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“Good holiday but will not rush back” 4 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 16 Hotels in Santa Maria
London England
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Good holiday but will not rush back”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

There are lots of detailed comments already that accurately reflect most of the good and bad points about this resort hotel. We booked last minute and got a reduced price for some late Winter sun and were not too disappointed with what we got for our money. However if we had paid full price we would have been disappointed.

Good points - the people / staff are amazingly friendly, the place was spotlessly clean, the rooms are a good size although some do smell a bit musty, the food is good quality albeit somewhat repetitive. Very generous with the drinks measures if thats your thing.

Bad points - towels on sunbeds from early morning which is not policed, very busy with quite a few children so noisy by the pool, limited entertainement, not much else to see or do. They need to be aware of food hygeine with some people picking up food with their hands and then putting it back. Poor wifi connections which are not free. Limited English TV channels.

The brochure description is a bit misleading as this is really one huge hotel with the next door hotel sharing all facilities and only separated by two Reception areas. If anything the hotel next door has better seating areas.

Speciality restaurants not that special, the Grill and African were not very good and not worth bothering with, the Cape Verdian and the Asian much better.

The complex is vast and the rooms spread arounf five blocks, Block 1 is very close to reception and the entertainement and Block 5 is best for the pool and beach with the others in between. The stroll from one to another is not a problem though unless you have mobility issues.

Two weeks would send you stir crazy!!

Room Tip: All blocks are only two floors high. Floors upstairs are less noisy. We stayed in Block 2 and had a...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,070 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (487)
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English first
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

It was lovely to escape the British weather and arrive in Sal on Christmas Day. The weather for the fortnight was very good, but it can be breezy most of the time, although this helps to keep you cool. Just remember you still need to put on a high factor sun lotion.
The 2 hotels together are huge, and if you're going at the busiest time of the year it's to be expected that there will be a lot of screaming children, and the pool areas and the restaurants will be extremely busy. We sunbathed on the fabulous beach, lots of sunbeds, and walk 2 minutes either way and it's blissfully peaceful. We went for our evening meals at about 8.00 to 8.30pm, when it was quieter as people with children tended to eat earlier.
Always plenty of choice at all the meals, and the 2 gala dinners were very well presented. There are also themed restaurants, you've got to book a few days in advance at reception.
The beach is fantastic, just look at the photos, and the waves can be fun but dangerous, but guards are always present. There are dogs on the beach, all very friendly, and we took scraps of food for them and left water in a plastic cup. (They'll also drink your lemonade if you leave it at the side of the sunbed).

Outside the hotel you can book trips with the locals (can personally recommend going with either Dilan or Elvis, much cheaper than Thomsons and their guides are very helpful). At Shark's Bay our guide even walked out with my camera to get a better photo of the sharks. And the salt mines were brilliant - didn't want to leave. It's 5 euros to get in, and 1 euro if you want a shower after you've been in the water (which we didn't bother with). Don't forget to take your towel.

Every Friday there is the Beach Party on the beach, when all the managers are introduced, and you can enjoy a pina colada (normally the beach bar only serves beer and soft drinks).
A 40 minute paddle in the sea to the left (or 20 minutes if you walk along the promenade) will bring you to Santa Maria where you'll see the fishermen bring in their catch. There are bars and restaurants here if you fancy getting out of the hotel for a change, and of course the souvenir shops.

In the evenings, apart from New Year's Eve, we tended to sit and chat in the bar area (on the Funana side this is 24 hour, and there are a few snacks left in the Cape Verde Restaurant for anyone who can still eat after evening meals!) but there is always something on the stage for anyone who wants to watch a show.

