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“Basically a cheep Butlins type holiday at Centre Park prices.”

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Clubhotel Riu Karamboa
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Boa Vista
Certificate of Excellence
West Midlands
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Basically a cheep Butlins type holiday at Centre Park prices.”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Basically a cheep Butlins type holiday at Centre Park prices, if you want to sit drinking all day and night and like a noisy holiday then this is for you but if you like a bit of piece then be warned.

People who rate this Hotel more than two star have never been to a 4-5 star Hotel in Dubai, Jamaica, India, Maldives, Malaysia etc. Hotel standards are set worldwide and not by country.

The reception area is also the main bar, which gets very noisy

Main restaurant is more like a canteen and huge, you have to help yourself too your drinks and cutlery; the staff do not speak English there are four maître dies who stand talking to each other all the time and think that their job is to watch the four waitresses that work extremely hard, the maître dies do not do anything for you but treat you as if they are doing you a favor.

Wi-Fi Internet is only accessible for around one hundred meters from reception and very expensive.

One Swimming pool, which is not big enough and gets busy very early it is also hard to actually enter the pool.

To make the pool look bigger they have put hedges to make you feel around the pool but you have to go around the hedges and weave around other people to get to the pool.

There are broken tiles around and in the pool.

No pool or beach service (help yourself)

No chairs any where around the grounds so when walking, there is nowhere to stop and sit.

Drinks are on tap (help yourself to beer, wine and soft drinks, cocktails (available from bars) are useless and they throw the ones that they do know together.

Noisy rooms, slamming of doors people shouting throughout the day and night, you here every noise even down to the toilet holder being used in the next room.

Television in the room is useless (mainly Spanish and crap picture) but you have to have it on to drown out the other noises.

We had a drunken man sleeping outside our room on the floor.

Beds are hard and poor pillows.

Bath towels are hard and old.

There are no doors to the bathroom area. Open plan bedroom and shower room (no Bath) the clothes wardrobe is in shower room area without doors.

No tea or coffee making facilities.

No tea or coffee making facilities.

Damp walls (rooms smell damp)

No full mirror.

No mini bar so you have to take any drinks (even water) back to the room with you.

The Spar is small and the massages are very poor with noisy rooms and none English speaking masseurs.

The Complex is run on minimum staff, it is all Help Yourself.

Only opened in 2009 but looks tired and worn out.

Graham

Room Tip: Top Floor and up corner.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank GrahamWestMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Just back from a weeks holiday at the Karamboa, {4th Feb 13}. We came here back in June 2009 when the Hotel was first opened. The 3 main differences from then to now is the Hotel is alot more packed and busy, The gardens have now grown and matured and the hotel will soon need an upgrade. Internal walls all marked from suitcases, Some tiles missing in pool and in general the Hotel is looking a bit tired compared to 2009

Firstly the flight is cramped and 6hrs with no leg room can become annoying but you just have to make the best of it, We had our Ipad + kindles to help. Boa Vita airport is just a runway and building but upon stepping of the plane to being in the hotel must of taken little over an hour.

Hotel was busy and I was told it was fully booked. 750 rooms x 2 persons = 1500 people.
The hotel is so big that it doesnt feelk to crowded. There are lots of sun loungers available on the beach all day. By the pool people start arriving from 8:30am. We would arrive about 9:00am and always got the same two loungers. By about 11am you would see people waklking around looking for loungers. The gym was sparce but jacuzzi and sauna were good first thing in the morning.

The food was very good, breakfast was the usual bacon,eggs,bean etc along with cereal,bread, fruit.The main meal at nightime had a large variety of choice, Prawns, Salmon, beef, pork, fish etc. A large selection of salads deserts and fruit.

The entertainmant each night run from 8 - 9 childrens hour, Then 9-10 there was a show, then 10 onwards there was a singer. The staff are so friendly and helpful and the rooms were cleaned each day.

I would not rate this hotel 5* but it is a definite 4*, A Plus was the weather 78 degrees + each day with a nice warm breeze, Which wa the whole rewason for us going away in February.
A negative for us was the amount of people in the dining rooms at meal times. It did remind me a ,little bit of Butlins meal times in the 1970.

Tip, Sit outside at meal times, Less people, nice atmosphere, better chairs and table.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank contico1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northallerton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

I stayed at the Riu Karamboa from 17 - 31 January 2013. Actually arrived on 18 Jan due to sandstorm which meant that the flight was diverted to Lanzarote. A similar thing happened on the return flight when the incoming flight was unable to land and I had to spend an extra 24 hrs in resort. Thomsons handled the situation very well but it appears that this situation is not unusual.

The Karamboa has the most beautiful location. Miles of sandy beaches on either side. Good for walking. The traditional village of Sal Rei is a couple of miles along the beach.

I travelled alone and felt totally safe and secure.

There was everything at the hotel which catered for all age groups and nationalities. The whole place was spotlessly clean. Public areas were constantly being cleaned. The service was excellent - always plenty of staff who were eager to please. In spite of the size of the place there were never any queues at meal times. Tables were cleared immediately. The choice of food was extensive and beautifully prepared.

