actually got this resort cheaper than the former RPT . I was a repeat guest at the former Riu Playa Turquesa (Memories Holguin now) and really enjoyed it there but I was not overly impressed with a recent stay at Memories Varadero and found the RPT on our last visit just prior to the hand over was constantly running out of food very early in the dinner and lunch sittings and many items were not replenished.

Hotel check in went very smooth and efficiently. Many guests were upset that the hotel could not accommodate their special room requests. ( I sent an email in advance and got a nice reply but was not given any guarantees either. They said they would try their best. ). The hotel was at full capacity and the front desk assured people that they would move them to another room the next day if they desired. I normally don’t like ground floor rooms but after seeing that we had both a slight ocean view and a nice garden/pool view with a fully enclosed patio/balcony on the Mares side, we decided to keep it after all. The Luna side is a little more modern and quieter but we actually didn’t mind a little activity close by. Our room was handy to the lobby bar and buffet. We went back to customer service the next day to tell them that we were keeping our room because they had already arranged for us to see another room. Yunier the customer service manager and his assistant Virgen Maria were very professional and sincere in ensuring us that we would have a great stay and were happy that we liked our room after all. Knowing that we had chosen the Sol Rio over our repeat guest status at both the Blau Coste Verde and RPT we were afforded many of the repeat guest perks at the SRLM. I can’t thank both of them enough for their very kind gesture towards us, it was definitely more than we expected !

Restaurants and Bars:
I thought the food in the main buffet was very good. Fresh meats , fish and pasta was cooked to your preference at separate stations. The beach grill by the Luna had a great a la carte lunch menu. The 24 hour snack bar made amazing pizzas , calamari and chicken cordon bleu to mention a few.
I only tried the Mexican a la carte and I really enjoyed it. It was a hit or miss for some of the other guests I spoke to. I enjoyed the food at the main buffet so much that I didn’t bother booking any other a la carte restaurants. I hate being on a rigid schedule when I am on vacation. The nice thing about the resort is that you could always go to the snack bar for a missed meal. We arrived for check in at the resort after lunch service and had a great meal at the snack bar.
The bar service throughout the resort was very good to excellent.
The staff IMHO is what makes this resort stand out from many of the others that I have visited. Even though the resort was at full capacity there were rarely any line ups for food or drink and the waits were very short when there was. We were always served very courteously. Tipping isn’t mandatory but is well appreciated and does not go unnoticed. I will not get into a debate as to how much to tip or when to but I generally tip here and there throughout the day after a few drinks are ordered or if I am served in the restaurants/buffet and if someone goes above and beyond I don’t hesitate to add a few extra pesos.
Yes the resort is a little tired in some areas but the rooms, lobby pool areas and the grounds and beach at the resort were very clean and everything functioned very well. If a light went out or something broke down it was immediately fixed. Most of the guests we spoke to felt the same way we did about the resort and were really enjoying their vacations. We met many repeat guests. It was nice not to be on a vacation where all you heard was bitching and complaining. There is always room for improvement and management is well aware of this and are always finding ways to make things better. They certainly know how to run the resort at full capacity!!!

The beach IMHO is the best in the Holquin region. Nice sand, plenty of palms and palapas, clean and no grass close to shore. There are some rocky entry points more so over by the Rio de Oro but they are clearly visible from shore. The snorkelling was excellent near the wedding gazebo at the Rio de Oro and there were plenty of fish and small coral structures and grass about 70 meters out directly in front of the Luna side of the resort. We enjoyed the beach so much that we didn’t even step into either of the pools once.

Flight :
Air Transat . The online check-in did not work and I was advised to keep trying when I called customer service twice. This was a little disappointing but we did however luck out on getting emergency row extra leg room seats on the way down. Oh well. We had standard seats on the way back and the seats had OK leg room. Our flight was on a Canjet plane. No free meals and headsets are $8 but I knew that before I booked. I think I will give Sunwing the edge as far as in flight service goes.

My hat goes off to all the staff and management for making this one of the best vacations I have had to date in Cuba. (Having absolutely gorgeous weather didn’t hurt either). I hope to return for another visit later this year around November or December.
Cheers George W.

