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“Fantastic !!!!!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Fantastic !!!!!”
Reviewed 3 April 2012

Beautiful if you bear in mind this is the `third world`. Very clean hotel, staff were always sweeping and mopping floors in public areas. Good location on a fantastic beach. Good swimming pools. The food was excellent quality and varied in the buffet restaurants. The Mandalay `asian` restaurant and the Cabo Verdean specialist restaurant were both excellent. The staff were smiling and friendly. All in all, an excellent time had by our family, we would definitely return. Take the Island tour from the beach, it`s a good day out for 25 euros p/person. We went with Fidel, booked on the beach, he is local and very knowledgeable.

Room Tip: Book adjoining rooms for a family to give more privacy than sharing a room.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2012

We have just returned from a wonderful week's holiday on the beautiful Island of Sal. Beautiful beaches, relaxing and very clean hotel. Staff were very friendly and nothing too much trouble. Rooms clean and comfortable......food fantastic...especially the amazing pastries. Pool area was clean and relaxing. For the money it is well worth a visit. Beware the mosquitoes at night! Don't forget to take some repellent spray! The only minor 'bug-bear' is that if you want a coffee before the pool bar opens at 10.30pm (or any drink)...you have to walk up to the main reception area...but only a minor problem for what was an amazing holiday. Went for an Island tour with Fidel.....situated on walkway to beach. Fabulous....great to experience the local culure and see how the inhabitants live; friendly and welcoming people.
More than happy with the whole experience and plan to go and visit another beauiful Island.
To all the lovely Cape Verdeans.....thanks for sharing your amazing Island! You are beautiful people! x

Room Tip: Block 5...near Beach and pool and far enough away from evening entertainment to be quiet.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

I stayed at the Riu Funanna for 1 week at the end of March and I found it a total disappointment.

We were three adults and were put into a tiny room that consisted of 2 single beds and one pull out. The room smelt of chemicals and was very cheaply decorated. We complained to reception who were beyond rude, they ignored the comment at about the room smelling and said they could only offer us a suite at a cost of a further €75 per night. We refused on the grounds that the suite was bound to be below standard and also because we felt we had already paid too much for a supposedly 4 / 5 star hotel. On top of this all three of us woke up most mornings with bites on our legs / arms which we had not had the previous evening. Our only conclusion was that there was something in the bed, we did not bother to report this.

The hotel in general is about a 1 or 2 star and every effort is made to reduce costs:

The complex is huge but you can only get bottles of water at reception (even though the pool bar pours you glasses of water from the bottle).

The sheets & towels are old, tatty and low quality.

The sun loungers are uncomfortable and mostly broken.

You can only drink wine (which is undrinkable) or beer (which is flat) at meal times, if you want another drink you have to walk to the bars and then bring your drink back.

Even the toilet paper is low quality.

There are no bathroom doors - the toilet has a door but the shower only has a curtain.

Additionally 90% of the staff are very rude and clearly do not want to be there. The entertainment staff are the exception to this.

The good thing about the hotel is the location – the beaches are stunning and go on forever.

In conclusion I would never stay at this hotel again, I found it frustrating and really bad value for money especially since I had travelled to Mexico the previous October and found this well above standard.

I have complained to Thomson and am waiting on a response.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank amcdermot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

My wife and I stayed at this hotel from the 8th to 15th March. We found it to be a good 4 star and mostly above expectations as we haven't stayed in any all-inclusive hotels for about 14 years. We liked the food which had a good selection of vegetables/salads/fruit - hot food could have been hotter, to be fair this is a problem for most hotels and restaurants around the world where buffet style is used. We tried one of the themed restaurants - The Asian, but it did not do it for us i.e not really indian, chinese or japannese although not surprising considering we are in Africa. As other people have said the whole complex was kept very clean in all areas and the grounds were large enough to walk and get light exercise after a hefty meal. We liked the fact that all rooms/blocks were only 2 storeys high and requested balcony in block 5 (don't like ground floor rooms in any hotels/apartments etc), but our room was in 4, quite spacious and just as convenient for beach and swimming pools of which we didn't find too cold or in the case of the sea too dangerous.
Would we stay at the Funana again, yes I would as I have been to Cape Verde twice before, both in 2007 in two different but cheaper hotels and did visit the Funana on those occasions to see what it was like. I therefore had some prior knowledge of it before this trip as one of the main reasons for me coming to Cape Verde was for windsurfing and of course warm weather.
My wife has not been to Cape Verde before and would probably not again as she doesn't participate in the sport, but she still enjoyed the all inclusive facilities and warm weather.
However, although I would stay at this hotel again and Cape Verde, I probably would not come while Thomson are the only airline coming here, (albeit they are the only airline with direct flights from the UK), and are now using the cramped, uncomfortable single aisle B757 aircraft, unlike in 2007 when they used their bigger twin aisle B767 on this route. Also if you purchase an extra legroom seat as I did for £25 one way each, make sure you are not given one in row 2 (they apparently call them medical seats), as those seats are not what I or most people would call extra legroom and not worth the money.

