HOLGUIN, CUBA: SOL RIO DE LUNA Y MARES
Soloho & family (baby 14mos.)
Enjoyed this resort! I traveled with my wife and young baby (14 months).
FLIGHT Flight with AirTransat from Toronto was Ok. Families with baby goes first – very nice rule. Be careful with baggage weight (there is 20kg limit) – on back way we’ve paid $60 for 6kg overweight. If possible leave your warm things (coat, jacket, jumper) home for who’s going to meet you coming back. It will save your baggage space and weight.
TRANSFER & CHECK-IN Transfer took about hour by comfortable bus with conditioning. We arrived at about 1PM. Check-in was quick and easy. We got a key card and a porter led us to our room. The resort grounds have a lot of green trees, long trails for walking with stroller while baby sleeping, nice views. Loved it!
ROOM 2042 on Mares side. Great room on second floor with fantastic view – highly recommend. There’s a CD player (bring your own to listen), TV, mini-fridge, table, bed, crib for baby, small & safe.
MONEY Do not bring US dollars – you will lost additional 10%. Exchange rate in airport and resort is the same. Credit cards work but need some time for verification procedure. The best money there is cash.
BARS & BUFFETS Buffet on both sides, 7:30 open for breakfast, 1:00 for lunch, 6:30 for dinner. We used to eat at the buffet on Mares side. Recommend making friends with one or two servers (small gifts better) – will get some special service. Favourite bar – Azucar on Luna side – small and quaint. They only have beer in cans.
BEACH Beach is amazing. Loungers available at any time. Free of charge pedal boats, kayaks, and windsurfing available by booking. Best place for snorkeling just near the Paradiso Hotel where the reef is close. For swimming, any side is good. Sandy entrance to the water, which does get deep fairly quickly.
ACTIVITIES “Mini Zoo” up the “hill” behind the resort was interesting. Take a horse drawn cart into Guardalavaca to the market (12-15 pesos). Horseback riding is free each day for a half hour at the hotel – some people went every day. It’s easy to bicycle to the nearest town. Be careful if taking a moped – the police in Guardalavaca will charge you for any mistake! You can also get a massage from Fernando – 35 pesos – recommended.
TIPS We spent about 30 pesos for tips. We also took some clothes, soaps, toys, etc. They really appreciate it. The staff members have to share their tips. If you want to give a special thanks to someone, a gift is a better way.
NOTES Take your thermos with you. It’s great to drink cold beer (or what you prefer) any time you want without needing to go to nearest bar for every glass.