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"nice trip for us"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  christy  on Aug 18, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jul, 2014 | Leisure | Family and Kids
128 people found this review helpful

I visited with my family and it was such a nice trip for us, we will be coming back here again next time. We had mixed emotions when coming to this place because some people said they had bad experience while majority had good experience so we just went with our guts and the majority and it turned out to be one of the best holidays we have had in a while. Everything was great, the hotel was clean and maintained properly by the management. The staff was friendly and they try by remembering people that they have met before. It is our first time here but whenever you meet any staff and meet them on another occasion, they surprisingly remember you so it was comforting that we were in caring hands. The rooms are spacious, very big and had comfortable beds enough for me, my wife and my kid daughter. The furniture was nice and the bathroom seemed clean and nice. The bathrooms worked well, the showers functioned well, the phones worked and wasn’t so expensive considering we have a teenage daughter who needed to reach her friends. If you enjoy activities on holiday, they have plenty to offer in terms of activities and you will hardly find time to stay moody in your room. They offer an inexpensive WIFI in the lobby area that is fast in comparison to other hotels we have been to in the past. Thanks to the management for looking after us during our stay.

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"Sol Rio de Luna excellent choice!"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Eva  on Jun 28, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
263 people found this review helpful

Travelling to Cuba since 1986. Sol Rio de Luna is the best we have ever encountered. Every aspect of this holiday exceeded our expecations. Specifically I woud like to mention the quality and selection of the food. Not typically a cuban forte it was excellent. I had a hard time keeping my weight!!! Some evenings offered excellent classical music live performances.

Negatives to take into consideration: Steep stairs and a steep pathway to the beach. This might be an issue for some guest. Brochure mentiones that Yoga is offered. I was tempted to bring my mat as I enjoy Yoga several times a week at home. Thankfully I decided against. Unfortunately the instructor was sick the ONLY day this was offered. Sick I can understand - offering something once a week is not really an offer. If that day is your arrival or departure that renders that unavailable. On the other hand there was no one else interested in the yoga session when I arrived - that might be the reason for the "sparse" offerings.

Room Number:

Excellent service!

Quite creative with an entertaining wall painting!

Restaurants and Bars:
Appreciated a snack at 1:00 am after our arrival at the restaurant/bar open 24 hours.


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The offered excursions are incredibly expensive. Example: A trip to see a farm, a school and some local market shopping at 100.00 per person - not sure if this attracts a lot of custoemrs.

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"I love this resort mainly for the people I have met over the last 20 yearson and off the resort."

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Brian  on Apr 24, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2013 | Leisure | Family and Kids
257 people found this review helpful

Until I found this resort I had traveled "all over the Caribbean"most islands twice never at the same resort.I had stayed away from Cuba due to American propaganda.When I finally tried Cuba I stayed at de Luna everything that was wrong with Cuba became clear to me very quickly"nothing is wrong with Cuba" U.S.lies.The food here is better then many resorts that I've stayed at two to three times the price.The poverty of the people of Cuba was not apparent,yes they struggle to survive;but no painful extreme wealth next to extreme poverty as in western type islands.In many ways I think Cubans are richer then us in the west they live with little stress and are a very happy people with close family ties and community.I was reminded by how safe it was to grow up in Ontario,Canada back in the 1960's.No need to lock doors people where talkative honest and friendly .This resort has been underrated year after year and in turn is great value.I like to be able to go out among the people and socialize.The rooms were clean and safe.The grounds are well kept and beautiful even after having to replace the beach sand from storm damage.Also damage from the odd hurricanes to the tree's where quickly treated and brought back close to its former beauty.Loads of interesting things to do close by tours,a marine land in the next bay and I enjoyed horseback riding and buggy trips out"Hola Joesph". I also enjoyed the local crafts people coming to the lobby once a week or a short trip to town to have a larger selection of fine art.The bands are great and I love the local music(Cheers Jose and Jaun Carlos The mystro.)I never worry about my belongings left by the pool,on the beach,in my room or on my table at night while I dance and enjoy myself.They have one masseuse guy known as a local old time witchdoctor sort of the man is magic.I enjoy it being out of the way if I wish to just relax I'll stay at de luna,if I want to have a party with loads of activity almost all night I book de Mares side.Good food and drink,music and entertainment,accommodations and beach,outings or a pig roast on the beach and dance the night or I should say morning away. This resort has it all a coral reef to dive on and local history and sights that I'm still discovering after twenty years of enjoyment.The little villages are nice and the people always friendly a smile and conversation is always tops when away from home.I your young and only want to get wasted then this is not for you.On one side it is a relaxing holiday on the other a good party time and adventuress you decide what one or mix of a holiday you want.Cheers Brian