Room Tip: Block 5 if you want to be near the sea
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank windydahab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

Flew to Sal from Birmingham on 20th March for 7 days.Yes as reported on previous reviews flight was cramped even as we are both short.Hotel was excellent,first room offered to us was in block 5 in the corner,requested another room with a view and was given the keys to view.
This room was in same block 5 but with a sea view.Really nice as it was near the beach,pool and the grill restaurant,although it was a few minutes walk to reception area and bars and entertainment
.Free water available from reception together with to free towel tokens that allowed you to change towels as many times as you wished.
We enjoyed the food and entertainment.Really nice walk along the beach to Santa Maria.
The pontoon in the town was very exciting to see all the fisher man with their catch and the wives filleting the huge tuna,garopes etc.Its a photographers paradise with all the buzz.Lovely beach with turtle clear water and a lovely bar to chill and relax over looking the beach area.
On one occasion we both witnessed a young boy of around 6-7 years old being attacked by the beach vollyball area by the resident pack of dogs that reside on the hotel beach area.We complained in writng to hotel management as well as spoke to the undermanager who was very negative in his comments and not concerned to resolve the problems of the dogs and geusts feeding them.Dog fouling was to be found on the beach area.Yes rabies is a scare !
This is a complain that the hotel team could easily resolve.
Use Elvis and his trio of jeeps for an island tour.Really informative,safe and much cheaper than the thomson rate,he charges 25 euros.
Loved to have gone on a bottom fishing trip offered by the many touts in town,however ran out of time.Maybe next time.

Liked to have gone on a fishing trip

Room Tip: Beach view rooms have a lovely view and near pools and bars,in block 5
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mrdnaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Went with the wife and 2yr old boy. The weather was nice but there is a constant strong wind. This is seasonal but when blowing affects the use of the beach and pools.Both the sea and pools were cold to get in but nice once in. Too cold for our little one though and the kids pool wasn't up to much either.
There was plenty of food but after a few days we needed to head out to get some variety. It's good food but very mass produced so the quality suffers a little. However you won't go hungry. Also worth booking into the theme restaurants early as they do get full.
The island is a little barren but a jeep tour is a good thing to do. There are plenty of options and the guys selling outside the hotel weren't too hassley.
Ponta Preta is a 15-20 min walk up the beach and if it's working is impressive to go and see some surfing. A walk around the south point is also nice and pretty deserted if you want some beach to yourself.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank anthony_L74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Letchworth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

I'll split this review into two parts - The Hotel & Cape Verde. Hopefully some of this will help you if you are going to Cape verde.

The Hotel - Couldn't fault it really, the room is very Riu, spacious, clean and comfortable. We needed extra pillows to the ones already supplied, so reception promptly organised them. We stayed in block 3 - perfect, close to the pool, close to reception, smack bang in the middle which was great. The pool area (Where we spent most of our time) was great, really clean, and getting a sunbed wasn't a problem at all (albeit in March).

The staff here are a delight, the bar staff are friendly, and funny, they love to interact with the guests and remember you from night to night, same with the staff in the main restaurant.

Food - again, couldn't fault it. There are a number of restaurants on the complex which you have to book most of them, and are all buffet style. We ate in the main restaurant 5 out of 7 nights, and found it great, plenty of choice and different food each night. You will be very hard to please if you dont like eating in here - there is even Pizza & Chips for the narrow minded among you! The speciality restaurants were good too - we ate in the Cabo Verde and the Mandalay Asian restaurants - both brilliant.

Overall, the hotel is great, perfectly suited us - we only saw one English Hooligan throughout the week - he should have gone to Benidorm!

The flight was awful, we flew from Manchester, and the flight was no better than a Ryanair flight, so cramped and stuffy. Bear in mind it's 6 hours from Manchester!

Cape Verde itself -

If you walk into Santa Maria, be careful...... The locals will try their utmost to acost you into going into their shops. They will sell you stories of kids' birthdays, or they studied in England and they love the english...... just tell them you have no money on you......unless you want to go into every shop in Santa Maria!!

Go to the harbour in Santa Maria through the day, it's buzzing with fish coming in, a great sight.

Don't book a tour of the island with your tour operator. Go out to the beach and book with Elvis Dream tours - We booked through this company and they were great, plus, it's 25 Euros opposed to 40 Euros with your tour Op.

Don't forget anything!! As everything is imported to Cape Verde (100% is imported) everything is expensive, so don't forget anything!!

We loved Cape Verde, the people are great and it's a good, upcoming country. Give it a go!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Adam N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde
Address: Cabocan Lote A2, A3, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Region: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde 4*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Situated on the island of Sal in the Cape Verde Islands * Main building and 2-story annexes * Situated on the beach front together with the ClubHotel Riu Funana * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 1.5 Km to Santa Maria * 15 km from the airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Funana Santa Maria
Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde Cape Verde/Santa Maria, Ilha Do Sal

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