PROS: This is close to the airport for late arrivals/early departures. By close I mean you can walk it EASILY unless you have tons of luggage. Front desk service person was very helpful and accommodating as we worked out some room confusion. Server stayed late at night as we stayed up to have beers, and reopened to get us water when we realized we had run out. CONS: the rooms are a bit run down and some lights didn't work and there were issues with some A/C and such but price was good (we were with large group taking several rooms). TIP: This is a great place to hang out while waiting for your flight.
Hotel O Bigodes offer fairly clean and comfortable rooms. The front line staff is very friendly and helpful, however the owner seems to suffer from sclerosis. Prior to our arrival we have agreed a price per e-mail for two persons including breakfast. However once we checked-out we have been advised that the price should be considerably higher. Luckily we have had our confirmation e-mail (with the price) printed out, so we insisted to pay what we were supposed to pay, however it wasn’t a nice experience to see that the receptionist got the reprimand from his superior who claimed that we should pay more than it was agreed and confirmed prior to our arrival. Therefore, despite a good service, I seriously doubt if I will ever choose this hotel at Sao Tome.
Located very close to the airport, the hotel is clean and spacious. Ask for a room with a sea view as the view is really lovely across the bay. There is also a veranda all along the length of the hotel which is lovely to sit on. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and you there are 2 or 3 restaurants around the hotel, making it very convenient to go out for dinner close by. It is located a bit far away from the town centre, but a half hour walk around the bay or a 10 minute taxi (yellow mini bus) will get you there!
Very close to the airport (200 meters) so it's very convenient to stop here on arrival or before departure. Rooms are not splendid but have everything that is needed including free wifi. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Floor carpets in the corridor need cleaning. Very good restaurant with modern kitchen. The food is really tasty - one of the best in town.
We stayed at the O Bigodes hotel on her first day in Sao Tome. The hotel is literally a five minute walk from the airport. The hotel owner's wife also works at the hotel and came to greet us upon arrival. The owner picked us up and took us to the hotel. We had just arrived on an overnight flight and were still a bit dreary eyed and had had problems with our visa for Sao Tome. So, the nice welcome by the O Bigodes owner and the ease of getting to the hotel and registration was a relief. The staff at the hotel are very friendly and helpful. They spoke sufficient english to help us and always had a smile for us. They even allowed us to use their local mobile phones to make various calls. The rooms are basic but clean with air conditioning. You need air conditioning in Sao Tome town. Its very hot and sticky. Our room looked out to the bay which was also very nice. We had a nice breakfast at the restaurant although the price was higher than we had expected! We would have stayed longer at O Bigodes had it not been for our ambitious schedule and short period of time. We were trying to decide whether to rent a car and go around the island or to use a taxi/private driver. We met with a taxi driver and he suggested an itinerary which would have required us returning to Sao Tome for several additional nights versus staying in the Rocas or other country hotels. However, the amount of money he was asking for we decided that we'd might as well rent our own vehicle and just get lost on the beautiful island. We tried to find a rental car agency at the airport to no avail. We also went to a number of the larger hotels and asked people on the street to no avail. We eventually found Martinho, whom works at the Omali Resort hotel. He has a side business renting cars to visitors. Martinho was great and provided us with a car for the next day at our hotel. Martinho could also recommend a guide if you'd like. Most of the local guides would know where the best spots are for swimming in the waterfalls and the trails through the green mountains. Our guide was a young guy. He wasn't provided by Martinho but we had met him while looking for a vehicle and his confidence and vivaciousness convince us to take him along with us on our travels. It worked out great for the most part but don't let them keep the keys to the vehicle if you allow them to drive. Our young guide would take off in the car and we did have a few problems which Martinho was great at fixing and righting the situation. Our young guide didn't think anything wrong with this as he was very 'Leve, leve' (calm). The people of Sao Tome are very nice and welcoming and as there are very few tourists the place is like a paradise! Make sure that you bring enough Euros, USD, or Sterling. The ATM's do not take international cards and so you have to exchange currency at the bank. I tried to use my debit card to get cash from over the counter at the bank and it was declined by my UK bank! If you want to get cash from a card you have to go to one of the international hotels and you actually need a credit card (not a debit card!). The credit card will also work over the counter at the bank but a debit card will not! All and all we enjoyed the O Bigodes and absolutely loved Sao Tome.…