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“amazing holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Funana

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ClubHotel Riu Funana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cabocan Lote A2, A3, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde   |  
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Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence 2014
england
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“amazing holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

i would ignore every bad review of this hotel. me and my friends had a wondeful time and i loved it that much i wanted to stay! i would reccomened the island tour through gus not thomson as its a lot cheaper and just as good. if you get the chance go to santa maria town and head for the beach. its so calm and you can jump off the pier. couldnt fault a single thing about the hotel. pools were great and food was amazing! i didnt get to try the grill resturant as my friend is a vege but 2 of the lads we made good friends with did and said how amazing it was so im gutted i didnt get to try. the get full quickly though so book straight away. all in all a brilliant holiday!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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2,232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (531)
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Rotherham, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Just back from a two week stay on Sal in the Cape Verde islands and loved it. The hotel is near to Santa Maria which is very small but quite busy. Be prepared for young men to invite you to their "mamma's" shop to which they "escort" you and implore you to buy something to "help them out" the price can be haggled but their "no stress" policy is not always accurate!!!

The Hotel
The Room; spacious, immaculately clean, good shower always hot water. Air con a little noisy if on high. Fridge needed defrosting. Did not use the TV because we were on holiday! the beds were comfy and the room quiet apart from neighbours above and furniture scrapping the floor at times. Towels not so great but hey you get dry.

The Bar(s)
All good, tended very well, service excellent, special note to Cristina, Mikaol (not sure of spelling) and Elizabeth in the bar area outside Capo Verde restaurant. On the beach bar we recommend the football mad bar tender. My other half was supposed to get his name but failed!!!

Restaurant's
They were all good. I especially liked Capo Verde because they served spicy muscles and prawns which were fab. Mandalay served Chinese food and was my partners favourite and their tempura prawns fab. The every day buffet was also very, very good and we did not have any "bad" meals as their was always lots of choice everyday.

Entertainment
We don't normally care about this as we are happy just being together without work to think about. However the local animation team were very good, and put on a number of different shoes, which were very entertaining. There is also a daily program on the beach which I am too lazy to bother with but was fun to watch.

You do not have to be idle if you do not want to be as there is lots to do with or without the animation team and you can access trips and have a good walk.

Caution!!! It is very easy to get burnt, the wind keeps you cool so that you do not know you are burning. The rep advised on the journey to the hotel to use factor 50 and he is RIGHT and reapply loads. We were well prepared and did not suffer too much but got caught out on a walk to Santa Maria; others however looked very red and sore. We are told this is due to the lack of pollution and proximity to the equator (lucky buggers).

Scuba Diving- On sight centre Scuacaribe
Excellent dive guides Ilson, Kush and Maneula though we were mostly with Ilson a great guide. We were not too happy about having to pay upfront for our dives as this meant predicting how many we wanted to do and we would rather play it by ear!! We plumped for the 20 dive package to split between us and added a further dive because the first dive is a sighting dive in the afternoon when they only do one dive. We added another so that our last dive day we could do the two morning dives. The team at the centre are helpful and getting out to the boat and back is great fun riding the waves. We used sea sick pills because sitting on the boat bobbing about on the waves not too good for us. The boats are a little cramped to get ready on and you cannot be guaranteed where you will dive due to current, so we did some dives more than once; which was not a problem. We only borrowed a BCD so cannot comment on other equipment

The resort is popular with young families, lots of small children and babies. Also popular with Italian, French, Belgian and German tourist so not many English; again not a problem for us but may be for some.