To finish off, I can only praise everybody who works at this hotel. They made our holiday very enjoyable.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north wales
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

we arrived for the gala dinner on new year eve...fantastic start to the holiday i must say..everything was first class.we were in block 4 and had a mini suite..this was spotless,..we were in fananna side of hotel...both a mirror image..but you could end up overlooking a building site on garoupa side...we had no complaints at all about this hotel..but did miss a bit of waiter service!!iwe went b and b 8 years ago and ran out of money as please note it is not cheap to have decent meal and bottle of wine in santa maria. saying that we loved catching a t axi and wondering around santa maria..def do not miss this experiance. thomson reps were really professional..not pushy at all.please note..this is a club rui not a princess rui..and the whole holiday was fun fun fun.lots of quiet areas to just chill out so you could take or leave the entertainment if you wanted. would we go again...yes if the price was right..the bonus being the shortish flight for lovely weather. we upgraded seats so had great flights.

Room Tip: all have similar benefits..ie nearer to reception or beach or pool..courses for horses!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

Stayed for week 14th Jan, the hotel is fantastic plenty of a
Food at all times and plenty of choice, the bookable Mandaly Asian restaurant was excellent too, rooms were comfortable and the staff were second to none, as for the beach clear turquoise sea and beautiful sand, always sunbeds and plenty of entertainment, Santa Maria is a must sea especially the pier where the fresh fish are bought in and sold, I can't comment on the pool as we never used them, we had an issue with some broken toiletries after the cleaner had been in, we were reimbursed in sterling by the hotel manager and a bottle of champagne sent to our room for my partners birthday too, take an island trip it's well worth it, we used Elvis and Sassou Dreamtours half the price of Thomsons and 5 1/2hrs long too, all in all well worth a visit can't wait to return

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandefjord, Norway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

Hotel is good and staff are nice.
Tips if you want to have a tour around the Island,(( Don`t buy of Dylan)). He talks dirty to you when you dont hear. All the other guys are very calm and have a good behavior.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Glasgow
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

We had a great holiday in the funana. The food was very good with a great selection for everybody, being vegetarian I had never been to a hotel which had a separate vegetarian buffet section. Food varied every night. We ate in two of the speciality restaurants-the African and Asian both were good esp Asian but you have to book 3 days in advance. Would have been nice to have a waiter service restaurant aswell. Pools were good but a bit cold for me. We went a trip with Gus on the beach which was excellent and half the price of the thomson trips. I would definitely recommend! The beach is fantastic! The weather is a little variable and can be quite windy around the pool/beach at this time of year but be careful as you still get burnt. We found if it was windy at the hotel we took a walk into the town of Santa Maria, 20 mins via road and 30 via beach. It was a lot less windy on the beach in town and the town area in general. It is a lovely little fishing town, be sure to go up the the pier around 11 to see the fishermen bringing in the daily catch. Tho sons offer a free walking tour of the town which was definitely worthwhile and helps you get your Barinas. Overall I couldn't fault the holiday we had a great time and didn't want to leave!!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

It was with a bit of trepidation that we booked a Holiday in Cape Verde as had mixed reviews such as " nothing to do" , "very windy" .
Four of us went on a 2 week break starting Dec 31st. Travelled with Thomsons and would recommend the extra leg room seats as a pretty long flight and nearly always full.
Took only about 1 hour from arrival to check in.
Very pleasantly surprised by the smiling receptionists and exceptional helpfulness from our Thomson Reps., Sophie and Katy.
Rooms were clean and big enough with drink making facilities and bottled water but needed to ask for soap and little extras as not always replaced.
For a big Hotel catering for lots of people we found plenty of room around the pool but did lay some towels out before breakfast !
A mix of people from all parts of the world in a very friendly atmosphere.
We were on all inclusive and found this of very good value . Massive choice of breakfast but was unable to get poached eggs which is only a minor point.
Lunch also very good , especially in the restaurant .
Dinner again good value with some specials or a roast on most evenings.
Local beer very good and pretty strong too. Could only find Jim Beam the only other branded drink but again overall a good choice.
The staff at the Riu Funana were very nice and helpful and always willing to share a joke which was an added bonus.
The beach and all facilities within a few minutes walking distance. recommend to hire a 4 x 4 off- roader for the day to visit all the sights on the island.
All in all we would go again especially if the pools were heated and the WiFi worked in the rooms as well as the lobby.

Room Tip: Rooms in Block 1 are handy for the restaurants and bars but a few minutes walk to the pools and beac...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#5 Family 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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