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Clubhotel Riu Karamboa
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Boa Vista
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 9, 2013

Have just returned from two weeks at the Karamboa. We had a relaxing holiday - which was what we wanted and cannot fault the cleanliness and the friendliness of the staff. The only exception to this being the management - I assume there were managers there but they were invisible in comparison with other Riu hotels we have stayed at. The food in the speciality restaurants is excellent but the tables are too close together and there is no atmosphere - also I personally think that the later sitting should be adult only as the children who were in when we used them were intrusive and obviously over tired at 9 at night after a long day in the sun. The smoke free areas are not clearly marked and no-one enforces the issue when guests just move ashtrays from the smoking area to non-smoking areas - this needs to be addressed. I did confront guests on occasions when it became intrusive but it should not be left to guests to sort our. Our room - 2087 - was on the top floor near to reception and had a partial sea view and in the afternoon gave a choice of full sun or some shade on the balcony. Overall - despite my few issues - we had an excellent holiday and will return to this hotel. The island itself is stunning!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank prawn61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 9, 2013

Excellent location the hotel is literally only minutes from the airport and it does look like a sand castle rising out of the sand dunes.

Airport is a very small, one plane in the same plane out. Toilets at the airport are clean and tidy but dont rely on getting your duty free goods on the way home you may be disappointed as the duty free shopping was limited.

We arrived at hotel to a refreshing glass of juice. Staff at reception were very friendly, spoke excellent english and the check in process was very efficient.

Cases are left in lobby and taken to your room, you just put a sticker on your case which has your room number and as if by magic there is a guy at your door with your cases.

Our room was clean and functional; tv (limited english channels if you like your tv) ; hair dryer; fridge containng bottled water; lots of hanging space and hangers; lots of drawer space; air conditioning (heaven); digital safe where key in your own code at no extra cost; for information there is no tea making facilities in your room.

Pool and beach area clean with plenty of sunbeds, my only complaint was that at certain times during the day it was difficult to find shade as the positioning of the parasols did not allow you to move your sunbeds to utilise the shade. However, this was not the situation on the beach, but was that sand hot hot hot!!!!

Towels for around the pool/beach are provided and can be replaced as often as you want. However, if you were thinking of leaving your belongings on a sunbed before 9 you may find them being removed by pool attendants.

Food at the hotel was plentiful and of good quality, you certainly wont find yourself hungry. Buffet restaurant has a smart casual dress code, so dont take too many dressy clothes, you will feel overdressed. There are other speciality restaurants which you must book at reception, my favourite was the Asian restaurant.

Alot of the drinks were self serve, soft drinks, tea, coffee and beer you just helped yourself. alcoholic drinks served at the various bars around the complex, included some international brands (bacardi). The all inclusive was 24 hours.

The hotel does have wi-fi but you have to pay for this facility. We paid for One hour access and it cost 7 euro. however there were other deals. You get a password which you type in which allows the access, your clock starts ticking as soon as you type this in, please note we tried to use code at same time on the i pad and the i pod but will only let you access one device.

The entertainment team worked very hard, plenty of activities if you wanted it during day, aquarobics, water polo, boules, volley ball, shooting,step. Evening entertainment is provided, every evening. There is no air conditioned areas in the communal areas of the hotel, there is only air conditioning in the restaurants and your room.

The hotel has a gym with limited equiptment which was very tired, for example seat on exercise bike was damaged.

If you are travelling at this time of year be mindful that the flies and mosquitoes were out in force.
The pool area was sprayed but that didnt stop us getting munched. suggest you take the relevant repellants with you as these items quite expensive.

For information some guess were disappointed at not being able to snorkel from the beach because of the waves. There are kayaks that can use free of charge if the sea conditions allow.

As the hotel is in the middle of nowhere you dont have anywhere you can wander to. The reps do trips around the island and you can do a guided walk along the beach to sal rei which I understand was a walk of over an hour but the thomson rep will provide you with all that information at the welcome meeting.