Room Tip: I asked for an upper floor sea view and got a lower floor room so I could not see the sea (shame) We...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport, Cheshire
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We have just returned from a fantastic weeks stay at the Riu. Having traveled quiet a bit but never stayed at a Riu before I will be doing so now. The flight out was on time - plane was comfy and roomy only downside - air crew seemed very tired and not really very helpful we had to ask again and again for a drink in the end we got up and went and fetched it but by doing so blocked the queue for the toilet and felt in the way. Slight issue with passport control on arrival only 1 computer working - very laid back staff did not worry about it. Transfers - excellent directed by staff all the way to the bus - 20 min drive. Hotel is linked to the Garopa which is a mirror of the Funana - very well thought out. Check in was quick and efficient and we were served a ice cold fruit juice whilst waiting - tip complete your registration forms on the bus saves so much time. I had e mailed before arriving to ask for a central room due to my father in law not being able to walk far - we were in block 3 and could not be more central. Rooms next to each other with one hall way and front door which was great as you could shut this and open your room door to speak to each other - great for families with children. Room large, comfortable and very clean - sheets and towels changed every day. We only had 1 issue with the room and this was 4 very large oriental cockroaches which appeared in the shower over 2 days. whilst they will not hurt you they can seem scary as very large and move very quickly. On reporting them we had the room fumigated and cleaned however this did not stop them. My husband who works in pest control knew they were coming up through a faulty plug stopper in the shower, explained that a replacement plug was all we needed they did this immediately and we had no further issue. - Food was fantastic so much choice - tip book the restaurants on arrival as they do get booked quickly, the mandalay was the favorite being chinese food - my mother in law had a birthday on the last night and they dressed the table with flowers and champagne. The main buffet restaurant although busy again was excellent - tip on first day walk around it and look at the different areas before sitting down. Pool area again excellent very clean, towels available every day, sunbeds in and out of shade if needed, pool bar service excellent in and out of pool. We ventured to the beach for one day as it was a little bit of a long walk but again could not fault it for available sunbeds and shade, yes it is windy but it is welcome in the heat although please wrap up at night as can get cold. Tip - please do take high factor suncream - it is very expensive in the hotel shop - 35 euros!!!! for sunblock, 15 euros for normal factor!!!! - Entertainment team were fab always on the go and were excellent dancers - although having seen most of the shows before in other places we did like the grease night!! - the downside were the groups they brought in - Abba tribute and a duo - really bad!! - we did the 4 x 4 trip again excellent especially floating in the salt lake - tip do not let the salt water get in your eyes - it really does hurt.
The staff are so friendly and go out of their way to help you. The hotel is very very clean, yes some areas need a little work but it is being done. Pool is very clean and is suitable for old and young alike, food is excellent and there is something for everyone, their star system is not the same but we received 5 star treatment and will certainly be going back

Room Tip: Block 4-5 for beach - block 3 to be really central to all facilities
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackburn
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

The hotel is joined to the Garopa although they seemed to be 1 complex. Our room was in block 4 which was a 2 minute walk to reception and restaurants etc. It was clsoe to the pools and beach so was a good block to be in.

The blocks are all 2 storey. Our room was decent size for 2 adults and an 8 year old. It was cleaned daily with new towels whenever we left them on the floor. The room was clean and well maintained.

Reception and all public areas were clean and in good condition.

There were 4 decent sized pools with pool bar close to hand open from 10.30. There were plenty sunbeds as long as you didnt leave it too late.
It was fairly windy which means you have to take care leaving stuff lying around.

As far as food this was as good as you can expect from a 4* All Inclusive. The main buffet restaurant (Ponta Preta) had a very good choice at all meals & was well prepared and served. If anything ran out it was immediatley replaced.
There were 4 restaurants available to book. You could do this up to 3 days in advance but the 7pm slot booked up quickly. We ate at the Santa Maria one night - this served grilled meats and was excellent and more chilled than the larger buffet restaurant.
We also ate at the Mandalay which was a selection of Far East food and again was really good.

The hotel is right on the beach but it was red flag alert when we were there as it was windy. It was a nice beach though and sunbeds were available to the hotel residents.

Santa Maria itself was a bit disappointing. We walked in one day about 4/5 & it was very quiet with very little to see.

The flights werent the best as it was a short haul plane presumably as small runway. It didnt seem like it restocked in Cape Verde as the home flight seemed to run out of some items.

Overall a very chilled holiday. The wind was quite strong at times but when the sun came out it was very hot (careful as easy to underestimate its strength given the wind). If you want a hotel/beach holiday with not much to see then this is the place.

