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“Gorgeous boutique hotel with a superb manager”

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Migrante Guesthouse
Ranked #1 of 9 Sal Rei B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Gorgeous boutique hotel with a superb manager”
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

Migrante was a real highlight of our trip. Situated bang in the middle of Sal Rei, it's within a walking distance from fabulous beaches, nice restaurants and ATMs.

The hotel is tiny, with a bar doubling up as a reception and restaurant, a courtyard for socialising and four guest rooms. The hotel is beautifully designed with vintage rustic decor. Our room had a large bed, a big cupboard with a safe and a good bathroom. The courtyard has sofas and terrace tables, making it a nice hangout in the evenings. It's worth being aware that as the hotel is an old colonial building in the middle of the town you will be hearing dogs and deejays occasionally in the night time to your room. Free unlimited wifi is available throughout the hotel for multiple devices.

The breakfast was very good, cleverly having only small amounts of items on display to keep them fresh - they would be constantly restocked. The hotel also arranges dinners occasionally, and our cachupa was fantastic, certainly worth eating in.

The real highlight is the owner/manager of the hotel, Cristiano. Very responsive to emails, he helped us arrange all our trips and dinners, booking everything for us and recommending things to do. He even helped us source a birthday gift for a fellow traveller's 40th birthday as the traveller in question was particularly fond of Italian wines, and dropped us to the airport when we left.

We have never felt more welcome than in Migrante - one of our favourite stays in the world.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Miia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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Gdansk, Poland
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Beautiful colonial building, with charming atrium. Rooms are nice furnished and very clean. Breakfests very delicious (whith a great goat cheese and papaya marmalade). Owners are very helpfull, and the service is excellent!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnitaWasik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

We're a couple in the late 30'ies who were traveling without kids for the first time in many years so we wanted somewhere quiet without too many tourists. We booked the flights through a charter company but didn't want to stay at any of their resorts. We looked here on TripAdvisor and found The Migrante Guesthouse. It was lovely! The owner Cristiano was already from our first emails very helpful and flexible. This continued when we arrived. The place is a true oasis of good vibes - like the people of Sal Rei. If you want to be close to the local people and feel the true spirit of Cape Verde - like it says on a sign in the airport "This airport loves you and we hope that you love us too!" - you'll love staying at The Migrante. We'll definitely be back to this wonderful place..

Room Tip: It's an old house so don't expect soundproof rooms :)
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Panduro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Amazing people welcoming
Friendly and warm
A really perfect place to stay after a pretty traumatic experience staying at Migrante made our holiday
We would defiantly return to such Beauty the warmest of people we could have had the Honour to meet

Room Tip: No need they are all perfect
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Butterflywings2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roma
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Boa Vista was the last island of our trip to Cape Verde. We left it for last just to relax on the fantastic beaches before the "hard work".
The island in comparison with the others is already more touristy and developed, but Migrante still breathes the atmosphere of a colonial past!
The house is a wonderfull place to stay in the center of Sal Rei very well decorated and maintained, run by Chris, a very friendly and helpful guy.
Rooms very clean and very tastefully done.
Breakfast very rich and with the best presentation with respect to all the places we stayed in Cape Verde. We will come back one day!!

Room Tip: If you are a couple ask for room Vasco Gama, the most romantic of them all!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Norah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

The guesthouse itself is indeed lovely. Our room was clean, the bed comfortable, the en-suite area very tiny but adequate. Towels and bedlinen are changed every 4 days. There is a dispenser of poor quality liquid soap over the washbasin, but you need to take all your own toiletries.
The room was dark though because the lighting is poor - my husband was unable to read on the bed at any time, as the only bright enough light was on my side. There was never enough light in the room because the curtains do not pull back at the windows - whenever we tried to pull them along the poles they are tightly slotted onto, the poles threatened to come away from the wall, so we gave up. It is such a shame to have the room permanently in semi-darkness when it is so sunny outside - if only the owners would hang the curtains differently, or at least put in some "tie-backs".

