Illness at the Sol Rio de Luna & Mares Resort, Holguin, Cuba

The Resort, which is two hotels joined together has a 4 star rating on its official website. According to Thomas Cook, who promote the hotel.

‘If you’re looking for somewhere to keep the whole family happy, you’ll find it at the Sol Rio de Luna & Mares Resort. Sat on a stunning beach, this hotel couldn’t be in a better location! Whether you want to spend hours splashing around in emerald waters or leisurely strolls across warm sands, this colourful hotel provides the perfect setting.’

Our client was far from happy however after becoming unwell whilst staying at the resort in September 2018 and being diagnosed with salmonella.  According to review on the Trip adviser website, his illness was not an isolated occurrence. One guest who travelled in January 2018 stated:

‘The food was repetitive and cold. Bones in the rice and soup and tasted disgusting. Best bet is to get your food cooked fresh for you. I ended up on a drip to stop me being sick 3 hours before departing from the hotel….there was no way I was going to get stuck over there ill. Majority of staff are lovely but a certain manager needs to be dismissed because I asked her on numerous occasions to stop rolling her eyes at me because I refused to go into the office to discuss my problems with the Thomas Cook agent. She then went into one at the Thomas Cook rep obviously about me. The rest of the holiday was spent with her giving me filthy looks when she saw me’

This place is a serious accident waiting to happen and Thomas Cook have told me that local management and UK head office will be going to check Health and Safety and quality control there.’

Another guest who also stayed at the hotel in January 2018 commented:

‘This place was so bad that we had to change rooms three times in a week in a quest for a room that was clean had a serviceable bathroom was quiet and was free from water pouring in from outside through the walls. In that time we did not find any such room but along the way we found rotting plumbing, electrics dripping with water, wildlife in the room in the form of small crabs, plenty of rotting mildew and doors that did not fit. Food was universally awful. While we were there there were several cases of food poisoning. There are dangerous pathways around the blocks in the Luna area which are lethal when wet. The only place in the world where I have had piece of meat too tough to cut. Expect to be locked out of your room at least daily as your key fails.’

Another disappointed traveller who also visited the hotel in January 2018, noted that;

‘Food: Inedible.

Same cold, stale food every day but we reluctantly ate over the first 2 days of our stay.

On the day of my birthday (Wednesday) we booked to go to the “Italian” restaurant… this restaurant has never seen Italian.

Appetiser: We had “antipasti” consisting of; an aubergine sliced, 1 tomato, 1 slice of Ham and soaked in oil.

Starter: Soup with bread that could break windows,

Main: My partner had Beef which you needed a chainsaw to get through and I had the Chicken which was extremely dry and came as a VERY small portion.

Dessert: The disaster continued… Tiramisu meets coffee flavoured cream.

The following 5 days of our holiday we both spent extremely ill more so myself and struggled on the Thursday to leave the room due to extreme sickness. The remaining days I ate nothing and drank water only.’

Salmonella causes food poisoning and it can be contracted from foods such as eggs, chicken, pork and dairy produce. If fruit and vegetables have been in contact with livestock, manure or untreated water, they can also become contaminated. It is vitally important that those concerned in the preparation and serving of food should wash their hands and clean kitchen equipment thoroughly to prevent an outbreak of food poisoning occurring.

The symptoms of salmonella include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. They usually develop between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected and can last for 4 to 7 days.

If you contracted salmonella or a gastric illness whilst staying at the Sol Rio de Luna & Mares Resort, contact one of the holiday illness experts at JPS Walker.  You may be able to bring a claim under The Package Travel Regulations, in this country against your tour operator. Our expert staff will be able to advise you whether you may be able to make a claim for compensation on a no win no fee basis. For further information contact our expert team on 0161 713 5575 or email

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Illness at the Sol Rio de Luna & Mares Resort, Holguin, Cuba
James Walsh