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“Porto Antigo Santa Maria” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Porto Antigo Residence

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Porto Antigo Residence
3.5 of 5 Condominium   |   Rua 15 Agosto | Santa Maria Ilha Do Sal, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde   |  
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Porto Antigo Santa Maria”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2008

Please go to Cape Verde with an open mind.
I had read so many bad reviews that for the first time ever, I really wasn't looking forward to my holiday. For us, it was a fantastic experience to enjoy a totally unspoilt way of life.

Our apartment was at the far end of Santa Maria town, next to the Odjo Agua Hotel. It had its own Restaurant and Bar called Papaya's, also open to non residents. Lovely terrace overlooking the sea. The locals don't speak a lot of English so sometimes our orders were a little hit and miss, but everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful so it was all part of the charm of the place.

None of our party of 5 (including a 77 yr old and 2 kids) got sick.
We were extremely careful with the water as it is not even safe for teeth cleaning. (Also contaminating hands when washing too).
We took hand gel and used often, particularly after handling money etc. We took antibac wipes and handwash for the room and all had a course of probiotics before and during our visit.
Fruit and salad as much as I love it, were a no go area for the week. We ate out for breakfast lunch and dinner everyday of our holiday, including the Odjo Hotel and were perfectly fine.

Santa Maria is not a frightening place at all. It is not dirty, just very untidy, lots of building going on and lots of rubble and broken pavements everywhere. I don't know where the brothel is as mentioned in the Odjo review. It cannot be that obvious as we must have walked by it every day of our holiday without even noticing it was there!

The most annoying thing about Santa Maria are the African traders from Senegal who pester you as you walk along the street. They walk along with you so you can't really say 'no thanks' and walk away. They are only trying to get you to go to their shop but during the process ask where you are from, your names etc etc. It is quite exhausting too, to go into this conversation over and over again! Anyway, by the second day, a smile and a wave as we said 'no thank you' seemed to do the trick as we didn't go into any further conversation.
The local Cape Verde residents don't do this, they are much more polite and unasuming.

We went to the Morabeza hotel for their Cape Verde night on Sat.
You must book in advance and it is 21 Euro per adult, half for kids. The buffet meal is followed by Cape Verde singing and dancing. We got a taxi back as a little unsure about walking all the way across town (only about 10 mins walk) but longer for us as our 77 yr old has mobility problems and we would perhaps be slightly more vunerable after dark.

Also took a jeep tour with a guy called Danny Lopez who parks along the 'Prom' just west of the pier (just past the Morabeza).
He charged 18 E each and took us to all the places of interest. If you sit in the open in the back of the Jeep it is great fun but you will get very dusty!

So go and enjoy, if you like places like Benidorm and Tenerife you will probably hate it. Also, I think you would have a totally different holiday based on your location as some of the hotels were a little way out of town. The beaches are as lovely as the Caribbean, we have been there many times over the last 25 years. Watch the currents though as some days the sea can be quite rough!

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100 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2008

These apartments are clean and functional but are not the height of luxury. The second bedroom was cramped and an adjacent buidings air con was noisy. The pool was fine as were the two attached beaches. The walled one was fine for swimming the other was visited by a shark one evening.The grounds have their own security staff and are well maintained. The maid service was efficient.
This is a poor developing country with a 60% import tax so it is expensive.
Street vendors are a hassle but I never felt threatened or unsafe.
There are a variety of local restaurants, a curry house and a few Pizzarias. Seafood is in abundance but isn't cheap unless you catch it yourself. The fresh water is desalinated and undrinkable and very little grows on the island. Fresh fruit and veg bought from street vendors was expensive as were the mini marts.
Guided tours likewise so negotiate with the locals. We hired a roadworthy vehicle driver and guide for a half day tour (all you need) for about 80 Euros.
Glorious weather, glorious beaches, sea fishing scuba diving and windsurfing are the things to do as there is little else.
I tried to go island hopping but gave up, if you really want to do this pre book in the UK
Get there before it gets too developed but be prepared for a culture shock.
Would I go back?? No

Stayed July 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2008

I went with my sister for a relaxing beach holiday. Both are pretty well travelled. We well pleasantly surprised by the apartments paid £250 for week. They were very modern, clean, service with fresh towels every day, nice outside table. Air conditioning, large living space and large fridge/freezer. There was security to stop street vendors or other tourist coming into complex. The site has a lovely bar and walled beach with sun lounges. The pool is nice and it was very quite when we were there. The Island is small but not too developed as yet. There is one main road. It is volcanic/ desert like but beaches nice and water clear. It was sunny every day it can be windy but walled beach meant it didn’t spoil it. The food is basic and not cheap. The bakery is very cheap.

Top tips make sure you have Visa as master card not accepted in very slow cash machines. Take a few bottles of wine as expensive on island. Hire quad bikes for a day and buzz around the island-very dirty but fun!

Mhairi and Shona

  • Liked — Clean
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Porto Antigo Residence

Address: Rua 15 Agosto | Santa Maria Ilha Do Sal, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Porto Antigo Residence 3.5*
Number of rooms: 100
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Also Known As:
Porto Antigo Residence Hotel Santa Maria
Porto Antigo Residence Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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