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“Wow, peace and relaxation”

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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wow, peace and relaxation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

Arrival perfect, greeted with a cold glass of juice while we checked in, which was a quick experience. Our rooms were absolutely fine, spacious, clean, plenty of hanging space, comfy beds and a great shower. Sure, rooms are a bit tired, but we didn't plan on spending much time in! Location is amazing, right on a vast, white, sandy beach. The sea was not as rough as other resorts I had been to, in June it was very warm, with schools of fish swimming around you. Bar service brilliant, food choice very good. Thomson excursion was amazing.. 4x4 jeep around the island, a must, especially floating in the salt lakes and seeing sharks. The only gripe we had, and it is a small one that needs fixing, is the awful sickening smell coming from the cupboard under the coffee machine in reception, where most guests congregate to make the most of the free wifi. If you are looking for a week of relaxation, I suggest this place. Make the most of the walks further along the beach, where the surroundings change. Totally, and finally, make the most of the Renova Spa, towards the back of the grounds..... We had a back, neck and shoulder massage, followed later in the week by a detox scrub .... Seriously indulging and about the best massage I have had.

Room Tip: Block 5 near the beach was quiet and we had a sea view
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Julia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (771)
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English first
Epping, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

Having just come back from Cape Verde, I have to say, it is the best holiday I have ever been on. Myself and my partner visited the island of Sal.

The overall experience was top notch. The hotel itself is quite big, which is a good thing. Even though it was busy, it didn't seem like it was because of the size. The hotel reception offers free 1.5L bottles of water for you.

My first plus has to go to the entertainment team in the Riu Funana Hotel. They were non stop all day/night, and always there to help you out or to have a chat with you.

The rooms in the hotel were lovely and the cleanliness was impeccable. The food is lovely, they have a daily buffet in the main hall and they also have 4 specialist restaurants/buffets; Asian, Cape Verde, The Grill and African.

The pools are lovely. They are big and you have 4 to choose from. The beach is a 5 minute walk through the resort. The beach is like no other, absolutely amazing. The water is a little chilly at first, but once you are in, you don't want to get out.

Finally, i have to say that myself and my partner went on a Island Tour in the first week we were there and it was the best day. We went with Dylan and Ola (as you walk onto the beach from the resort). They don't rush you, they are lovely charming people and a real pleasure to be with for the day. We went to about 8 different spots around the island. Its 25 euros each for a full day. Well worth the money.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel. Absolutely amazing.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple

Room Tip: We emailed to say that it was our 9th anniversary and if they could move us to a 'nicer' roo...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Stuart G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014 via mobile

Wasn't sure what to expect on this holiday but I certainly wasn't disappointed, there is nothing in the funana to complain about, the room we had was in block 5, near the pool and beach, when we opened the curtains we were over looking the beach, best room in the hotel in my opinion, the cleaning ladies were excellent they would come in everyday and they left the rooms spotless.
The pools were lovely always clean in and around the sides.
Could not find anything to complain about with the food, there was a big choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we booked in a couple of the speciality restaurants which were once again lovely.
Drinks were available any time of the night and day and the caipirinhas went down very well.
The entertainment was ok, wasn't always our cup of tea but thre was always something going on.
The beach at the funana was perfect, you can grab your own free sunbed and find your own spot on the beach, it was rather windy for a couple of days so we went to the pool, there's a beach bar, the sea is the cleanest and nicest sea I have ever been in, you get the odd big wave but that adds to the fun, you must go down to santa maria beach, have a swim in the beautiful sea and the perhaps sit in the Brazilian bar, have a couple of caipirinhas and watch the world go round.
Only went on 1 trip while we were there and that was thomsons Saturday night BBQ, lovely evening on a small part of the beach in Santa maria, you can do a bit of fishing, and see the surprise if he turns up,relax have a drink and eat your BBQ.
If you want a relaxing holiday with no stress then this is the place to go.
Finally the reps are fantastic especially claire always there to help in any way she can, a credit to thomson, a real star.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Mandy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portalegre, Portugal
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

A very good hotel, located a 1,5 km of Santa Maria, we can walk alone to there, by the street, because is no problema with safety. It is composed by two hotel Funaná and garoupa, the last one is a litle more modern, but both are ok.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Fatima C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

My partner and I visited Riu Funana from 16th June - 23rd and so we have not long been back in the UK. We booked a package holiday with Thompson which was very well-run and made my boyfriend and I feel at ease. There are also Thompson reps at the hotel Claire and Stacey who are very friendly and assisted us in settling in at Cape Verde quickly.