Room Tip: Blocks 4 & 5 are closer to pools and beach. Noiser from entertainment can just be heard in these...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Went here for 7 night family break over Easter. Our previous holidays had been with at Riu hotels and this one was very very similar to the others. Key review points:

- the funana and guropa are the same place, funana rooms are closest to the beach exit
- the wind never lets up, and spoilt the excellent sunshine for me
- it seems everyone got burnt
- food is what you would expect from a decent AI resort
- rooms are good, beds are hard,
- taxi to town 4 euro is worth doing
- beach was red flagged all week which meant no use of ai water sports
- pools are og to cool of but too cold to relax in (at easter)
- evening entertainment just the large concert area with mixture of entertainment team and professional acts.
- queues at the airport leaving were ridiculous. Folk on the later buses had to stand for 90mins
- taxi from the airport was worth 20 euros. If you are on the bus you have to wait for the folk who did not pre book the visa

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 1
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Telford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

My parents have previously stayed at both the Riu Funana and Garopa (the hotels are mirrored with the pools and entertainment area between them) so when my boyfriend and I decided to have a winter break for his birthday, Cape Verde seemed an ideal choice. My first gripe is with Thomsons and not the hotel, while I appreciate that the airport and runway on Sal is small (they don’t have lights on the runway so planes can’t take off or land after dark) the plane Thomsons sent us out on was so small that I couldn’t cross my legs. I am 5ft 7” and the seat back tray wouldn’t come down flat for my meal because my knees were in the way. On the flight they told us that as from 2013 they were taking out some seats in the planes they use for Cape Verde and this will definitely be welcome. When we arrived at the airport we had purchased our visas online before we went so we were quickly ushered out to the waiting coach. The transfers from the airport to the hotel take around 15 minutes and the rep was very friendly and gave lots of information about Santa Maria and the island of Sal. We didn’t really leave the complex so I can’t comment about what is available in Santa Maria town.

Our room was comfortable, we were situated in the block nearest the beach which is the furthest away from the lobby and restaurant area but that was no issue to us. The room was a decent size with a bathroom and shower open off the main room and a separate toilet. The room did look like it needed a bit of sprucing up; there were cracks along the ceiling and walls for example but it didn’t detract from our stay. The room was kept beautifully clean all week and on the day of my boyfriends birthday the hotel left a bottle of wine in our room which was a nice touch.

We stayed by the top pool closest to our block during the day and never had any issue getting sunbeds. Although we had hot weather it was still too chilly for me to go in the pool more than once but that’s personal preference. We used to head down to the beach around 4.30-5 every afternoon for a final drink before we headed back to the room. The beach was lovely with beautiful white sand. I have read other reviews about the roughness of the sea but when I was there the sea was calm every time I went down to the beach.

The food was good – similar to many other All Inclusives to be honest and by the end of the week I was starting to get tired of the food. At breakfast you could have a cooked breakfast or more continental fair but lunch and dinner were fairly similar. There was always some sort of meat, fish, vegetables and accompaniments as well as pizza and pasta. We tried to book into the one of the a la carte restaurants for my boyfriends birthday only to be told they were all full.

The evening entertainment wasn’t good. It seemed to consist of the entertainment team dancing or miming terribly to songs. The one night we had some bizarre fashion show.

All in all I would go back to the Funana (or its sister hotel the Garopa) for a week’s sunshine break. For a relaxing, do nothing week away it was just what we wanted.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

When you first land in the airport it is like landing on the moon however what a great location if you want to do nothing.
There are 2 hotels that are joined but don't let that put you off as you do not feel overcrowded.
Beach a little walk away with a shelf to the sea and there are dogs that roam the beach but they do so as people take food from the buffet and feed them .
Food is average but we suffered no upset stomachs and always found something to eat.( I was 6 months pregnant at the time too)
Clean friendly resort.
The bar area is small so sometimes had a struggle to be served or find seats and it is also an area where people are permitted to smoke .
If you want to do nothing then his is a great spot as relatively unspoilt at present with good all round temperatures .

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Funana

Address: Cabocan Lote A2, A3, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#5 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — ClubHotel Riu Funana 4*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Situated on the island of Sal in the Cape Verde Islands * Main building and 2-story annexes * Situated on the beach front together with the ClubHotel Riu Garopa * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 1.5 Km to Santa MarA-a * 15 km from the airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Funana Santa Maria
ClubHotel Riu Funana Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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