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“Just Chill out!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Touareg

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Hotel Riu Touareg
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Urbanizacao Lacacao Lote 13 | Praia Lacacao, Santa Monica, Boa Vista, Cape Verde   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Monica
Bicester, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Just Chill out!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

We have stayed in many Riu hotels prior to this trip B.C (before children) and were very interested this time to see how the "family experience" would compare!! We (well my husband) did much research into the hotel before we travelled, knowing it was newly opened. We were very pleased with the location (we knew there was nothing else around) and the cleanliness of the hotel. We were intrigued to see how the "adult only" area would work in comparison to other completely exclusive resorts. We ourselves have 2 children and were very impressed with the staff and children's facilities (apart from the lack of changing tables anywhere!). We were however fed up at times to be stared at/made to feel uncomfortable at having children by those who were "adults only" as apart from their own beach section/pool and one al la carte - they had to 'endure' our company in the buffet restaurant - this is not to say that this applied to all 'premium guests' (we did meet 2 very lovely couples) but certainly the minority spoiled it a little for us. The fact is if you don't want to mix with kids - couples only hotels are available!

Speaking of children's facilities we had read in a review prior to travel about "docking stations" for drinks/hot water etc - we were disappointed to find that there were in fact only 2 of these - one of which was not available 24hours.

In another review comments were made about 'unruly children' around the pool - we experienced this and to be fair it's not the hotel's fault - it's the parents! But perhaps the hotel could put up better signage re diving from the central building (in the pool) it's just too dangerous!! (I was the one who put some behaviour to a stop by breaking down "international language barriers"!!!!)

We too experienced 'self helping' of our goods, but unfortuantely didn't realise this until coming home as we thought (with 2 children) that items had simply been 'misplaced' - so if you have things of value/importance - make sure you use the safe.

Towels were used for sunbed saving - but this is the norm in most hotels (even against their rules) and we were expecting this.

Food was not vast in terms of choice but what was available was of very good quality - especially in the a la cartes (book in advance - as soon as you get there!!) they are really worth a try. Our favourite was the Asian - superb susihi (according to my husband) and amazing spring rolls/ribs!!

We were very impressed with the beach in terms of the quality of sand/cleanliness. There is a flag system in place (red - no go/yellow - be cautious/ green - fab swim away) don't think it's ever been green!! We didn't mind this so much as we prefer the pool - we were very impressed with the life guards on the beach - they do a great job keeping everyone safe and they are there for that - keeping people safe, so if they say don't go in - DON'T - it's really not safe.

Bring all of your toiliteries with you - as they are very expensive in the shop!!

As for people queue jumping/taking food from the hot plates without plates - that is simple manners and nothing to do with the hotel - don't take these comments as a bad reflection of the hotel.

Overall we had a lovely 2 weeks with our 2 children and would definately go back to Cape Verde again (queuing with children at airport not applicable - they are really good at helping families) : )
We would probably try another hotel prior to coming back here, not saying it wasn't nice, a bit big for us.

We met some lovely people whilst there (27/10/11 - 9/11/11) and if you're reading this and know who you are - thanks for a fab time!! ; ) m,j,m &m

Room Tip: 2nd floor - even with children (carry the pushchair up/down - slightly difficult) the noise on the g...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Hedon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
198 helpful votes 198 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

Stayed in the Adult section for 2 weeks 10th - 24th Oct & have returned feeling really relaxed & chilled. We had some good quality time together & although we did experience some problems we don’t regret going. This is a lovely brand new hotel & we are so pleased we have experienced it in its new form.
Everything has been said about the flight but contrary to what a lot of reviewers have said the crew in both directions were marvellous & we had pleasant flights. The journey could be made more bearable if selfish people did not recline their seats making a cramped area even more so.

We emailed the hotel & asked for a higher floor overlooking the Adult pool & on arrival found we got just that. Room 4130 with a massive balcony on the 1st floor. I can highly recommend this room & it’s a bit bigger than some of the other rooms. They had also made a 9pm reservation for us that evening in the Cape Verdian restaurant, which I thought was a fantastic touch.
We have no complaints about our room at all, beds very comfy, bedding clean & changed regularly as were the towels.