The hotel is incredible - very clean and attractive in appearance. The Riu Funana is directly next to the Riu Garopa hotel of which all guests can share facilities. The pool area is beautiful and perfect for sunbathing and swimming. There is a good amount of facilities at the hotel - a gym, a spa, souvenir shops and I'm pretty sure there was a section of the hotel for kids. There is also a lot of 'keep fit' activities and games running through out the day in the hotel and on the beach.

We booked excursions both through Thompson and through the local companies. The best trip was by far the 4 hour quad bike trip around the whole island. This was with a company located on the beach and it was absolutely amazing I cannot express how much we enjoyed it. It was scary at times as we were riding across narrow paths on mountainous edges however the tour guide made us feel at ease and helped us immediately whenever we were unsure. We followed the path of our guide and witnessed a lot of beautiful views, an insight into Sal's local towns. We even saw three sharks in a bay from land!

Food wise, it was good. A lot of choice and all cooked very well. There were also five restaurants at the hotel however you have to book them three days in advance. Other than the normal restaurant, we only dined at the Chinese restaurant and we were very pleased with the food.

The staff are very attentive; especially in the restaurants. Rooms are kept very clean, the general hotel cleanliness is clearly maintained.

The only negatives that I would mention is that despite the fact we booked for a double room, we had two single beds pushed together which was very annoying when we slept because I kept falling down the gap! Also, it is quite windy but that is quite likely to happen as Cape Verde is in the middle of the ocean. It's easy to burn as you don't realise how hot your skin is and at night time I found that I was quite cold. Make sure you bring a few long sleeve tops or cardis!

We went for a week however 10 days would have been perfect. Met a few couples who had been for two weeks and had ran out of things to do however if you're looking to relax - two weeks would be ideal. The island is pretty empty, when we were on our quad bike tour the majority of it was through desert. Don't expect any grass!

Oh! Make sure you bring insect repellent spray. I didn't get bitten once thanks to mine but my lazy boyfriend had a few irritating bites due to not using it.

The area has a lot on construction going on and so I predict in 10-15 years Cape Verde will be very popular so visit the beautiful and calm island whilst it's at its best!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Jemma J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

We stayed at the riu funana for a week from 16th June. From the moment we arrived it was perfect. The staff are friendly and helpful. The rooms are clean and well equipped - and stay clean throughout the whole stay - one day we even had towel swans on the bed!

The food is good, with a great choice of meat, fish, veggie, pasta, salads, pizza, chips.....anything that you can think of. I defy even the fussiest eater not to find something they liked We visited 2 of the theme restaurants, Cabo Verde, the fish restaurant - which was ice, but our favorite was the African themed restaurant, well worth booking. the drinks are strong enough, and you can ask for large spirits if you want them. Beer, soft drinks and tea/coffee/chocolate are on tap for you to help yourself 24/7

The beach is perfect - white sand and blue skies, just like paradise, although the water can get choppy and so is not suitable for very young children. The water at Santa Maria is a bit calmer.

Island Tour with Blinky is a must, and at 25 euros is a bargain (find her on facebook). Sal is certainly an eye opener and great fun to visit, although a week was enough for us - there is very little to see and do on the island once you have done the island tour, but it's a perfect relaxing break.

all in all this was probably the best all inclusive that we have visited, and would thoroughly recommend it. The only tiny negative was the entertainment,which wasn't really my cup of tea, but most people there seemed to enjoy it.

Claire and Stacey the Thomson reps were helpful and friendly, and very knowledgeable about the area.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Suewilkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

My partner and I stayed at this huge hotel for one week (from 4th June 2014) and honestly loved every single moment! Other reviews have already mentioned the cleanliness, friendliness and general 'feel-good' factor of the place, so I shall say no more on those subjects other than to score them 10/10 all around! I did hear one couple 'complaining' that the WiFi was "poor" and kept "dropping", but let's be fair, this is an island off Africa, so let's keep realistic!! We used to have our evening meal and then retire to the bar area for drinks and sending texts/Emails and we personally never once experienced problems with WiFi. One thing I will mention is that my partner holidayed in Cape Verde about 3 years ago and was shocked at how much 'construction' (housing/hotels etc) had taken place in the local area during that short time. I hope this does not lead to the area eventually becoming the African-Benidorm! The hotel seems very popular with Germans and I would say they probably make up the majority of guests there. On more than one occasion whilst in the dining room, I heard them being politely reminded that queues were for "everyone" and not just the preserve of the English guests! We personally were not perturbed by this as we were in no hurry, but some obviously found this Germanic practice very objectionable!! If you are reading these reviews and still undecided, then I honestly recommend you book a holiday there immediately. I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Richsmerc
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Romantic 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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