Staff at the hotel from gardeners, restaurant staff , bar staff , entertainment staff were always respectful, helpful and friendly.

Overall we had a lovely holiday. Thank you

p.s The management may want to consider attending the welcome meeting so they can welcome their guests as well as introducing the key personnel in the hotel to guests. I have found this a nice touch at other hotels.

Keep up the good work

Room Tip: There are three levels, so if you are not good at climbing stairs you may wish to request a room on...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank KagseyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

Since we visited here in May, four friends of different ages and backgrounds have asked about the Riu Karamboa and Boa Vista. This is copy of the email that I have sent to my friends, so it’s a very honest review.

Boa Vista is a 6 1/2 hour flight with Thomson’s/First Choice. Because the airport/runway is so small in Boa Vista they can only land short haul planes, i.e. you get no entertainment on the flight and not a lot of legroom. Which also means that there is nothing at the airport, it's a bit of a shack! Boa Vista is only 2 hours behind the UK.

We stayed in the Riu Karamboa which is only a 5 min transfer from the airport yet you don't seem to notice or hear the planes from the airport in the resort. This is the 5th Riu we've stayed in and if you email them about 2 weeks before you go, you can request things like a high floor room (the blocks are only 3 floors high) and a sea view, our room was lovely. Bizarrely enough they don't have a door on the bathroom! But they do on the toilet and there is a shower curtain to protect your modesty. Our room was cleaned really well everyday with fresh towels and the bedding was changed every few days. We had a mini fridge in the room yet they don't stock it for you. You get unlimited bottles of still or sparkling water from the front desk. Personally even though it was all inclusive we bought a bottle of vodka from duty free and just bought some soft drinks from the little shop, so that we could have a drink in the room but alternatively loads of people just took drinks up with them from the bar.

http://www.riu.com/en/Paises/cape-verde/boa-vista/clubhotel-riu-karamboa/index.jsp

All the restaurants are self-service buffet style. There is your main buffet which is open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. There is a pool restaurant which is open for a later continental breakfast and also serves a snack type lunch. There are 3 specialty restaurants an Asian which serves Asian food, a Cape Verdian Restaurant which was mainly fish and an African which was mainly meat. The only pain is that these can only be booked 3 days in advance, no sooner or no later. But saying that over the 2 weeks we ate in all three of the specialty ones twice. Because it’s a small undeveloped Island, everything is imported and although there was plenty of choice by the end of the second week we were finding the food a bit repetitive. They only serve wine & beer in all the restaurants. And in the main buffet you have to get up and get it yourself.

Drinks are mainly all local brands but after the first few glasses the wine gets better! Spirits were all fine and I became quite partial to their version of Tia Maria.

The pool area is kept very clean but there were a few missing tiles in the pool, which we did see a kid cut their foot on but we were fine. There is a swim up and walk up pool bar but there is no waiter service to your sunbeds. We never had a problem getting 2 beds together admittedly we were up quite early most days but even in the afternoons you could still see empty beds. The beach leads off of the pool area but it’s a very windy Island so we preferred to sit round the pool and just walk the 2 mins for a dip in the sea.

As I said it’s a very small barren Island you can travel from end to end in 30-40 mins. Most homes don't even have running water in them, they still have to collect it daily. So there isn't a hell of a lot to do here. Thomson’s do a 45 min walk along the beach to the capital town. We didn't do the walk but other people did and seemed happy enough with it.

We did a Whale Watching trip with a private company (a young Scottish couple run it) called Giggling Geckos. Sadly we didn't see the Whales but that wasn't any fault of theirs, we were on the last trip of the Whale season, other people from the hotels also did day trips with them and everyone was more than happy with them.

http://gigglinggeckoadventures.com/

We booked a 4 hour quad bike trip from the Riu staff on the beach which was fun but filthy! As you don't only travel over the sand dunes but also over rough red dust terrain. We would recommend it but don't wear anything decent as the dust gets everywhere and is a bugger to wash out. I've now got a pair of ruined shorts. Glasses and a head over to cover your mouth are a must!