Mini bar filled to bursting every other day including water, don’t get the Coke Zero as they leak & are always flat so not worth the bother. We tipped the lad €1 every time & left him gifts. Which he always thanked us for. I did have a few items of make up go missing & as I had left money & gifts every day for the maid I was quite upset by this.

The food for most of the holiday was good, sometimes a little over cooked but none the less tasty. The griddled meats were far too tough for me, which I put down to the quality of the meat. I really enjoyed the fish dishes, they were very good & always freshly cooked. I had a full Sole one-day that covered my entire plate it was that big & also the tuna is lovely. The food does get repetitive but this is unavoidable & is the same in any AI. The quantity & variation of food really is remarkable.
The collecting of our own cutlery was never a problem to us. Tables were always cleared as soon as they could. More times than not we were offered drinks. There were always a lot of people wandering aimlessly & if I am really honest eating in the buffet was not a brilliant dining experience.

We tried all the speciality restaurants (which incidentally we had no problems at all getting a booking) we enjoyed the gourmet, the Cape Verdian & Asian in that order. The African was a disgrace & we did have to leave due to locusts & insects in the cold food cabinets, which were crawling through the food. Because of the intense lighting the locusts were bombarding the hot counter so every time the lids were lifted they were trying to get in & succeeding. I could not stomach this so we left to go to the buffet. Once at the buffet we noticed many more people had left as well. Management were informed immediately by a considerable amount of people. The poor staff were trying their best to stop it but it was a losing battle for them. The locusts around the food was not a problem in any other food area. I never saw flies on the food in the speciality restaurants but there were in the buffet & plenty of them. The people who have said there were NO flies on the food must have had their eyes shut the entire time & pretending they didn’t exist really defeats the object of them writing a holiday review in the first place. The people reading it expect it to be factual & not fiction. This is Africa at the end of the day & is to be expected, its how the hotel deals with them in the food area that is my main concern. There are no covers at all on the cold food in the buffet so all I can say is caution is needed & once you have food on your plate try not to leave it unattended otherwise they will be all over it.

We did try our hardest to be careful what we ate but we both suffered with stomach upsets for the most part of the holiday. This wasn’t food poisoning or anything like that & it wasn’t anything that ruined our holiday but it was a nuisance. I did take plenty of medicines so was able to treat it easily.(Pepto Bismol) is amazing

The Entertainment team are all fantastic dancers & they wear the most amazing costumes but their shows are dire & although they thoroughly deserve 100% for the effort they put in, I am sure they can find more interesting things to Lip sync too. The live music in the square although repeats itself constantly, it is still worth listening too. The karaoke once it got going was entertaining. But every night they would spend such an age setting it up people would start to leave before it actually got going.

Our biggest area of disappointment is the alcohol quality. The white wine & Rose are possibly the worst I have ever had. I am not a wine connoisseur nor do I expect wine cellar quality in a AI but even the cheap cartons of plonk in Spain were favourable to the wine here. The white wine in the Gourmet was nicer but the only white they served was sweet whereas I like dry BUT it was better than nothing although I believe the red was nice. The Vodka & Brandy were very rough & other spirits I cannot comment on. The beer isn’t too bad though. I did enquire about availability of sparking wine but the hotel calls it champagne & charges €20 a bottle. I refuse to pay this for what in reality is actually Cava.

The extra to upgrade was more than worth it for us. We never had a problem getting a bed round the pool. We even got a choice of a few at 1pm. We are beach people normally but it was just too hot & too far to the bar/toilets & with us not being able to go in the sea we stayed round the pool where we could have a much welcome dip. The pool bar could do with opening earlier than 10.30am but the coffee machine was open from about 8am for a morning drink.

People have commented about being unhappy about the animals there!!! We saw about 3 cats & a dog that seemed to live at the hotel. I am not a big cat fan but these little cats were quite sweet natured & not a nuisance & the dog was mostly asleep under a table, but a stroke & tickle behind their ears did make all the difference. I have no problem with the animals there or showing them affection especially since they are not as fortunate as our own pets back home.

