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“A 'must visit' in Sao Tome even if not staying overnight.”

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Club Santana, Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sao Tome Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 1, 2013

The Club Santana is an example to all of the other establishments in Sao Tome on many fronts. Whilst I could probably extol its virtues forever, I'll try to summarise.
1/ Excellent service. We were met at reception by the manager. He balanced being very professional, with very nice. Upgraded us given that the hotel wasn't full, and escorted us personally to the restaurant area (which is simply stunning) and made sure we were comfortable. He clearly manages this place well. All the staff were professional, cheerful and friendly, even if we didn't always speak the same language, and even when we had issues understanding each other. The staff didn't say 'yes' to everything thay didn't understand (unlike other places..) and always found another member of staff who spoke English or French to help.
2/ Very very clean. OK so maybe the little bunglows are a little 80s inspired on the decoration front, but they are excellently maintained and spotless.
3/ Families. The only place in Sao Tome where we had a proper child's bed for our 3 year old (small and with side rails) and a suitable baby bed for our 1 year old (one he couldn't climb out of).
No problem for the staff to do suitable children's meals early evening, and very easily organised a babysitter for us so that we could enjoy our evening meal in peace.
4/ The food. Our French background means that good food is important to us. We certainly weren't disappointed here. If you don't stay at Club Santana, at least go for lunch at the restaurant on the little beach there, you won't regret it. Everything we ate was delicious.
5/ The location. Coming off the main road through the forest, one wonders where one will end up. The small bay where the lunch restaurant is located is stunning, as are the views from the main restaurant. It is only about 30 mins drive from Sao Tome, perhaps less depending on how quickly you drive, worth considering as a base if you want to spend the day in Sao Tome and then get further down the coast in the evening.
6/ Value for money. We found full board to be reasonable, given the excellent meals, quality of accommodation and all round service.
7/ Relative to other hotels. We stayed in three other hotels on the island. This was definitely the best.

I hope that this hotel continues to maintain its high standards and excellent food. Sao Tome being absolutely beautiful, we hope to visit again in a few years time, and it would be a joy to stay again at the Club Santana, only next time we would definitely stay for longer.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Ali187371
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 156 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2012

Thank you, Antonio, Ines and all the staff for these fantastic holidays.
The place (beach, club & surroundings) amazing...so clean, so well trated, so beautiful.
The food (especially St. Valentine's dinner) outstanding, and the right music.
The service completely adequate.
The sea so warm so transparent so full of beautiful fishes.
The trips along the island, all green. The turtles running to the sea - unforgetable
Definitely a "come again" resort.
Hope to come back soon.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JPNRocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

After a long drive from the airport through the island on bumpy roads, that was a surprise to discover the luxurious nature in the parc and at the very end of it the hotel facing the beach. The room is clean and comfortable, without being amazingly nice. But the location is astonishing with the surrounding nature, it's incredibly beautiful. The beach is a dream with all those palm trees all around and the water has this amazing emerald color: first thing we did was to go for a swim! And we spend the afternoon in the bar/restaurant on a wooden terrace facing the water just enjoying the landscapes.
We had dinner in the restaurant, but the menu was not very exciting: few choices and obviously not the French cuisine they advertised (I am french!), the wine list was disappointing as well: half of the wine are from the Beaujolais, where I come from (just five times what I would pay at home). But the staff was very nice and we had a nice evening in the restaurant where we were alone starting @ 8pm and left @ 9pm. I guess you adapt to the sun.
I highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for tropical journey on this island.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank J H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Just arrived from a week in Club Santana.
Beautiful resort. Very well integrated with the forest, with the cliffs, with the beach and… with the local people that live in a nearby small fishermen village – there was one high level person in the resort exclusively dedicated to take care of that people integration (unique and excellent value option!) .
We enjoyed a very high level of privacy all over the resort, not only due to its smart design, but also due to the very generous area where it is implanted. When we wanted, it also favored meeting other people.
The bungalows were big, comfortable enough, well equipped and well maintained. The air conditioning was working fine, except that we couldn’t find how to reduce the air flow speed.
Excellent ( and permanent) maintenance of the gardens, trees, bushes, etc… Very professional.
Good restaurant - food and location: placed in a nice sea sighting area over the cliffs. The breakfasts had excellent tropical fruits and juices.
The overall resort service was very professional and friendly. Everything was easy: there was a set of people that appeared to permanently and discreetly watch and care to make our stay smooth. Ocasionally we noticed that they were even influencing and coaching external people that we had directly hired for independent tourist activities in the island.
The cleaning services was ok, except that sometimes they forgot replacing either one of the towels, or the shampoo, or the bath gel. Nevertheless, upon request, they were quick in correcting the issue.
While for the services supplied by the resort there was a rigorous high level of delivery commitment ( for instance: shuttles to S. Tomé and airport transfers worked fine and on time), on the other side we always counted with all the necessary flexibility to adapt the resort processes to any specific minor or major request that we asked to feel more comfortable.
The beach bar and the rest of the beach equipment also worked perfect. The ambience low level smooth jazz selection and African music was OK.
There were some interesting internal and external free activities leaded by the resort and, very important, the advises, support and facilitation received from the resort personal for other activities that we externally hired in the Island, were of very high value!
By the time we left, we… were feeling at home.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jorge H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

... and I don't regrett! It was even better to come back, to be welcomed and to see the friendly smile of all staff.
Even if you travel to S.Tomé&Principe for business, it's near enought to go to town to handle your business, and a wonderfull "home" to go back to, to rest by the end of the day!!

Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
1  Thank Csbrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

#1. Before you book, PLEASE CHECK that there are NO MORE caged monkeys, birds or other animals. They did have some, but they somehow got away to the surrounding forests & FREEDOM! All the tourists there were quietly saddened by this ancient form of cruel tourist attraction.

Apart from that, the place is a WONDERFUL PEACEFUL TROPICAL LOCATION... it provides you with your own individual spacious bungalow with 1 WC & 1 double room, with a porch. Bungalows are situated on the hills looking out to see, surrounded by excellently maintained green lawns, coconut and various other trees are everywhere, gorgeous local small birds and the lodges own beach, which is perfect for snorkeling.

Just a short distance across the water, you can grab a 5 minute boat ride to the island of Santa Catarina, a beautiful, tropical mini island that stands tall from the sea. Upon arrival, we were met by a large bunch of free spirited fisherman who threw us free fresh fish as a present... a few boarded our boat and our captain drove us through the undulating waves, skillfully squeezing us through the walls of the skinny cave to the other side and back.

If you have your diving certificates, you can call the local scuba diving school and get to dive under the island, through the cave all the way to the other side. Underwater photos from a fellow guest were amazing.

First time diving with the local diving school was great, dived around a shipwreck, artistic mysterious views underwater of the wreck.

Food was variable at Santana, only ate fish dishes - carpaccio and fish tartar was always delicious; cooked fish was sometimes overcooked.

Local people are friendly and welcoming, they like a good laugh.

There is very little crime in Sao Tome, a local beautician who came to give me a pedicure on the beach told me you can walk at any time of night without fear.

If you want to walk in the forest, or scuba dive and not deal with hassling hawkers, or loads of tourists, and get friendly helpful service, then Sao Tome is it. Perfect to just relax, read a book on the beach and eat fresh cocoa pod fruit. Mmmmmm.

So as long as Club Santana stays free of caged animals, then I would definitely recommend it for the quiet couple in off peak seasons. Gets more busy in European summer months. Even though we had rain, the sun usually came out in october. And it was never cold. Just take a light shirt, or pashmina, for hiking a rain jacket. The club Santana had large umbrellas that guests could borrow. Sea was beautifully warm to swim at 7am!

Feels more like the Caribbean with its lush green tropical climate and terrain and chilled out people.

Perfect for short 2 - 6 day stays, long stays would be good to explore more of Sao Tome.

Room Tip: Bring your own pillow, then you can sleep excellently. The pillows are terrible. My shoulder is st...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ArtProfessional
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Club Santana is one of the two oldest resorts in São Tomé Island, and still remains as in the early eighties, when it opened to welcome the few turists that arrived to this increbible paradise. Sao Tome is the second smallest country in Africa, just in front of the Gabon coastline and six hours away from Lisbon, Portugal, in a direct twice-weekly flight.
All the island remains as it looked like three decades ago and that's one of the strongest atractions of São Tomé.
Although not decorated according to the lastest fashion trends, Club Santana offers comfortable and large bungalows in the middle of a beautiful garden overlooking a charming little bay. The main luxury it offers is the very warm welcome to everyone and the delicicous cuisine, difficult to find anywhere else in the island. The dramatic views from the garden are the ^cherry at the top And about the beach and vues, they are like a sherry on top of the cake. A chocolate cake, of course, because São Tomé and Principe islands are home to the best cocoa in the word!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank AlexandreCorreia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Santana, Beach Resort

Address: Praia Messias Alves | Distrito de Cantagalo, Santana, Sao Tome Island CP 144, Sao Tome and Principe
Location: Sao Tome and Principe > Sao Tome Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sao Tome Island
Price Range: $189 - $345 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Santana, Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sao Tome and Principe is a particularly special place, and Club Santana Hotel embodies the best of what makes this country wonderful, rendering it truly unique. Surrounded by a luxurious tropical landscape, and bathed by crystal clear waters, at Club Santana Hotel you'll certainly find the peace you've been looking for, away from the stress and busy lifestyle, and a little closer to your ideal of a perfect vacation. Paradise is waiting for you, with the serenity you desire, the greatest comfort, an excellent service and a unique hospitality. Come and enjoy the simple life of the fishermen, the rich history and the ancient smell of cocoa. We're expecting you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Santana, Beach Hotel Sao Tome Island

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