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Rio de Mares/Luna

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Hola everyone! My friend & I just returned from Rio de Mares in Holguin, Cuba, & we just wanted to gush over what a wonderful time we had! We highly recommend these sister resorts to anyone, first-timers or otherwise. Has anyone been to either of these resorts or is planning to go? We would love to hear from you & share your experiences. Eg: the animation staff was absolutely fantastic! Feel free to email us personally, or post a reply!
Anya & Samantha

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    Hi we (hubby and I) are considering a trip to either of these resorts in April. My main concern is the diving is it good? Are dive shops well equipped? Are divemasters fluent in English? Also how about the food? accomodations? any info appreciated. thanks peace rita

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    Rita - we stayed two weeks at the Rio de Oro (the third 'sister' at the end of the beach) last February and it was excellent for the prices being charged:
    - The food - enough variety that we didn't get bored of it. Although the fresh veggies would run out, there was no shortage of things like smoked salmon and caviar (if you can believe it). One of our friends travelling with us couldn't believe the platter of smoked salmon that was on every buffet, morning and evening! Be prepared for the line up at the 'crepe bar' at dinner time - crepes (plain or with a variety of fillings and with your choice of fruit) sauted with your choice of fruit and flambed in a rum and orange sauce and topped with delicious Cuban ice cream.
    - The Accomodations - very nice new rooms at the Rio de Oro with large bathrooms and a mini fridge in the room.
    - The Diving - regretfully my husband could not dive due to a hernia that occurred just before we left. There is a dive shop on the beach in front of the de Luna I believe and I'm sure they would be speaking English (or enough to get the point across). At the end of the beach where you walk in from the Rio de Oro there was excellent snorkelling not to far out so there must have been good dive spots further out as we would see the dive boats just out in the bay. The diving in this area is just starting to get popular (according to info we got from their tourism board) so you will be diving virgin water!
    Tips:
    - have lots of U.S. $1. bills to pay for the toilet paper when you fly into Holguin airport (if you always need to go when you get off the plane) or just carry your own tissue. As well, the $1's are great for just general tipping throughout your stay.
    - the massage at the de Oro, de Mares, etc is $13. U.S. an hour (yes, you read that right). A nice tip for the masseuse would be bottles of massage oil.

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    Hola Rita, unfortunately, we never made it to scuba diving, I'm a complete beginner. But since I'm planning to go back again, I'd like to train up here (ontario). All the staff there that deal with services to the tourists (does that sound okay?) are fluent in English. I tried about 1/2 of the activities, it all depends if you have the mindset that you will have fun. I had a great time, which is why I want to return, to the same place. It doesn't make a difference which resort you stay at, because they're sister hotels, meaning you stay at 1 hotel, but are able to use the facilities at the other hotel - a 2 min walk away - whenever, how much you want. It's like getting 2 for the price of 1. I'm a vegetarian, & i loved the food there. Depending on the meal, (breakfast or lunch or dinner), there were different varities. Eggs (omeletes, fried, scrambled, whatever you wanted), bacon, hash browns, pasta, fish, chicken, potatoes, salads, flambes, cookies, cake, bread, buns, pork, beef, I think you get an idea. A few things were make your own, that is you choose what ingredients you wanted & they put it all together for you. There's also different restaurants scattered through out the hotels: Italian, tacos & stuff, vegetarian, creole. If you're a vegan, then you might run into problems, but otherwise, I was happy. The activities staff is absolutely great, very outgoing & multi-lingual: spanish, german, french, english. What else....We were 2 girls with 2 beds, but if you're a couple, it might get a little tricky with the 2 beds. (People fall thru the space). There's a disco on the beach, & a disco in town open on Wed & Sat nites, if you like the loud music scene. Spanish dancing lessons are a lot of fun, I never got around to trying the spanish language classes or the snorkeling, though I heard it was good. The catamaran was fantastic, as was the extra cost swimming with the dolphins, & the horseback ride to the caves (at $4/hr, you can't go wrong) was good too. It all depends on your mind frame. The nightly entertainment is very entertaining, with audience particapation. They had 1 show with couples pulled from the audience. Quite amusing! I think I've given you enough to go on, however, feel free to ask away, hope you have a great time. When in April are you planning to go? That's when we're planning on going back.
    Anya

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    I'm going to Holguin with my boyfriend-We're thinking about going at the end of February. We would be staying at either the Rio des Mare or Rio des Luna. I was wondering what the clientele was like when you were there (we're in our 20's). Also, how is the pool/beach area- Is it luxurious? Which facility is newer? Are the rooms clean? This is a trip that we have won- yes for free- so I was just hopipg to get some first-hand accounts from people with experience there. Thanks!

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    We took a family vacation Dec/00 to Rio de Oro. The resort was recommended by friends. It was fantastic. I would go for two weeks the next time. Very few families, my daughter had the pool to herself most of the time. My husband brought his bicycle and cycled about 50km a day while my daughter and I sat around the pool, walked the beach and took in a few tours. The food was out of this world. I loved the veggies & fruit although our daughter lived on rice and bread (not very adventerous - typical teenager. The entertainment in the evenings was alot of fun and the people were very nice. Most guests where german, spanish & canadian. The following year my husband returned with a cycling friend and stayed at another resort. He returned to Rio de Oro and they remembered him...well remembered his bicycle! They were quite taken with his bike. He even let two of the staff take the bike out for a spin. One of the staff had been on the Cuban Cycling Team at one time. Although it was free to take the bike on the airline, we were charged $15.US to put it on the bus to the hotel. Our travel agent did not inform us of this prior to our trip. We brought lots of stuff with us, toys, medicine & candy. Last year my husband took baseball gloves, shirts and balls. He came upon some kids playing baseball with sticks and handed out gloves and shirts. They were so excited.
    I would not hesitate to return. I think my husband plans on another cycling trip this year but wants to stay with a family if possible.
    Hola!

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