Room Number:
6 rooms of preference

Room Block:

Well for me its like coming to my home away from home.Many of the staff have been here for ever? Its nice to go to a place that the workers remember your name your face and are genuine happy to see you again.The breakfast staff remember how I take my coffee and what I prefer the bar staff know my drinks and have been ready for me by the time I reach the bar.I have had some outing to their homes and treated as part of the family.You can't put a price on that!

Rooms are clean very relaxing decor and some with great views.They are secure and you will know your safe.Service if required is always trying to accommodate you the guest.Relax take it in and enjoy yourself its a place to rest once out that door you have many choices.Go for it !

Restaurants and Bars:
Great drinks and employees topped off with good food

A dream come true clean and enjoyable.

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"Dream Vacation"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Teresa  on Nov 1, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
280 people found this review helpful

This was my first trip in my life. It was everything I ever dreamed it would be. The staff were was excellent. I think I gained 10 pounds it was so good...contrary to what I was told it would be! I will go back again someday...hopefully soon!

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was excellent. I think I gained 10 pounds it was so good...contrary to what I was told it would be! Loved it!

The beach was phenomenal! Better than I imagined! 5 stars!

Other Comments:
I would go back every year if I could!

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"A Very Special Kind Of Hotel"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Margarita  on Sep 26, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
334 people found this review helpful

My husband and I travelled to this hotel Sep 15 for one week. We were looking for that very special place to spend our 35th Wedding anniversary.

We sure found it at SOL RIO DE LUNA Y MARES !!!! This is truly a very special kind of hotel and I will tell you why.

To start with, the location of the hotel is phenomenal, the view of the ocean from anywhere you are ,lobby, pool, restaurants and rooms is breathtaking.

The beach with its powdery white sand and perfect blue sea is a "snorkelers paradise" with fish of all colours and sizes just steps from the shore.

The rooms, and the hotel in general are spotless clean and the restaurants and buffet area are always clean and tidy and found there was no problem with flies or birds inside these areas.

Now , what I consider to be the best part of staying here is the staff of this hotel, everyone is polite, friendly, even funny at times and always ready to help you, from the front desk, the bartenders, our chambermaid Miladis,the waiters -special mention to

Jose Antonio at the Mexican, waitresses like Clara, the cooks -special mention to Roger at the buffet , to the beach guy Juan and all the workers who always give you service with a smile.

I believe all this is possible due to the fact that the hotel is run by a very professional, efficient , friendly and caring general manager Manuel Vazquez and his right hand Lisandro Ramos who is in charge of food and beverages at the hotel.

You will see them always in the hotel area talking to the guests and making sure everything runs smoothly. This, in my opinion puts this hotel above all the others in the area.

About the food, I must say I was quite impressed with the variety of fresh fish and seafood available at the buffet and cooked in front of you , the same with the bread , always nice and warm just out of the oven.

There was a great variety of meats, salads, desserts and oh...the ice cream to die for, better than gelatto.

It has 4 restaurants a la carte and the Italian being our favourite for its excellent salad bar, the French with its exquisite cuisine and service, the typical Mexican one, and last but not least The Romantico, on the beach with its great atmosphere.

They also have a 24 hour snack bar that comes handy when your flight arrives late at night.

It was a great holiday for both of us and we definitely recommend this hotel to couples , families with big and small children and singles.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to know something we forgot to mention.

Margarita and Isidro

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"Best hotel in Cuba"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Beata  on Sep 12, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) POLAND
Visited on: Jul, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
292 people found this review helpful

This eas my third trip to Cuba and first to Holquin. I love Sol Rio! Hteir staff always friendly, always helpfull. They changed for us rooms and gave us great room with a pool and see view. Food was excellent, entertainment too. Most likely people who complain about this hotel never been to Cuba before especially Varadero.
I have never gave any money tip to anyone and had great service. True I hade some trikets which gave to cleaning lady, cooks, reception and few bartenders. Big Lady at the Beach bar got my beach dress. It was a pleasure for me to give it to her.
I also swap some tshirts for cigars at the beach. when we were leaving staff came to say goodbye to our bus and guard from the beach gave us bottle of rum. Sorry but I am bad with names.