On the quad trip we visited a bar/restaurant for a drink and then booked privately with the owner to go back on the Sat night for a lobster dinner. €40 euros each for a gorgeous 4 course meal, beautifully cooked and served/presented as good as any decent restaurant over here. They also have singing and dancing. The price also includes a very rough taxi transfer both ways and you can leave any time you want for the journey back.

We would go again? Not for 2 weeks as we never go back to the same place again for a fortnight but we will definitely go back if we wanted a week away for some winter sun.

Room Tip: High floors give you a better view
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank MrsTMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Yes it's an All Inclusive Club, so we lower our expectations in terms of food quality, beverages...but I was positively surprised as the quality was far above expectations.
The staff is very nice (no expection, they are all very friendly), spending the day at the swimming pool and the beach was exactly what we were looking for, and they succeeded making us enjoy our 8 days there.

However, the entertainment at night is not that good, same old shows we all know from the past decades....
I was also disappointed with the Catamaran trip that we found expensive for what it is (52 euros for a 3h boat trip, without any interesting diving, there was not much to see so i definitely don't recommend this trip) but this is not the Club's fault.

If you are looking for a few days resting, sunbathing, enjoying your beer or cocktails, this is the place to be, I recommend it.

Room Tip: Don't let your room's window open, lots of mosquitos
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank lebach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

well where to start , after reading the reviews on this site we were set to cancel this holiday.
so when we arrived we were very surprised as we were expecting a holiday from hell and this was not we experienced in any way shape or form.
the flight
yes there is no entertainment on the flight but that is not an issue my partner and myself do speak to each other so chatted all the way and you have constant service of the usual drinks duty free and meal (no drink with the meal) we did bring an ipad so we did watch a film on the way home.
the hotel
it is in the middle of nowhere just what I wanted if you are culture vulture or like to be active this is not the place for you do not book this holiday
the pool
yes there are missing tiles as a percentage probably about 0.1% did I cut my feet No did I see anyone cut theirs No maybe I was lucky, will this ruin your holiday only if you let it. also we did not find the pool dirty
sunbeds
did I get a broken one No again maybe I was lucky. Are the sunbeds close together yes but you can go the beach for more space if you wish. they do not let you reserve sunbeds before 9.00am so don't try, we saw people offering money leaving books all will be removed so they were left disappointed. there is no loud music just a bit when the aqua aerobics is on.
pool bar
staff are great they try to remember you last round there is a limited selection but the usual gin vodka brandy whisky etc they do have pre mixed cocktails which are in pre mixed slush machines which they add alcohol to if you wish. also have a cocktail menu. none of the drink in the resort is branded except soft drinks. but they also have drink stations throughout the hotel were you can get beer and soft drinks on a self service basis fab idea.no waiter service for drinks just bar or self service (not 5 star) will this ruin your holiday only if you let it
food
I never ate the same meal twice. there is plenty of choice it will seem like you are eating the same meal if you pile your plate with everything that is on offer. i tended to make meal every night meat veg and potato rice or pasta. we also ate at the three themed restarants which are again are all buffet ( which is not 5 star) did this ruin our experience again no only if you let it. the Asian is fab the ribs are to die for they fall off the bone. African fresh cooked in front of you lamb chops very nice. the cape Verdi I did not like as it is fish but If you like fish then this is for you. we did not need to que or go early in the morning to get a table again maybe we were lucky.
the pool dinner this is outdoors but covered dinning this is a basic menu to what is offered in the main dinning is there birds yes ( you are out doors) I have stayed in sandals( which is 6 star and cost three times as much as this holiday) were there is pool dinning and they have the same problem. the food is covered in chiller cabernets the only thing that is not is the bread which they try to cover maybe this could be improved.
rooms
basic nothing to write home about but I don't go on holiday to stay in the room so for me they were fine yes we did have two large single beds pushed together bit that is the norm except maybe you get two queen beds in some places so for me they were fine. I don't need tea or coffee in the room and if I did I would get a one from the one of bars and take it back. there I no iron but I did not need as I had taken one with me. there is a fridge but this is not filled like other all inc with drinks ( which is not five star) but you can get drinks from the drink stations.