We had a wonderful time & met some great people. We are glad we have been & experienced Boa Vista but the place has nothing to tempt us back. People keep saying about tourism “spoiling “ the island but as the place looks like you have landed on Mars I am unsure as to what can actually be spoilt!! I think tourism for Cape Verde & all the people can only be a good thing. I don’t envisage it becoming a Tenerife by any stretch of the imagination.

The negatives I have mentioned are not there to put people off going but for a review to be worthy then surely it has to be accurate so I am not going to make excuses for the negatives we have found but hopefully the hotel in time will correct them for other future guests to enjoy. The management were very approachable which isn’t always the case.

Having stayed at a lot of Riu’s hotels we have realised that they are formatting all their hotels in the same way regardless were they are in the world. If you haven’t experienced Riu hotels before then you will really enjoy them but for us its like if you have been to one you have been too them all.

Room Tip: 1st Floor is ideal especially when it rains as the ground floor rooms get flooded
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
n.wales
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

We stayed here for two weeks 24 Oct to 7 Nov. We had a lovely time . Check in was quick our room was in Block four, second floor. Lovely sea view and pool view, very quiet. Room cleaning excellent, lovely towel displays. Enjoyed all restaurants, no problem booking a la cartes. Celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary at the gourmet rest, and had an excellent meal. Our table was decorated with flowers. Thanks Giorgio for the sparkling wine. Usually dined in the main restaurant early so as to avoid the rush. No problem getting a table, staff looked after us well, fetching wine etc as required. Good service in the Atlas bar. We managed to get sun beds by the adults pool or the beach no problem.
Did one of the day trips to the isle of Fogo, expensive but what an experience, we really enjoyed this.
The day we came home, took a couple of sandwiches to the airport, just as well as the only place to get food the pizza snack bar was closed. Thought the snacks on the plane very poor, the chips were soft and mushy, and the bacon baguuette was very hard.

We had no complaints for the hotel. Again another good Riu. We will certainly return.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at the Touareg in October, and have got to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, the only thing that would have made it better was staying for 2 weeks rather than just 1 which was over all too quickly.

The flight is what the flight is, being 6'5" I booked the extra leg room seats, which was a bit of a palaver. Having been at the Garopa on Sal in April, we took our own food for the flight and found it a wise choice as the in flight food looked the same. Rabil airport is an experience, because it is so small, but we passed through without hitch. Transfer to the hotel again passed quickly, those who complain about the poor conditions the first half of the road really do need to get a grip, the coach driver took his time and the journey was fine, it's not a coach tour!.

Book in at the hotel was fine, staff were friendly and efficient. We found our way to our room in the adults only section and our suitcases arrived not long after us. The room was clean and tidy, being on the third floor had an excellent view along the beach and overlooked the adults only pool and bar. We first went to the pool where everything was clean, tidy and orderly. The pool bar was always quick to serve, staff again excellent.

We then went to the beach which I found brilliant, the white sand seemed to go on forever in each direction. The ocean was a lovely turquoise colour and the waves crashing on the shore. The waves can be quite strong, even on yellow flag days, but once you get past the breaking waves the swimming is pleasant.

We eventually had to go in for food, which we both found very good, I am a fussy eater but always found plenty to eat, my wife thoroughly enjoyed the wide variety.

Staff were always friendly and helpful even when some of the guests were being really quite rude to them, a little patience in us all would make the world run far more smoothly! Special mention must go to our room maid, Ednia , who did a brilliant job, was always friendly and when we failed to work the safe properly, made sure we knew and all our money and valuables were still there.

I have seen others complaining about things like crickets , there are crickets, they do come into the hallways at night, but really they are quite inoffensive and there are only a few. If you are coming to Cape Verde for the weather, and to Touareg for its remoteness you have got to expect insects . We sprayed some Deet along the bottom the door and got no crickets in the room. There were not many insects other than the crickets and large black wasp like things that never came near people.

We got heavy rain one day which caused some problems with rain having to be blocked off from flowing into lower lying areas, also in the main square the builder's don't seem to have got their levels right resulting In large puddles forming, which meant lots of sweeping for staff. I could go and sort it out for them for free board!

Entertainment staff worked hard, and did entertain, ok it is not west end quality but did people really expect that?

