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“Disappointing”

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Crioula Club Hotel & Resort
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Just returned from a weeks holiday at the Crioula hotel. The rooms were OK, clean, what was extremely disappointing was the restaurant service, the food itself and the staff. The latter never smiled, never said "hello" and as they hardly speak any English were not of much help. The restaurant service was simply appalling - if you were not among the first guest in the restaurant, you were met by unkept tables, full of dirty plates from the previous guests, which you basically had to tidy up yourself if you didn't want to wait around for the very scarce staff for the next half an hour. Finding clean glasses and cutlery was a whole new challenge, as they were usually nowhere to be found. Once you managed to set your own table and find the cutlery and finished your starter, no-one came around to take your plate, which meant that at the end of your meal, your table was overflowing with dirty plates... The food itself was also a great disappointment - the dishes kept repeating themselves and they were mostly tasteless. What was good was anything that was fresh (i.e. papaya), however, it often ran out and they either brought more or they didn't. If you wanted eggs for breakfast you had to ask that they be brought from the kitchen, however, even eggs ran out on a couple of occasions... I could go on, but I believe have painted a pretty clear picture.
Also note that despite the fact that this is an All-inclusive hotel, this is not entirely so. Our travel agent sold as the "blue-bracelet" all-inclusive package, which meant that drinks were only available at the pool bar (from 10am to 7pm), where you could choose from 4 local spirits, something that very bearly resembled beer, water, tea, "coffee" and 2 very sweet and unnatural juices. If you wanted a decent drink, you had to go the other bar (close to the reception), and pay for it. We learned however, that guests with the "white bracelet" all-in package had free access also to these drinks. If you plan on spending your vacation here, make sure you ask your travel agent which all-in package is on offer.

The beach itself was alright, was slightly bothered by some litter lying around (which is understandable due to the constant wind), which none of the staff was bothered to pick up.

All in all it was an average holiday and will definitely not be returning to Crioula hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank vonwango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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520 - 526 of 2,067 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2011

We just came back from a great holiday at the Crioula Hotel. Good value for money, great beach with sun loungers and canopies against the shade directly joined to the hotel. The food was good and there was plenty to choose from. Some dishes and salads tended to come back, but when you eat in a hotel both lunch and dinner, it's perfectly normal. Great desserts - the banana tart was our favourite!

The animation team was friendly and unintrusive. Loved the aquagym sessions and the dancing. Front desk was extremely professional and helpful. Laid-back attitude all over - no stress!

I would recommend this hotel to both couples and families. We had a bungalow room, and were lucky to also have a seaview - naturally this heightened our holiday experience. You can't beat sitting on a terrace in the balmy evenings, listening to the waves break...

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank pr0traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2011

This is more like a 4 star hotel and as my partner and I are both airline crew we have been in a lot of hotels in our time. The rooms are basic but clean and with everything that you need. The staff are friendly and helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have. We did a 4 hour quad bike tour to the north of the island which was fantastic and a day trip to neighbouring island Boa Vista where you will find breathtaking beaches. Well worth a visit. Sal itself has an extinct volcano in the north where you can visit natural salt lakes where you float, similar to the dead sea. Well worth a visit and only 5 euros entry fee. Back to the hotel, we were all inclusive, there for 4 nights and the food was great. Loads of choice and all good quality and whereas in Egypt in 5 stars we both got food poisoning twice, we didn't here.
The only negative I should mention is that I did have a skirt and a top hanging outside my apartment that disappeared. It is a very windy island - great for windsurfing and surfing - but I doubt the clothes could have blown clear of the trees and the bushes. Bit strange but something to be a bit wary off. This definitely wouldn't put me off coming here again though. The surrounding areas and beaches etc. felt very safe. You do get bothered a bit by the locals trying to sell you stuff but they soon leave you alone if you tell them you are not interested. They all say "ok have a great day" so nice and friendly and not too pushy.

The climate here is perfect, absolutely perfect, all year round and if you are a keen surfer the waves here are unbeatable.. I have never seen waves like it in my life. They hold the windsurfing world championships here at Porta Preta beach.

A great location and in our view a great hotel as very reasonably priced, food good and all you need in a hotel.

