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“Excellent hotel, shame about TUI (Thomson) flight!”

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Royal Horizons Boa Vista
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Boa Vista
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel, shame about TUI (Thomson) flight!”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

How unfortunate that TUI (Thomson) seem to have the monopoly of flights to Boa Vista from the UK. The planes are very cramped and are geared up to sell drinks & snacks at inflated prices. Thomson do not even supply passengers with a complimentary hot drink with the in-flight meal despite a spoon & sugar being included with the cutlery!

We flew from Gatwick and also encountered problems with a couple of passengers who had drunk too much alcohol. The couple next to me had ordered a bottle of champagne and got progressively noisier as the bottle was drained. To my surprise, the flight attendant let them purchase another bottle. To her credit though recognised that there was a problem (although I had not complained) and fortunately as the plane was not quite full she moved us to other seats. Like the previous reviewer I was delighted to find that this couple were not staying at the Royal Decameron.

The hotel is exceptionally clean and ideally situated. The area around the main swimming pool is used for activities arranged by the entertainment staff and can be noisy at times. However there is a smaller pool away from this, which is ideal if you like peace & quiet. Rooms in this area are quiet at night. A guest that we spoke to had a problem with cockroaches coming into their ground-floor room. Like us, ask for an upstairs room and ensure that you place a towel along the bottom of the door just in case.

Food here is first class. There is a wide choice of hot & cold food served at every meal in the buffet restaurant as well as local wine and beer on tap. During the 7 nights that we were there was a different hot roast (freshly carved) for each lunch and dinner. There was also a good selection of cooked dishes, pizzas, fish, vegetables & salads. The deep fried cheese is an absolute must! Tables are cleared immediately, sprayed with antibacterial fluid and wiped down with a clean sheet of paper towel (not a filthy cloth). Baby chairs waiting to be used even had their tables covered with cling film to keep clean.

Kerry, the cheerful Thomson representative, was always available at published times. She kept her informative welcome talk brief and did not push excursions.

This was an inexpensive late deal and the hotel far exceeded our expectations. We would certainly consider returning in the future.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank HeatherMamaDos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bexleyheath, England.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We had a very enjoyable stay at the Royal Decameron hotel, Boa Vista. They hotel is a good size and the food was excellent. However, the very inviting pool was very cold (although this is January) and it included a jacuzzi .We would have liked the pool towels to be big enough to cover the sun beds. The hotel is right on a very impressive beach, upon which you can walk for miles on soft, white, warm sand. The pathways around the hotel are a little uneven but very well lit at night and there are plenty of steps to keep you fit. There is a very relaxing atmosphere at the hotel and the animation team are young and energetic but not too annoying and put on good entertainment in the evenings. A jacket is needed in the evenings. We had a relaxing massage, although it was good, we felt it a little expensive at 50 euros. We went on a Jeep tour of the island, which was very good. It gave us a good overall impression on the island that we would not have experienced on our own and saw some naturally beautiful locations. This is an isolated hotel with not much to do and very little to spend your money on; just perfect. Heard about some bad things that happened but I hope they can sort it out with extra security. We paid extra for a sea view room and it was worth it to wake each morning to a fantastic view. The room was very big (included a lounge and kitchenette area) and was cleaned to a good standard. Overall the holiday was fantastic and we would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room nearer the reception area, not on the edge of the resort (problems with robberies)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ankh2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northants UK
Level Contributor
214 reviews
144 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 312 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We always wanted to see Cape Verde, or at least some of it so seeing this available, at a very good price, and reading the reveiws of the islands other hotels we booked.

First alarm bells rang at Manchester Airport when I noticed a bunch of tipsy women, (this is 9.30am), hovering around the departure gate and various other "dubious" looking characters waiting to board the flight. I double checked tickets was I in the Benidorm/Magaluf/San Antonio zone? No Boa Vista it was.

Boarding commenced and the afore mentioned tipsy, but now more tipsy womem got on and started to disrupt any peace or quiet, we were in for a noisy and stressful time. Then roughly half way through the journey there was actual fisticuffs, a fight. OK not a big or long fight but a fight none the less, alarming. Then you suddenly have to forget any thoughts of relaxation and get into a ready to something mode. Tipsy women continued to cause mayhem.

On landing I was praying that these noisy, rude, disruptive types were not destined for Royal Decameron, thankfully they were not.

On arrival it looked good, check in a breeze and bags taken to our room, which was a long way from reception, but in a very quiet area with a sea, or a bit of sea, view, so far so good.

Changed and checked things out and everything met expectations, especially the Animation, who are Look Voyage, a company I have encountered previously and been well satisfied.