We found breakfast boring and limited - at least until day 5 when juice and eggs were offered. The juice is packeted though, and very sweet. Tea was made with microwaved water, so never hot enough to brew properly - they don't appear to have a kettle. Coffee was simply filter jug, which again was microwaved in the cup to warm it up. My husband never managed to get them to understand that he wanted his milk cold.
Small slices of processed ham and cheese, the island goat cheese (which is quite solid and bland), bread which although fresh always seemed dry, and various cakes which were re-served until stale. Cold couscous made into a cake is as unappetizing as it sounds and looks. Cornflakes/branflakes, commercial fruit yoghurts, and jars of what looked to be good home-made yoghurt. As I have a cow-lactose intolerance, I asked what this was made from and was told "cow's milk", so avoided it. It was annoying to read a recent review on this site indicating that this was indeed goat's milk, as I could have eaten that and would have enjoyed it.

Don't be fooled by the website with the haunting music, and the pictures of local people playing music, as this doesn't happen. Although guitars hang on the wall, we saw 1 local person in the bar during our week, and there was no music, live or canned. What does happen in the bar every evening is the staff doing the ironing, and the manager's daughter reading. A handful of independent tourists visited but mostly the bar was deserted in the evening. After 9pm the barman asks you to move so he can set up breakfast.
During the day the bar does have visitors - bus-loads from the all-inclusive hotels, for drinks and cakes. Twice we came back to find the bar and courtyard over-run with people, leaving us nowhere to sit but in our dark room. The pictures show a nice sofa on the balcony, which is comfy but only accomodates 1 couple - and you sit with the hanging washing. The sun-loungers on the website pictures do not exist - only upright benches and chairs, and not enough of them for all guests if all the rooms are full.

We may have suffered because it was Christmas, but beware the rooms with windows/balconies to the front, onto the street. The parties at Rosie's bar opposite were very noisy, and went on until the small hours most nights. In addition a lady, we presume it was "Rosie", was up before 6am several days to scream at someone, perhaps Mr Rosie, at the top of her voice for half an hour - no sleep then.

Our main disappointment was with the standard of service experienced from the manager - or rather total lack of service. Again, perhaps it was because it was Christmas, but although he is a nice enough guy, he was asleep on the sofa in the "library" most of the time. For us, this meant:
We wanted to "eat in", as is still advertised. We were told this wasn't being offered at the time as they had a new baby. Understandable, but the baby turned out to be several months old, and we were later told that the wife was working elsewhere.
We asked before we arrived whether we should book an evening meal for Christmas night in advance, and were told "no need". We asked again when we arrived, and were told we should book. We asked where would be open, and Christiano could not tell us. He offered to book a "set meal" with music and dancing at one of the beach bars, for which he had a laminated "flyer", but when we said this was not really what we wanted, he was not prepared to help further. He continued to try to push the beach bar, which we wondered if he had an interest in as he spent all Sunday there, but at no time offered any transport there - or to any other restaurant, unlike other reports I have read since returning.
He refused to try to make a booking at Rosie's, telling us to do it ourselves, and had no idea which other restaurants might be open. In the end we found several were open Christmas Eve, and had a lovely meal at Naida. Despite Christiano telling us Christmas Night would not be a problem, in fact only 2 restaurants were open, and we were lucky to get into Naida as soon as it opened. People were queued up outside hoping for space later, but no guarantee of a meal anywhere that night.
We wanted an island tour, and decided to take the in-house arrangements rather than booking externally. We asked for our tour on Christmas Eve, which was readily agreed. On Christmas Eve morning, we were told just before departure time that the driver did not want to go, so it would be postponed a day. This did not worry us, although we were surprised the driver would want to go on Christmas Day. On Christmas morning there was a short delay, and then it became obvious that the car and driver supplied were not from Migrante. This was fine by us, and the driver spoke a little English. He was polite and drove carefully.
However because it was Christmas Day, the pottery in Rabil was closed, as was the bar where we were supposed to stop for a drink. The driver did check, partway into the trip, that we had water with us, which was just as well as there was no feeding/watering/toilet stop at all. There was a cafe open in a village near the end of the day, but the driver refused to stop, obviously wanting to get home. We arrived back nearly an hour short of the advertized time, and realised part of the tour had been omitted.
The advertized cost of our tour had been 80 Euros. I was assured when we arrived that the cost of this would be paid at the end of the holiday with the final bill. However our driver demanded payment in cash immediately, at 100 Euros. We tried to explain, and the bar staff tried to phone Christiano, who could not be reached. We ended up having to pay 100 Euros cash, and Christiano just shrugged his shoulders when we told him, which was his normal response. We did not get any refund.
My husband was annoyed that the use of a quad bike is still advertized, but again is no longer available - we did not want to join a large group, and are experienced quad bike users.