All in all we enjoyed our holiday tremendously, we preferred the Touareg to our stay at the Garopa because of the peace and quiet, it might not suit those who look for more to do outside the hotel. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham England
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2011

1 Travelling for 6 hours in a 767-200 a la Thomson
2 Paying for all meals, drinks and services on the plane. No Film entertainment
3 A la Carte "Self Service Buffet restaurants" 3 day wait !! Book early to avoid disappointment.
4 All sun beds taken after 9.00 am
5 No tea making or mini-bar facility in family rooms
6 Extremely rough but beautiful seas, be warned!
7 Waiters who take the empties away, then don't return with full ones
8 Very pleasant staff
9 Abundance of good food and drink
10 Absolutely nowt to do
11 Fetching bottles of water from reception, because house keeping don't replenish
12 Very expensive gift shops
13 Very busy to overloaded buffet areas at peak times
14 Clean spacious and tidy rooms with air-con that works
15 TV with english language option


That said, 1 day in, we shifted our dining times etc, chilled out and had a pleasantly relaxing week. If you can work round the niggly bits above you're laughing.

Room Tip: The two of us stayed in the family side of the hotel, upgrading the room to a suite. A/C was fine, s...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skegness, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2011

If you want a "do nothing chill out holiday" then this is the place for you. We arrived after a horrendous flight where Thomson now want to charge you for every conceiveable extra... ie a blanket / pillow for £5.. cramped seats....limited stock of duty free / snacks available . On arrival discovered our online visa applications had not been processed by the Cape Verde Authorities and had to queue with many others for Visas which cost us 25 euros each... however this was refunded by the Thomson reps at the hotel the next day. We were informed by the Thomson reps that this was a common occurance. This slap happy disorganised procedure appears to be the norm in Cape Verde as we then waited for almost an hour in the worlds smallest open air airport for our luggage to come off the only plane ! The hotel being relatively new has some issues that need ironing out. The staff although mostly very hard working and friendly, some are obviously very inexperienced whilst others need to make their service more friendly and personel. The rooms are of a good size and high standard of cleanliness, the nice extra touch was the variety of displays the maids could achieve with the bedding and towelling.... bows and twirls .... and even a nightgown that was left on the bed was folded and displayed in a fan design ! However this must have been done to make up for the fact that they were helping themselves ( stealing !!! ) to our chocolates, pringles, facewipes and paracetamols ( we had to purchase some more ibuprofen from one of the shops and this cost 12.50 euros for 16 tablets !! ). We must reiterate other review comments about the restaurants.... our advice is book the theme restaurants..... the main buffet restaurant is a nitemare. It was overcrowded, queues for food, food running out and not being replenished quick enough, greedy people stacking their plates up like they have not eaten for days, and people milling about aimlessly . Watch out though as the food is mass cooked and sometimes we found not cooked thoroughly.The atmosphere is one of a self service cafeteria, and not a relaxed dining experience.We feel that the waiters should be more attentive when you enter the buffet restaurant... they will bring you water and your first drink then that is it apart from taking plates away....Our advice is avoid peaktimes in the main buffet restaurant. The pool areas are excellent and even though there are plenty of sunbeds the prime positions were reserved with the obilgatory towels at daft o'clock even though the management request this is not done. The entertainment was the usual for Riu... same shows, different perfomers !! Dispite these minor glitches we had a great holiday but would probably not return to this particular Riu hotel.

Room Tip: Higher up rooms have better views. We had a ground floor room looking out onto the gardens. However...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south england
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2011

Beaches are brilliant, food excellent & staff very helpful & friendly. Unlike other A/I holidays the staff have not latched onto tipping, therefore they do not expect it.The weather is glorious with a slight breeze making it comfortable. The rooms are not overly spacious but they are adequate.

Room Tip: Although you are able to pay for an upgrade to stay in a block for adults only; we didn't feel t...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Touareg

Address: Urbanizacao Lacacao Lote 13 | Praia Lacacao, Santa Monica, Boa Vista, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Boa Vista > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Touareg 4*
Number of rooms: 881
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Also Known As:
Riu Touareg Hotel Boa Vista

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