Room Block:
Sol Rio Mares

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"Don't come here. Please read!!!!"

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jose  on Sep 9, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Aug, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
315 people found this review helpful

I liked the surroundings, the pool during the day time, and several employees like Roger at the Buffet. On the other hand, customer service is horrible, elevators didn't work at least twice a day. Underage kids drinking (even with the white wristband). Many employees are hustling guests with fake cigars, and most of them don’t understand the concept of tipping, they will even ask for money. Entertainment is tailored to adults, not kids or teenagers. My wife got food poisoning at the buffet, I had to pay extra for things that were included in the package (scuba diving). If you have young daughters and still come here caveat! Employees don’t care they are underage.

Room Number:

Room Block:
3rd floor

There were only a handful of people in the bus, check in was quick. They ordered cold drinks for us in the lobby. The bell boy nowhere to be found so I carried my own luggage.

I paid an extra $15 a night upon arrival to have a beach view. Room is big, clean but the AC does not work very well. The bathroom is old and somethings don't work properly.

Restaurants and Bars:
I only used the buffet and the snack bar. The buffet is a little disorganized, they only serve coffee at breakfast. My wife got food poisoning here (we believe due to bad fish). Service is best here, but still lacks, employees hassle for tips.

Beach was not what I expected, definitely not the ones in the pictures. At least is quiet. Pool at the Mares is good, but stay away from the bar, no refrigerator in the bar, the poor woman has to come back and forth with ice, but it only lasts so long. The hotel surroundings are beautiful, out of this world.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities during the day are pretty fun, most of them in the pool. At night is for adults, and as I said a lot of underage drinking.

Other Comments:
Will never come here again. However I would like to try a different property nearby in Playa Pesquero, I hear the beach is a lot better there.

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Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Rolando Mora  on Dec 2, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
364 people found this review helpful

In the last two years we stayed in the same hotel 4 times. So that says a lot, you never go back to the same place if you don't feel like home.
My son and his fiance love the place.

Room Number:
2019, 4002

Like Always, just a few minutes at the reception. No standing in line waiting.
very, very quick checking in, as long as you have all the paperwork in order.

very clean, you can appreciated some age on the rooms and bathrooms, but sparckling clean.
The Ocena views are astonishing, sunset priceless.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants with a very good variety of foods and drinks.
The buffets serve for all the diferent tastes and flavors, not a single complain about it.
The snack bar is my son favorite, specially late at night, when he sends his fiance to get some snacks very late at night when we sit by the pool side listen to the oceans roar.
The bars, good, even we don't dring alcohol, they have a variety of non-alcoholic beverage for us, and most important the bartenders, they remember what we like to drink.

large enough to accomodate as many people as you want, never crowed, water clean and perfect, bartender at pool very carismatic.
Awsome beach, clear water, super white sand, some wave on the water and kind of deep for small kids.
You will enjoy everything around the hotel, just by walking and admiring the place.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We love all the activities, Everyday was something very different,
from clasic music (live) to dance, to a fashion show, to the perfomer of a Holguin-Michael jackson (this one stole the people's heart).
You will not get bore at the hotel.
And if you like excursions, there is one every day, where you can go and see historic places, or just go a visit another cuban places and its nice people.

Other Comments:
We will be back

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"Quite nice for first ever trip south."

Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort
User Rating:  Sol Río de Luna y Mares Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tony  on May 24, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
483 people found this review helpful

This was my first ever trip away to the south. We decided to go with Cuba and eventually at Luna Mares resort.
Overall, I would say it was better than expected considering the things we had heard about Cuba before leaving.
We wanted a quiet, layed back experience, and we got what we wanted. If you are into partying and a loud night life, Luna Mares is not the place for you.
There were more than enough daily activities to keep you busy if you wanted. Things like archery, water polo games, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water aerobics, paddle boats, snorkeling, and at night there was always a 45-60 min show of some sort at the theatre. Tony, the main activity guy was amazing, and alot of fun.
They did a pig roast for everybody one day for lunch, which was quite delightful.