Our impression is that the Migrante is "living on its reputation" and no longer offers the standard of service that it has deserved in the past - or at least it did not this Christmas. We had booked a year earlier, just after Christmas 2011, and were thrilled to get a room. Although we enjoyed our week, the experience could have been so much better. We would suggest to the owners and manager:
Only advertize what is available
Be honest in the pictures on the website
Take care of your guests - find out which restaurants will be open on "special" nights, and offer to make bookings for guests. This is not a big job for such a small place.
Don't book trips for guests on days when it obviously won't give good value - we would happily have gone a different day. If using an external contractor, make sure they are paid directly and guests are not overcharged and embarrassed.
Try living in the bedrooms. Review the lighting and make sure the curtains can be opened. Consider a small bottle of water in the room on arrival as a courtesy, before guests then go out to buy their own
Greeting your guests, in the morning and on return later in the day, is always appreciated. On Christmas Day it is normal for hosts to offer their guests Christmas greetings, not to ignore them.

We do not return to the same places, as there are so many different parts of the world to see. However if we did go back, would we stay there again? Probably not. We would definitely not go to the All-Inclusive "prisons", but would probably try one of the growing number of other guesthouses, and would advise friends accordingly.

Room Tip: The rooms at the front can be very noisy at night
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank catwoman7372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cris-migrante, Owner at Migrante Guesthouse, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
I state that this couple never said to me face to face any of these complaints, so image my surprise to read this rewiev:
a) we inform in the website that we change the bedlinen every 3 days, than when people stay 7 days and the bedlinen are not dirty we let it normaly for the last 4 nights, it’s a pity to change all the bedlinen only for the last night, in a country were give a lot of problems of water. The towels are changing every 2/3 days, and we inform the guest than when they want to be changed is enough to let it on the floor.
b) Regarding the liquid soap quality “no comment”
c) Regarding “insufficient light during the day” we want to inform that the room has one window and two big doors/windows looking to two balconies...
d) Regarding insufficient light in the night we want to inform that in the room there are four lights, one of this above the bed…
e) curtains that do not work (the guests came before, for 10 years have been able to open and close)
f) the manager who has the obligation to go himself across the street to make a reservation for a dinner for the guests…no commment
g) if nobody is in the bar is dismal…but when are somebody is noisy... I want only to specify that this couple complained that there was no live music, but then complains about the noise from Rosi (the restaurant in front), who on Christmas Eve had live music...
h) breakfast without juice and eggs for 5 days (we write clearly on the buffet table in Portugues and English that juice and eggs should be obtained from the girls on the bar so that they can be served fresh at the time ... maybe they have understood it only the fifth day!).
i) All the other comments regarding the breakfast are not true, but unfortunately in tripadvisor people give their opinion and comment what they want…nothing to do again this.
j) I asked the driver about the price of the excursion and he said that is not true that they have paid 100 Euro for the excursion. They paid Ecv 9000 (with the change that is equivalent to 82 euros) and in most gave10 Euro tip to the driver ... strange give the the tip for a service that is not liked.
k) Finally the comments also on my person, that I slept all the time on the sofa ...I inform that I’m not only the manager, I’m the owner and I make all what regarding the guesthouse and I have a family with one baby of 9 month and one doughter 7 year…would be nice to sleep all the day long…but unfortunately a little bit difficult….