people reading this may think we must not be use to much but we have travelled all over the world st lucia ,jamacia Dominican, bahams , aruba, grand cayman panama, Columbia brasil mexico Europe and in mostly 5 star hotels also stayed in 6 star hotels such as the bellagio vegas and sandals ,

people you get what you pay for if you want 5 star pay 5 star which is not £100 a night all inc
in my experience if you want 5 star I would expect to pay at least another £500 per person for a two week stay if you want true 5 to 6 star you will pay £100 + per night bb

this holiday is value for money. for this time of year you pay through the nose for sun and sun is what you get with it being 41 degrees in the shade, yes there are a few issues but they are only minor don't focus on the negative as you will not see the positive .

tips
bring you own crisp and sweets as they are expensive

and stock up on factor 50 sun cream as you will need it and don't think you will use anything lower than factor 10 this place is hot hot hot

you will also need a hat so may people had sunstroke

you will not need lots of money as there is nothing to spend your money on except crisp sweets and suntan lotion

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank stephen s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Reading through some of the reviews I feel very angry, what do people expect this is a 3rd world country and with the resources they have to work with everything was excellent. The transfer through the airport and to the hotel was fast with no waiting about. Check in at hotel was done quickly and the cases were brought to our room within 10 minutes.
I could not fault the hotel, very clean, very friendly and how anyone can say the food was repetitive, there was so much choice you could eat something different every day.
If people had done their homework they would have known September is the rainy season it is only common sense there will be excessive water when they do get a downpour, perhaps these people also blame the hotel for the weather. If we did get a downpour this was dealt with efficiently. The rooms were cleaned everyday and the whole hotel was kept spotless. We had a wonderful holiday and the beach is fantastic, we would not hesitate to return.
The people who are so ready to run down the hotel and the hospitality that was offered should maybe pay for their 5* luxury and go off to Dubai etc., they would certainly see a difference in the price. Some people are never happy and I feel very cross that they could run down such a beautiful place and wonderful people.

Room Tip: Higher floor
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

This hotel impressed from the first sight which was actually from the plane as we were coming in to land - very large and only 3 minutes from the airport , though you wouldnt know from the hotel. Firstly the bad - the food here was ok but very much identical every day , we soon learned that we knew what would be on the menu for all 3 meals - very much the same every day . But you can book into one of the other 3 restaurants on the site [ one of which we did] and got excellent food but heard quite a few guests say that what was on offer in one of them was exactly the same as the main restaurant but we didnt visit it . But booking is a must . That said we could not find fault with ANYTHING else , the whole place was very clean and our room looked straightto the beach excellent . The room itself was not huge but there was plenty of space for two , the open bathroom /wardrobe being on one end of it which did feel a little strange but not a problem . The grounds are in all very well kept and all the staff very friendly and welcoming all over the resort from the cleaners to the [ we assume managers] bar and reception staff all a credit to the hotel - well done . The poolarea was very nice but does look like a little refurb of the tiling is required but PLENTY of loungers around the pool itself and also on the superb sandy beach .another complaint we only heard was that the excursions were overpriced but we only saw the price list and did not go on any of the trips but the pay for activities did seem expensive for what you were getting so make up your own mind on that one folks .So overall a very nice [ but slightly expensive for a weeks stay ]holiday . Would i go back - definitely but will have to save up a LOT for that one but if the price was lower be back next year.

Room Tip: we asked for a low room due to my fiancee's bad knee and got the room facing the beach excellent
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Steve A
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 Spa Hotel in Boa Vista
#2 Luxury Hotel in Boa Vista
Price Range: $158 - $347 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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