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“An appealing slice of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Cavoquinho

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Casa Cavoquinho
Cha de Manuel dos Santos, Santo Antao, Cape Verde   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 17 Santo Antao B&B and Inns
1 review
“An appealing slice of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Quirky and very appealing little slice of paradise tucked halfway up the Paul valley. Perfectly placed for seriously energetic hikes up to the surrounding hilltops, gentle rambles or very lazy strolls down the road to Alfred's organic restaurant and grog shop. Belen and Jose are friendly, interesting, informative, easy going hosts and great cooks with a good sense of humour. The room was spacious, uncluttered and attractive with a brilliant hot shower ( a must after an all day walk) in a very stylish bathroom. We stayed for six days over christmas and really enjoyed our stay, the delicious food and their hospitality as well as the ever changing company of the guests from the other 2 rooms - very convivial and relaxed. We loved having the 2 dogs and cats around and a real treat was being able to take Luna for a walk with us up to one of the Picos. Is there anything we'd ask to be different ? Probably only having hot water available in the morning as well as in the evening but it's not a big deal. Biggest regret was not being able to stay longer.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
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Luzern
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

José and Belén are really outstanding hosts. Very fast we felt us like at home in the "house of friends". We had great discussions and got many interesting insides of the local life. It was really a pity as we had to leave this fantastic people.
From the terrace we had a terrific view down the Ribeira do Paul as well to the mountains around the valley. The walk from the Cova Crater was breathtaking. It takes 2 hours to walk down to sea. By passing many villages you can really get in contact with the local people.
The casa is quite central located. Our room was large and very nice. The beds were very comfortable. Bathroom was brand new with a rain shower - this is what you really do not expect. Wireless/WiFi is free.
Breakfast was great with fresh fruits. And then the dinner - outstanding cooking!

Overall the very best place on our three week trip. José and Belén - many thanks - you gave us a great time.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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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Berlin, Germany
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We stayed 4 nights at Casa Cavoquinho and really enjoyed the place and surrounding. The Casa is located directly near a Hiking path (101) and you can start most treks from the house. Hiking up to Cova Crater starts in the village.
Cavoquinho has only three rooms and you enjoy breakfast and dinner in a small room upstairs. The dinner was very tasteful and excellent (spanish influenced) and the breakfast good (the bread was toasted and left over from the dinner, I guess). The owner Jose was very helpful and suggested some hikes and gave good information. It gets a bit chilly at night, so take a warm jumper. We loved the hot shower.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

Just back from a visit to Cape Verde, and I ended my stay on a high note, in more ways than one by spending three days at the Casa Cavoquinho.

Perched at the end ribeira high above the valley, the views are awesome and that's just the beginning. The owners, José and Belén were very welcoming and were helpful throughout my stay. Even months before I arrived, José was prompt and courteous in answering my e-mails. Once I arrived, he was also very helpful in giving advice about hikes and helping make arrangements for guides, etc., to take them. He also made sure that transfers to and from Porto Novo went without a hitch. Simply put, José and Belén were excellent hosts. The atmosphere at the casa is peaceful, the meals are great, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the service from the owners and staff is kind and attentive--this is the place to stay in the Ribeira do Paúl!

Regarding another poster's comments about an aggressive dog and the amount of English spoken, I must say that the two dogs at Casa Cavoquinho are the most relaxed, laid-back dogs I've ever seen--and I came and went when the owners weren't there. Also, José and Belén speak English very well. No one should worry about the dogs or communicating in English (or Spanish, of course).

Kepe up the good work, José and Belén!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Beirut, Lebanon
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

I am an American living in Senegal and travelling throughout West Africa. I've stayed in many hotels and bed and breakfasts around the region. This was my second time staying in the Paul Valley and my first time at Casa Cavoquinho, and I absolutely loved it. Last time I stayed at Aldeia Manga. Since other reviewers have pretty thoroughly described Cavoquinho, I'll make my review more of a comparison between Cavoquinho and Aldeia Manga in some key areas where they're quite different. They probably don't necessarily consider themselves in the same market, but with only a few choices in the area I think tripadvisor readers might find this helpful.

Location: Cavoquinho wins this one. It's much easier to find an aluguer to take you here than Aldeia Manga since Cavoquinho is on the main road. The place looks straight out on the beautiful Paul Valley, and is at the very top of the main road. That means that, if you're going to hike up to Cova Crater, you're in the very best place to start the hike from this hotel. At Aldeia Manga, you have about an hour or more of hiking uphill before you reach the Casa Cavoquinho.

Service: Cavoquinho wins this one, hands down. One of the two owners (Jose) was around during our stay. He patiently and thoroughly answered all of our questions about local hikes and anything else. He even suggested a very "off the beaten path" hike that was one of the highlights of our trip. One word of caution - he pretty much only speaks Spanish. Belen (the other owner) wasn't there during our stay, and maybe she speaks other languages. It might be good to check before you go. Cavoquinho also has a laminated copy of the hiking map of Santo Antao, which was a great help even if there was no one around to answer questions. All of this was a positive upgrade from Aldeia Manga, where the owner more or less refused to interact with us.

Food: I might have to give the one to Aldeia Manga, but not by much. The dinners at Casa Cavoquinho were not buffets, they served courses one by one. We had no problem getting filled up (including my brother-in-law who can eat obscene amounts of food), but the lack of options was a slight disappointment after being at Aldeia Manga. The food at both places was delicious, natural, and creative. Also, dessert and shots of grog after dinner were not included in the dinner price (they are at Manga). The breakfasts were also slightly less substantial than they were at Aldeia Manga, but again, we had no problems getting filled up before starting our days.

Rooms: This one depends on what you want. At Manga, we had our own bungalow, which was kind of nice. There is also an entire "holiday house" to rent at Manga, which may be more practical for a family compared to the more "hotel-like" rooms at Cavoquinho. The other big difference is the pond/pool at Manga, which was a fun way to cool down after a day of hiking. Nothing like that exists at Cavoquinho. That said, the amenities and comfort level were higher at Cavoquinho. There were hot showers, soft beds, good lighting, etc.

All in all, if we go back to Paul we will definitely go back to Casa Cavoquinho over Aldeia Manga because of the better service and location. I gave the place 4 stars but wish I could give it 4.5. It's just about perfect.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

The view from the casa is stunning, Jose and Belem will warmly welcome you and serve delightful dinners and a good breakfast. To get there, Jose arranged a transfer with a local driver from Santo Antao harbour.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2011

Spent three nights there while hiking in the area, for which it is a great starting point. The place is tiny (four rooms, warm and pleasant) and curiously set up (bathrooms are separated, but still, each room has its own bathroom). Access to warm water was a bit hit and miss, but the bathrooms were very clean (though you could always get some insects at night). Quality of the food varied, but was always plentiful, served from a terrace with a magnificient view. There is also a small covered dining area (two tables) where you can borrow books (about 3/4 of which in Portuguese).

Main issue was the service. I never saw the supposedly so welcoming owners (there was no hint that they were away), and the local staff (though nice) barely spoke any English, French or Spanish. They also have a very aggressive dog which will prevent you from entering the premises whenever the staff is away.

Room Tip: Book earky as there are only 4 rooms
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Casa Cavoquinho

Address: Cha de Manuel dos Santos, Santo Antao, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Santo Antao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Santo Antao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cavoquinho is not the typical tourist accommodation that you can find in other parts of the island. It is a place where the traveler is part of the community and where you can discover the hospitality of the Cape Verdean people in their traditional way of life. ... more   less 
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