The evening entertainment was excellent. The entertainment team were never intrusive.

The Spa is well worth a visit offering jacuzzi, sauna, massages, manicures etc..

There is a dedicated 'children's' area which is away from the adults section.

I took part in beach keep fit and aquafit each day which were suitable for everyone. The instructors were very good. The water in the pool was very cold.

At the start of my stay there was a constant, strong wind blowing night and day which prevented me from partaking in some events. Some people underestimated the strength of the sun in the cooling wind and so burnt their skin. Over the fortnight the wind gradually dropped and eventually it felt very hot.

Wifi was VERY expensive at the hotel. I borrowed a dongle and bought a chip in Sal Rei. I presumed this was the case all over the island but found wifi was free at the airport. For personal reasons, an internet connection is important to me and as a general comment, I find it difficult to understand the reason that it is complimentary in some hotels and not in others.

The airport at Rabil is primitive compared to international standards. Long queues at check-in and arrivals are commonplace. There is little shelter from the sun.

Finally, I found the Thomsons representation to be very good. Jamie was particularly helpful. The Thomson's escorted beach walk to Sal Rei is very informative. However, when the return flight was delayed there was a 4hr wait at the airport and it was felt that Thomsons provided little information and passengers felt abandoned which rather let down the previously, good impression they (Thomsons) created.

Would I return - YES!

Room Tip: Some rooms never get the sun.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank AnneR504009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

The title says it all really, having just returned from a two week holiday with my wife, we both had a very nice time, it is a huge hotel, and yes, there are some down sides, but we both felt that this was more than offset by the positives.

Expectations vary, and perhaps depend on how much you have previously travelled? as expereienced travellers, we pretty much knew what to expect, and our expectations were set realistically, as said many times in previous reviews, you get what you pay for, and this is excellent value for money!

We both wanted a complete chill out holiday, we are not that interested in the entertaiment, so not important for us, and we do not do many trips, we knew beforehand that this was not a place to come to if that was what you wanted.

It did seem to be full to capacity for all of our holiday, dailly, large amounts of people would be seen waiting to leave in the lobby, only to be replaced by an equal number checking in. It does get crowded at times, particulary in the main eating area at breakfast and dinner, but if you don't mind going a little later, you will always find a seat, the drink service even when busy was very good, and the self service stations, of which there are many, aids this, we dont really like karaoke, but preferred the bar there to the lobby bar at tmes, also showed some football (for the men out there, and some women!) but curiously, there are no toilets in either the main restaurant, or karaoke bar, both of which are ground floor level, so you have to go out and upstairs to the main area, this really needs addressing.

We like some space, and although it is a huge place, with 2000 people, you can find some places of solitude and relaxation, we are more beach than pool people, but the beach beds were of bad quality, and often stacked by people who selfishly used a number as wind breaks, it does get seriously windy, in January at least! The pool was nice, the bar area nicely done with seating booths, and not at all cold, dont know why so many people have moaned about the pool temperature, howver, if you wanted to relax around the pool area it was very cramped, with little private space, we took to using a couple of sunbeds near our room, located at the very furthest point from reception, in the huge grounds, and would walk to the pool or beach when we wanted a swim or drink in the swim up bar.

We asked for a quiete room with a sea view and were very well pleased with ours, so it was a 5 minute walk to the main area, so what, no great hardship.

The food is very good, and we had no problems, over two weeks anywhere, it will start to get a little repetative, we did use the Asian and African speciality restaurants, and we liked the Asian one best, would recommend, we maybe got lucky, as we just checked at reception twice on our way to breakfast around 9am, and managed to book in, we did hear that some people just turned up and blagged their way in, the management of these resteraunts and booking requirements needs to be changed, I cannot see the purpose of having to get up early in order to book for three days in advance?

I took a break from the gym, but did use the sauna and jacuzzi, both of which I enjoyed, tand were free, although you needed to pre book the sauna if going after 4pm, he gym looked ok for a littke excercise.

The beach really is very nice, you can walk for miles on lovely sand, with no hassle from looky looky Men, the sea as mentioned is rough, at all times, but fine as long as you are careful, and if you turn right out of the hotel, and walk about a mile and a half along the beach, you will come to a great shack / bar that is run by a couple from Italy, at around four Euro's a pint of beer, and maybe twelve for a very decent sized meal, it made a nice escape from the hotel, and a very pleasent walk to build up a thirst of hunger!

The staff in general were very friendly and helpful, we would probably give the hotel 3.5 stars, it is clearly not a 5 star hotel by UK standards, and you cannot expect it to be for the price, yes, you will find fault if you really want too, but go with realistic expectations, know what it is you are going for, and you will definately have a good time, we would happily return.

Last word on the flights, both of which were on time, again, some people make such a fuss, yes, its fairly small, if you are a tall person, it will be worse, yes, you have to buy a drink, whatever it is, alcohol or soft, but you are on holiday, will paying for a couple of rounds really make or break your holiday?

