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“OK - sort of ...”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Morabeza

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Hotel Morabeza
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“OK - sort of ...”
Reviewed 11 February 2012

Sal (= salt - see later) is the oldest of the Cape Verde Islands, and because of this most of the interesting bits have blown away. Basically, it's flat with two mountains (each about the size of Muswell Hill), and it's covered in sand and broken rocks. And it's windy.

In the somethingth century, it was noted that sea water was seeping into the crater of an extinct volcano, and that it was drying out in the sun, leaving a lot of salt (see earlier). This became the primary export, before the Irish and the Italians (see later). Eventually, the salt became too expensive to transport, and so the island became a refuelling post for long-haul aircraft.

Thirty or so years ago, a (probably mad) Belgian industrialist and his wife built (not personally) a holiday home on the beach on the south coast, and Sal thus became a TOURIST DESTINATION. Their home became a hotel, got bigger, was taken over by their grand-daughter, and is now famous because we have stayed in it.

Lots of other hotels sprung up, due to the natural assets of sand, sea and wind, and the island became famous for wind surfing - which needs sand, sea and wind. As a direct result, it was suddenly realised that thousands of people, many of them Irish and Italian, would need to buy holiday apartments which they hadn't actually seen, and so thousands and thousands of them were started, a few of which have actually been completed. In the remaining places where there are not hotels and half-completed apartments, there are empty building sites behind tall fences with pretty pictures of imagined developments. Many of these pictures, which are displayed on enormous hoardings, are now so old that they are protected by the government.

As a result of the minor financial difficulties that the Europeans have been experiencing recently, the Irish and the Italians are now one of the prime exports of Sal (see earlier), replacing the salt, and leaving behind them a number of semi-abandoned towns, empty hotels, closed restaurants, and very sad developers.

We experienced all three of the natural assets: sand (everywhere), wind (lots of), and sun (twice). We also played table tennis rather a lot.

Next year - the Canaries? Who knows?

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
21 Thank TrevorFord151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (130)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Abuja, Nigeria
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I booked a trip last minute without any research to go kite surfing for a week, and the booking agent recommended Sal for more or less guaranteed wind and this hotel in particular. I ended up having an absolutely amazing week as both the wind and the hotel were perfect!

The place is fantastic. Perfect location on the beach, beautiful, well kept grounds and very clean. The restaurants have amazing food, very well priced and the staff are very friendly and service minded. Even though I was on B&B basis, I had lunch and dinner in the hotel restaurants every day as I think they had an unbeatable combination of great food, great service and good prices. For those looking for variety, the hotel Guest Services gives you a little map with all the restaurants in Santa Maria and there is plenty of choice for people who are willing to venture a bit further out. Every evening there is Happy Hour from 18.30-19.30 and is a good place to meet all the other guests or to have a quiet drink by yourself. On some nights they have live music, which also is great.

The room was basic, not huge, but perfect for resting after a full day kiting and has a safe and a fridge and was cleaned daily. Bed and mattress were comfortable and I had hot water every morning and every evening, one of my most basic expectations! I got a free upgrade to a seaview room on arrival which was a nice touch, but would have been equally happy if I had the same room without the view.

The main reason I chose this hotel as it is on the beach and it has an independent kitesurf and windsurf center (Surfzone Cabo Verde) on site. This was very convenient, as I could kite straight from the beach, and all my equipment could be stored and fixed at the end of the day right on site. The Beach Club restaurant is amazing, great food and a beautiful view of the entire bay.

I went solo this time, but would certainly come with the whole family next time. There are probably cheaper options than this hotel on the island, but I don't compromise on anything when I go on holiday. I whole heartedly recommend this hotel without any reservations.

If you are a kitesurfing or windsurfing fanatic like myself, this is the place to stay!!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank HvH_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Radlett, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

The Morabeza is without doubt the nicest hotel in Sal, pretty landscaping, nice rooms (make sure you have a refurbished room) and decent food for the island, and we were so glad to have been staying here as the weather was the worst the islanders had experienced in 6 years. Cold, grey, windy and large sea swells. In fact so bad, that they shut down all water sports, so there was no diving, kite-surfing or jet skiing for 3 days. And we were only staying a week!

Don't expect much from Sal - we went there purely to learn to kite surf and do a couple of scuba dives - with the weather so bad, there really is nothing else to do at all! Sal is a lump of barren soil in the middle of the Atlantic, but it has some strange attraction - partly wild and undiscovered and partly a giant building site that looks like a war zone!

The Morabeza Hotel was our port in the storm. We had a huge ground floor suite with a living room area with sofa bed for our son, two TV's, very nice bathroom and lovely patio on the front line of the beach - it is worth upgrading without a doubt. There are plenty of board games to borrow in the library area (books are Dutch and German though), and a very nice pool bar where you can grab a toasted sandwich anytime. The beach bar and restaurant served the best food, but for some reason it is not open for dinner or drinks in the evening, which is a real shame because most people love to be on the beach at night. However the Tortuga bar above the main restaurant was very pretty at night with twinkling fairy lights in the trees. All water sports are right on the beach in front of The Morabeza which is very convenient, so you can wind surf, kite surf, jet ski, scuba dive very easily (weather dependant of course!!)

