I happened to stay in RIU out of curiosity. Perhaps my review might be useful to someone before they consider booking their stay there. Granted, I have not been a big fan of all inclusive resorts/cruises, it's not my kind of travelling mode but I wanted to get a first hand experience.
First of all, I felt as if I was imprisoned in a large concrete complex. Analogous to a cruise ship but being on a land. It felt like being in an overcrowded amusement park. Not my kind of relaxation. The only opportunity for me to get some space was to get out of the complex so I could breathe. I only lasted there one night and had to get out, I thought I was going to go insane. The beach looks stunning but the only way for me to enjoy it was to walk away from the resort. But if you want to lay on the beach on the provided sunbeds, they were so close to each other that the wafting aromas of all conceivable sunblock lotions was too much to take. Again, I opted out to walk out of the beach. The food was mediocre. Basically, things already prepared from buckets dumped into huge plates, just run of the mill. Wine and local Strela beer was all watered down. Have a draft in a local bar and you will know what I am talking about. If you are adventurous to try local food there are at least 5 very good restaurants in Sal Rei and 1 in Rabil that will not disappoint. Food is made from the freshest catch of the day including the local legumes (vegetables), so at least if you are eco-oriented person you know you are supporting local economy, local produce, local people. The quad drive might sound like a fun thing to do but please consider that the dunes are very fragile ecosystem and are already destroyed by the sheer mass of tourism. Hire yourself a local Aluguer instead and go on established roads. If you are looking for seclusion, the beaches on the East side of the island are like paradise and you might be the only person having them to yourself.
If you think you paid your tour company too much for a ride from the airport to the hotel (which is 2 min from the airport) and the local taxis are only charging £10, just know that you are still getting ripped off. It really only costs £2. The local taxi drivers already figured out that the RIU clients have no idea how much things should cost. In the end, this destroys things for everyone. These drivers are getting spoiled and aggressive if you don't pay that. They know they have a goldmine.
But it could be just me, because I saw 1000s of happy people there. So if you happen to have the same outlook on things as mine, I hope this review is helpful to you.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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