You pays your money and you takes your choice! As a reasonably priced,all-inclusive holiday sun destination in January, Riu Karamboa,Boa Vista,Cape Verde is more than value for money.
This was our second visit to this hotel in 3 in three years and there were two major differences since our last visit.The first was that the gardens are now mature and quite lush with palms,banana trees with bunches and flowering shrubs everywhere,oh! and not to forget the grass now growing in parts - no mean achievement since the place was originally built on sand.
The second difference was that it was noticably busier than our last visit with the whole of the EU being represented mainly German and French some Italian,Finnish and Danes. Nevertheless although busy it did give it a unique atmosphere and most people were friendly we found. If you wanted piece and quiet the hotel is big enough to find it without going to far.
The design of this hotel in the desert is unique like a series of sand castles that take on a glow in the moonlight. The rooms are spotless,sorted everyday and have a fridge and safe. Take your own kettle for tea if needed and the hairdryer is crap. Our room No 2247 had a sea view to the right complete with sunsets at 6pm and to the left we saw the sunrise at 7am from the balcony.
On the food side of things - there is without doubt plenty and argueably too much choice in the main buffet. We found two faults,if you wanted toast in the morning be prepared to queue as there are only two toasters which are so slow,anyone who invents a fast and efficient toaster will make a killing. The second,the chefs for some reason can't cook veg,especially cauliflower and sprouts - they were both well overcooked - although not many will care about that on holiday I must admit. There are 3 speciality resteraunts but they are all busy and you have to book 3 days in advance so you will have to be in reception for at least 8am and even then there will be a queue - all 3 are average and adequate and they are still buffet style but without the scramble.
The pool was cold and it gets busy round the main area with not much bed space around you,we just sited ourselves a little further back where there are plenty of beds and more room to breathe. The beach either side of the hotel is pristeen and goes for miles mostly deserted,to the right you can walk into Sal Rei the nearest town,just stay on the beach and keep walking,the hotel do an organised walk twice a week if you prefer. The kite and wind surfing facilities are exceptional especially in windy January with hiring from hotel or a few other providers further up the beach or for the expert take your own gear. The red flag came out on the beach 3 days out of the 14 we were there after all it is the Atlantic but the rest of the time even on the yellow flag the swimming was great with the sea warmer than the pool.
I'm not a particularly good flyer and I found the flight claustraphobic 3 seats either side and we both go for aisle seats but still its to tight especially having to come home like that which is bad enough. You can pre-book the exra leg-room seats to be fair,but you have to be quick. One day when they make the runway longer the big jets will arrive,when that daycomes maybe it won't be quite the same unique place any more.
Overall and as a first time winter break for us it hit the spot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the island Boavista in the Cape Verde Islands. 2-Storey main building and 3-storey annexes. Situated on the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach. 7 Km to Sal Rei. 1,5 Km from the airport. Credit cards accepted: Visa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Hotel Boa Vista
- Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Boa Vista
- Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Cape Verde/Boa Vista