Oh the only other thing to bear in mind with the food/drink is the wine.....awful!!! I stuck to vodka but this is not included in the all inclusive. It was a bit like a detox holiday for me!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Cressie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2010

good hotel, good kitchen, very quiet. Maybe too much quiet.
Appreciable for the diving (500 m far) and fot the kite surf.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gabriele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2009

I returned from Sal yesterday. The hotel is near to the beach front. There are sun beds but there is no bar at the beach. There is a large sea water pool area with plentry of sun beds with sun covers. The drinks are provided in small childrens party style cups, the coffee is provided in a proper cup and is very good. There were very few all inclusive drinks - coffee tiamaria style, punch, whiskey, beer and wine. No gin or vodka etc...The staff are generally friendly but do not speak English very well.
There was only one restaurant open. The food served was the same each day - 2 fish dishes, 2 meat dishes, potatoes, rice and 2 pasta dishes. There was a small salad bar. There was very little food available for vegeterians who do not eat fish. Generally the food was average but the fish was very fresh and well cooked. The bread and pastry was of a very good quality. There were only 3 other groups of britsh people at the hotel - some out of each group had stomach upsets but there is no evidence of how they became ill.
Water to take back to the room was 2 Euro for a bottle.
The rooms were of an average size and had pre-set air con which could be either off or on. The rooms were basic. The hotel only has twin rooms and beds are pushed together on request with a blanket placed over the gap. The bathrooms had a bath, sink and shower of a good size. The rooms needed to be updated ie a lick of paint and the repair of cracked tiles.
There are entertainers who do aerobics in and out of the pool. The hotel entertainers had 2 shows per week in Italian but we did not attend, There was a local group of drummers who came on Monday and were good and a great local style dance troop on Friday. The other nights were send in the square near the bar with no music or any form of entertainment.
There were taxis to santa maria for a few euros. We walked along the beach one afternoon and it took 20 min. There was very little to see. There was a small Irish bar called Tam Tam which had the sports channels for football matches and a couple of beach front bars. There were very few trips on the island - the salt mine or boat trips along the coast.
The holiday was very relaxing and the beach had plentry of space to relax and read a few books. If you go to this hotel be aware that there is very little to do other than relax or swim. The hotel rooms and facilities are basic. We enjoyed the sun and relaxation. The cost of our 1 week all inclusive holiday (flights, hotel, transfers) with holiay options via thomas cook was 9 hundred pounds per person and i do feel that it was overpriced.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank emma6smith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2009

On an excellent beach with a good size pool. The food was excellent and the staff, with 1 exception, were very friendly. The hotel caters mainly for Italian guests with some Brits and Germans, but that is not really a problem. The beach is not really suitable for young children as the waves are quite strong and there is also a fairly strong current.
The town of Santa Maria is about 20 minutes walk along the beach.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bluemoon-Bolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2009

On first impressions the complex looked good but the whole place needed some touching up and repairing. Cracked and loose tiles around the pool area, toilets not working - that sort of thing.
The standard of food we found quite high and there was always something to suit most tastes but vegetarians were not very well catered for. Unfortunately many holidays from the UK are Thursday to Thursday and the only day you can get a lobster is...Thursday. Great but you must give 24 hours notice that you want a lobster.
Thank you to the person that advised to take a bottle of your favourite spitits as the all inclisive fare is awful. Small glasses of weak, tasteless fizzy beer, undrinkable white wine and awful red plus a doubtful wiskey are all that are available. You can buy cocktails and known brands of drinks but, like everything on the island, they are quite expensive. On the plus side the coffee is great
The pool is salt water and to help purify they add...more salt so can be difficult to swim in and very hard on the eyes especially as the wind is quite strong and whips the surface up. The pool was hardly used and mostly empty during our stay. The beach is very clean and litter free but it was mostly too rough to get anywhere near the sea
The animation team tried hard and as it is an Italian resort the entertainment is aimed at them. There was no bar in the entertainment area and not worth taking one with us.The bar staff with one or two exceptions were surley and not very pleasant..
A walk into town is a must but do not expect much other than overpriced wooden African style ornaments. Can't say we saw any giraffes or elephants on the island but there were plenty o carvings on sale. Beware the friendly people starting to walk with you, they are trying to get you into their shop. There was even one guy who said his baby had been born that day and wanted a conribution for a gift of gold. He used the same story about his baby 3 days running.
The rooms were well furnished and comfortable with enough space. The hot water was a liitle irregular so showering was by chance of being quite cold.
Although this review seems rather on the down side we did have a reasonably good time but the wind made it chilly out of the sun and we were bored after 4 days. Plenty of building work going on on the island so there may be more to do in a few years time

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Telfordtwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crioula Club Hotel & Resort

Address: C.p. 45, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Region: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#12 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: £128 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Crioula Club Hotel & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 244
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in June 2000 with the aim to reach to Italian market demand, begins to extend to other European markets in 2007, arousing the interest of many TO, by its location, rooms particularity (large and well distributed), kitchen and general services. In 2014, after a partnership with Thomas Cook Group, associated with the brand smartline, the hotel started a deep restructuring process, increasing as well its capacity. All services are covered, since, restaurants, bars, rooms, pool, reception, anphitheatre, much of which is already completed. A new face of the smartline Crioula will be presented from November 2014, and is already perceptible, which also includes more beverage offers in AI, and more options for cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crioula Hotel Santa Maria
Crioula Santa Maria
Crioula Club Hotel & Resort Cape Verde/Santa Maria, Ilha Do Sal

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