Was sorry to leave, and have had many holidays where that has sadly not been the case!

Room Tip: Choose a seconf floor sea room view if possible
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Christmas 2012/2013 All the swimming pools were COLD, All the pool loungers were empty because the Pool water was too cold to relax in. The swimup bar was never in use due to the pool temperature. The kids pool is far away from the main pools and restaurants and is only 100mm deep.This is not the place to take children for swimming. The hotel has a very worn out feeling to it although very clean. The beach is lovely, the sea temperature is warm although it is very rough so be carefull. The food is plentifull but the quality is middle of the road. I would not go back to this resort. 3 stars.

Room Tip: Choose a room close to the swimming pool.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Regor1888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Thought we would give Cape Verde a go this winter
What a great idea stayed in the Ramada plaza the night before!
The flight was 6 hours but hey hoe!To get to the sun you have to travel !!Thomson cheap skate flight you pay for nearly everything
The transfer was 3.5mins not that you would think the airport was that close
Two-three planes a day and none on the weekend and no flights after 6pm
Did hear some bad tales of delays and sand storms and diversions but we were fine bit of Russian roulette with that
Reception staff very helpful and always smiling the room was a bit out of the way but then again the hotel is very large the room cleaned everyday all communal areas where clean the restaurant was very well run recouping food and cleaning tables and reasonable choice of food Champagne & Salmon on Sunday OOOHH!!!
The three themed restaurants where always fully booked and for a reason you had to be at reception at 8 in the morning to get a table
All the bars where very well organised and Pasha night club is there till 2am great fun lots of dancing going on
The pool area is clean and tidy plenty of sun beds and the swim up bar is quite novel with 2 Jaccuzi's
The beach was clean and plenty of sun beds around with parasols and 4 life guards who spent more time chatting the ladies up they use a traffic light system for the sea (green) is good (yellow) is caution and (red) is no go
Had a episode at the pool restaurant some guy had a heart attack all the staff around and nobody had a clue!! no first aiders and the Doc's day off Humm!! bit of a farce the Ambulance took an age to get to the hotel needless to say the poor guy didn't make it
We took the Thomson walk to town three 25 min stints no problems nice to paddle your way to town Got a bit harassed by little kids begging then at the taxi rank we saw a young lad get belt whipped that was time to leave we walked back along the beach with a few couples
Went quad biking now that's a must great days activity 4 hours over to Santa Monica beach must see!!

Room Tip: Nearly all the rooms have sea views so west side has more sun than the east our room had no direct s...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ritchie66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

My Husband and I both aged 50 spent 12 days in Club Karamboa from the 4th of January 2013. And we cant wait to go back !!. We have been to many fantastic hotels all over the world and this has got to be one of the best, and that is saying something.When you read that it is a 3.5 min transfer time you do worry that you will hear the planes, but you dont as there are only about 2 flights each day and the airport shuts at 6.From the moment you step into the hotel the staff cant do enough for you. The rooms were nice we stayed in block two and had fantastic views. The food is plentyfull and varied and really is available 24 hours. We sat outside every lunchtime and evening and couldnt understand why people would want to sit inside when the weather was so good.The avitivites were great and you could do as much or as little as you wanted. Although we didbnt have children with us the facilities for children looked great.I have read reviews that warned that the sea is rough and it is, but people were still going in it with the red flag up, even let children go in, the life guards were asking people to get out but were being ignored. Let me stress the sea is very strong so please be sensible. Also the Hospital facilities are not good, the medical centre is better in the Hotel,. A friend of ours twisted his ankle and the taxi driver took him to the local hospital for an xray, when he went into the xray room it was the taxi driver that done the xray !!!. I would say that anyone with an ongoing illness and who may need urgent medical help would have to think long and hard about going to a place with such limited medical care .It can get a bit windy so take a pashmina or jacket for the evening. And dont forget your sun cream as it will cost you from £16.00 for a small bottle. The only thing we thought was not right is that you had to pay £30.00 for 5 hrs wi fi, which we thought was excesive, you should have been able to get it in the reception area at least. If you want a relaxing holiday whatever age you are, this is the place for you. I wish i was there now.

Room Tip: Block two was very good as near everything but not on top of it.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
9 Thank Karen Patricia l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clubhotel Riu Karamboa

Property: Clubhotel Riu Karamboa
Address: Lote HO 1, Urb. Morrinho de Baguincho | Praia de Boca Salina, Boa Vista 4110, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Location: Cape Verde > Boa Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 Luxury Hotel in Boa Vista
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Clubhotel Riu Karamboa 4*
Number of rooms: 750
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the island Boavista in the Cape Verde Islands. 2-Storey main building and 3-storey annexes. Situated on the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach. 7 Km to Sal Rei. 1,5 Km from the airport. Credit cards accepted: Visa, Mastercard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Hotel Boa Vista
Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Boa Vista
Clubhotel Riu Karamboa Cape Verde/Boa Vista

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