Room Number:

Nolitours took care of most of the stuff for check-in for us, but I found the check-in process to be fast, and smooth, and a staff member was quick to take your luggage for you and direct you to the room. He followed with the luggage aproximatley 10 mins. later to the room. My only complaint, and it might just be my own fault for not going away before, was I didn't realize you needed to put your room card into a slot inside your rom inorder to get your electricty to work....should have told us that on check in, but only a small detail.

The room was a little worn and dated, but not a big concern. The big king size bed was a little hard, I slept fine, my wife not as good, but still ok. The bathroom was again worn a little, but everything was clean and fuctional.
The balcony was nice with a beautiful view of the ocean/beach area...absolutley fantastic view.

Restaurants and Bars:
When we went only 1 of the buffet restaurants was operational, so it tended to be fairly busy at breakfast and supper.
The first 3 days, i was difficult getting your drinks/refills at the buffet restaurant. the last half of the week got better.
The rumours about Cuban food that you hear is true, it wasn't GREAT food, but it wasn't terrible food either.
There was a ton of choices for all 3 meals at the buffet restaurant...selection certainly wasn't an issue.
I will say, the omlette stations were great, except, you do need to have them cook it longer than they are prepared to do. The first day I took the omlette as they prepared it, and the middle wasn't cooked. If you tell them to cook it longer the Omlette will be excellent.
The ala cartes we went to were:
French: good food, not much menu choices, but the food was good. Excellent service, very friendly and quick to refill your wine glass.
Romatic: By far the best food experience. No choices here, the menu was already set, but the atmosphere was amazing, view of the ocean at sunset was just lovely!! All 5 courses were layed out in a very elogant fashion, and food was all good!
International: Our least favorite eating experience. Chairs were very uncomfortable, staff wasn't friendly, and found the food to be very blaw!
For Lunches, we found Le Pinta restaurant VERY slow and waited over an hour for hamburger and fries.
Bars were all great service, and never had to wait long for drinks nor did we ever have to ask for more alcohol to be put in the drinks. The only issue here is that Rye and Cokes were disgusting, as the Cuban cola is undrinkable...disgusting!!!, but on the flip side, I found the Cuban 7-Up to be better than our 7-Up.
The swim up bar was awesome, and Paula, the bartender there every day was by far the best 'tender we came across!!

The beach was without a doubt the most beautiful I've seen, in person or pictures!!! No shortage of loungers, or shade if required. The white sand was like walking on clouds, and was VERY clean!!
The pools were also very good, clean and never real busy.
The grounds were cared for almost 24/7...we went down at a point that they had gone 9 weeks without rain...while some of the grass was brown and dead, all the garden, and flowers and shrubs still looked beautiful. They were constantly grooming the trees and shrubs!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
depends on what you want really. If you are looking for something to keep you occupied from 9-5 everyday then you'll be disapointed. If you are looking for something to do for a while, and spend most of your day in the sun, then this was your spot.
On resort activities included Archery, Beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water polo, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boats, pellet gun shooting and silly fun games at the pool. Off resort activities all cost you extra $$$. Catamaran tours that included, snorkeling at a coral reef, with another option of adding swimming with the dolphins. We took the package of the Catamaran tour, snorkeling at the reef, swim with dolphins, and a lobster lunch and it cost us $120.00 each, but i feel it was well worth the money.
There were also deep sea fishing packages, scuba diving, and bus tours into 2 cities, either Holguin and/or Santiago.
There also was a trip into a small villiage about 10 minutes away from the resort, which had a little market. problem here is you have 2 choices, stay for 1 hour or 3. There is a beach right near by the market, but the market is fairly small...3 hours is way too much if you only want to spend time at the market.

Other Comments:
The alcohol for purchase is cheapest at the duty free shop at the airport in Cuba, butonly by about 50 cents a bottle, so not a big deal to purchase at the resort or market.
If you are purchasing cigars, go see Joe, a staff member who works down at the beach, he'll get you much better prices on the cigars than you'll get in the stores!!
All in all this was a great place to vacation, either with a family or as a couple.

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