People should be careful about what they write, because things that are not true may harm relationships and the work of others.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2012

We didn't stay at Migrante Guesthouse exactly but we've been offered even a better option like appartment which is really huge, very well designed and equipped and has perfect location: it's right on the central square with balcony view to it. We arrived on Friday and felt tired after a very long flight so very loud music till 3 p.m. (one of the bars - Cocoa- is downstairs next door) didn't make us happy because it was not possible to sleep but to be honest it was just once so we never complained to noise since that Friday disco.
There're some good cafes and restaurants to eat on the square and two steps from appartment so even if you don't use your kitchenette you'll find your place to eat out. Be ready to the situation when all the town is out of electricity in the late evening, quite a weird experience but an interesting one. So my advise is to have smth to eat and drink in the fridge in case of such an emergency - Sunday night we didn't managed to have dinner because of electricity fail around the town, so a bottle of wine and some snacks made our evening on the balcony staring at the stars and enjoying the kids still having fun in the darkness of the playground.
Talking about markets: there's a small shop just on the corner where you can buy water, wine, beer and some other products and things. Fruit and vegetable market is also on the square.
Be ready that almost all cafes and restaurans are closed on Sunday (at least in the morning) so just fill in your fridge in the appartment beforehand and have a nice breakfast on the balcony :)
Apartment was cleaned very well, towels were changed every time. For those who's going to spend some time on the beach - there's no beach towels so keep it in mind either packing a suitcase or having the first brief shopping in Sal Rei.
Back to the moment of arrival - we had a transfer from the airport (and to as well) provided by Migrante which is a very good point especially when it's your first time on the island and you do not know anything about prices, people etc. Really nice guy named Moser provided the transfer from the airport and he also gave us some information about the island and Sal Rei while taking us to Migrante (note - he doesn't speak English). We took a 6 hour excursion to see a part of island (two excurtions are provided by Migrante) - it was also with Moser: I had my portuguese practice and asking whatever I wanted I always had answers from him, our excursion was about pottery school in Rabil (you can also buy some souvenirs there), Santa Mónica and Varandinha beaches (stunning views!!) , Povoação Velha - when you're there you realise that actually there's nothing to see there, but at least you can have a stop at the cafe), we also went to see a ship wreck on the north of the island - the trip is a bit of adventure because you realise that as there's no roads you had the best choice not renting a car but taking it with a driver who's local and knows everything.
The best caipirinha we took in Sal Rei was in Migrante's bar. Definetely worth trying it!
Whatever questions we had Cristiano was always more than friendly and ready to help us, to give advice where to eat, to confirm our flight : you feel you're treated like a friend and not just a tourist and it means a lot.
In we're in Sal Rei once again we'll definetely stay with Migrante: it's nice and cosy, friendly and with a real taste of Cape Verde just in the heart of Sal Rei.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zhurali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Migrante Guesthouse

Property: Migrante Guesthouse
Address: Av Amilcar Cabral, Sal Rei, Boa Vista C.P. 80, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Boa Vista > Sal Rei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Sal Rei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Migrante Guesthouse 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Some rooms, each with its own distinctive personality for exigent and demanding travellers with a preference for a smaller environment and warmer ambience. Let us whisk you away from the rhythms of tourist villages and the crowds of big hotels. Come celebrate our culture. We offer the opportunity to encounter and experience new people and friends.Completely restored from a colonial-style house and situated in the old part of Sal Rei, a small town on Boa Vista island, this very good quality guest house uses natural energy and local products in an earnings redistribution context.Upon returning from your adventures, you’ll encounter a tiny bar and a amazing patio. This cosy environment allows you to relive that exotic atmosphere bound to the traveller’s hospitality. Ultimately, you’ll flow with the rhythms of live from the music and smiles of the Capverdians. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Migrante Guesthouse Hotel Boa Vista
Migrante Guesthouse Cape Verde/Sal Rei, Boa Vista

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