If you eat the set meal in the main restaurant it is nothing to write home about, but the a la carte menu was pretty good, and the service was excellent from most of the waiters. The New Year's Eve Gala Dinner was excellent, they had gone to great lengths with the tasteful decorations, gifts for everyone and spectacular fireworks display despite the wind.

You must remember that Sal has NO food of its own - nothing grows on the island and everything has to be shipped in. And because the wind causes havoc with the boats, they do run out of food items and you are at the mercy of the next boat load! They ran out of peanuts and we waited 3 days for the next arrival of food - then we bought all 20 packs! Breakfast was acceptable, plenty of fruit and you could have your eggs cooked to order - the pancakes and french toast were without doubt the most popular items with everyone. There is a tiny supermarket in Santa Maria selling very basic items, so make sure you bring everything you need with you, and I mean everything!

You will find most things you need at The Morabeza, pool towels can be changed as often as you like, the rooms are cleaned thoroughly and generally most of the staff were welcoming. And there are a couple of reasonable restaurants within walking distance. Atlantis was the nicest, run by a Belgian lady I believe with good fish and pasta.

On a kite surfing trip (when the weather had improved) we surfed from the beach outside of the all-inclusive giant Riu - it is walled in like a fort with guards on the gates - bizarre in such a tiny place as Sal. Not our thing at all, and so glad we chose the Morabeza.

And a real word of advice - book a rental car before you go; there are very few cars for rent on the Island and they were all booked. This is the first place we have ever travelled to where we were unable to rent a car and had to use taxis instead - so be warned.

Would we go back? If I had to go back, it would be to The Morabeza for sure - but I don't think Sal will be tempting us again! There are much prettier places to kite surf in the world!

Room Tip: Get a room away from the restaurant and bars if you want peace and quiet. It is definitely woth upgr...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank londonbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We have just returned from our third trip to the Morabeza and are already looking forward to going back. This hotel is far ahead of the competition on the Island of Sal and is light-years away from the "bacon factory" all-inclusive establishments which have sprung up a few kilometres down the coast. We always stay on an B & B basis at the Morabeza, which allows as to enjoy the local restaurants - especially "Leonardo's" and "Zum Fischerman" in Santa Maria, althopugh the food in the hotel is also excellent, especially in the restaurant "La Tortue". The Morabeza is privately owned and of medium size, with a wonderful setting, efficient, polite and friendly staff, excellent facilities and pleasant rooms. It is not for the usual Thomson "all-inclusive gang", nor is it particularly suitable for young families, but that suits us very well and we love the resulting refined atmosphere. The hotel bar, managed by Maria is staffed by three of the best barmen I have ever encountered - Lionel, Gerson and Denilson and we thank them for the pleasure we have had there during Happy Hour from 6.30 - 7.30 each evening. The Morabeza Beach Club serves beautiful lunchtime food in a lovely beachside location adjacent to the main hotel and is to be recommended. For the energetic, a 5 km walk (or 5 minute taxi ride) along the beach brings one to the more rustic beach restaurant at Ponte Preta, which is also excellent for lunch. Santa Maria town is a short walk from the hotel and has a charming "third world" scruffiness which is indicative of the current infancy of tourism there. We love this place!!

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms, but the extra charge for a seaview is worth it, if this is important to you.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

Spent a week here returning 25th Jan 12. A superb hotel in every respect. Clean, friendly and efficient.
Excellent service from all the staff. Comfortable with many facilities. Would definitely go again and recommend it to anyone that is looking for a quality holiday which does not include the usual stuff you find around the med.
However, be warned, the flight with Thomson was terrible. No film, no room, a tedious uncomfortable experience.
S and B

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank stuwy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2012

We are just back from a week at Hotel Morabeza. Very good hotel in all respects. First for us was location; on the edge of Santa Maria and right on the beautiful beach. The room we had was very comfortable and clean. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. We stayed B&B and enjoyed eating out in town. Loads of fresh amend exciting seafood on offer as well as European style food e.g Italian. We plan to return next January: what more can I say to recommend this hotel....
The flight with Thomsons was vile though: could they pack anymore seats in !

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Phyl J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2012

This hotel close to the centre of Santa Maria is a great place to stay with a pool which has sufficient shade for those of us who like the heat but wish to stay out of the sun while allowing plenty opportunity for those who wish to sunbathe. We have now been twice and are planning a return trip this year. The climate is good with just enough breeze to keep it from being humid and for those who wish to surf it is ideal. The town itself is interesting and while some find the attention of the traders from the African mainland a little intrusive they are polite and do take no for an answer without too much persuasion. The sites of the volcanic island can be visited in a very short time but as a place for warmth and relaxation the environs of the hotel offer everything that is needed. The staff at the hotel are very helpful and the food is good and well served. All of the rooms are very good and we found it to be the ideal place to go.

Room Tip: All the rooms seem good but some do not have a sea view which we like.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CommonLane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Morabeza

Property: Hotel Morabeza
Address: Ilha Do Sal | Caixa Postal 33, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Region: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#5 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Morabeza 4*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Morabeza We are located on the beautiful Santa Maria Beach on the southern most part of the island of Sal, Cabo Verde. We are confident that you will find your stay at our hotel to be a most enjoyable and memorable one ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Morabeza Hotel Santa Maria
Hotel Morabeza Cape Verde/Santa Maria, Ilha Do Sal

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