Had dinner and found food first rate, so was breakfast and lunch, every day, no complaints on the catering front at all, and worth noting the hygeine employed in restaurant area, all staff serving food have head covering and beard snoods, impressive. Cleanliness is very high in all other areas also.

There is a gym which is perfectly adequate, and a spa which is insanely expensive.

I did pick up on previous comments regardin having to €2 for a bottle of water, yes not good when you on a supposed all inclusive deal. Thompson/First Choice should address this, although I suppose they would load the holiday price to do so.

So did the usual things, sat around, played French Bowle, did some archery etc, until it got boring. Then decided to explore a bit and took a taxi to island capital of Sal Rei, a tiny little town with hardly any shops or anything else except a pretty little church, but it is not Notre Dame, so nothing of any architecteral interest.
Took a trip south the following day to the much praised Santa Monica beach, which is a totally unspoiled stretch of sand, much like the beach at the hotel, but obviously with no hotels hence unspoiled. Yes it is an area of outstanding natural beauty and well worth a trip.

So all well, nice and relaxing with a good clientle, as previously mentioned on Trip, mainly French a quadruple bonus for me, and Belgians, Norwegians, Swedes, Swiss, Germans, Italians, and English, but not many, and not too disruptive/noisy as we all know they can be, a good cosmopolitan bunch.

However after 5/6 days it does get a tad boring so a week is enough, I would have gone "stir crazy" if there any longer.

On arrival at airport yesterday same tipsy women were there this time creating havoc in departure area, I fail to understand why they were allowed to board as I understood it was illegal to fly when half cut? So again not a relaxing flight back as there was always the expectation of an incident of some kind which means being always on your guard. I find it all vey intimidating.

Will I go again, no, I can do better than this.

One further point there was a "mugging" on the beach involving an elderly couple who were attacked by four bandits wielding a machette, and on hotel room was burgled and cleaned out. Leaving the occupants, who were at dinner at the time, with just the clothes they stood up in. Now before we overreact this would be normal in London/New York/Thailand etc, so upsetting though it is, it obviously happens, so care is needed.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Earby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My boyfriend and I went here last August (2012) and only now can I write about the horrendous experience it was for us.
This was to be my first holiday abroad and my boyfriend wanted to make it a once in a lifetime experience, and it was, but for all the wrong reasons.
The flight to the island was cramped but bareable as we were so looking forward to our holiday, the airport was basic but as its a small island we had expected this so that wasn't a problem.
On arrival at the hotel we were signed in at reception by a very aloof miserable desk staff whereafter we were shown to our room. The room itself was a bit of a let down after brochure pics, grubby shower, someone's dirty pants under the bedside cabinet. It was only later that night (12am to be precise) that we learned we were virtually sharing our room with another couple, the only thing separating us was a locked door one foot to the left of our bed. We put up with this noisy couple for all of three nights (Sun-Wed) then after yet another of their rows we were forced to ask reception for a change of room. Reception staff came back to our room where we tried to explain the problem but by this time the noisy couple had gone out to dinner. They did however agree to give us a new room but it was obvious they were not happy about it and made it feel like they were doing US a favour!
Their was a variety of food in the large food hall but repeated every night. Both myself and my boyfriend had food poisoning after our first meal there so we ate very little all the time we were there. The 'snacks' between meals can be found in a dirty mud hut by the beach, over run by the French teeny bop club and feral cats. The burgers are nothing short of repulsive and the salad bar is not refrigerated and crawling with flies.
The food as is the entertainment and in general the whole resort is geared towards the French with very few staff and entertainment team speaking English. This was not a problem for us as from what we observed the overall entertainment was on the whole of a cringeable standard.
We were made to feel like party gate crashers.
As for our Thomson rep......what rep!!! She was never in the resort the only time we saw her was on our first night when she gathered us together to try and sell us island excursions ranging from £100-£400, she was also an Oracle on the famous Cape Verdi turtles. In short she was as much use as a chocolate watch.
We stayed for 7 days and it was the longest most miserable 7 days of my life, I have never been so glad to get home in my life. My boyfriend still can't bring himself to even speak of this experience and this year we plan on holidaying in our very own Bonnie Scotland.
Shame on Thomsons for even having this Hell on Earth on their books.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Joanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

It might be helpful if I break this down into manageable chunks (if not for you then for me!)

Thomson Flight

Yes, the First Choice/Thomson flight from Manchester to Boa Vista is 6hrs 15mins and as a 'short haul' flight Thomson do use 'long haul' planes. So the 757 is two rows of three seats with minimal leg room. Not a problem for me or my wife but I can appreciate it wouldn’t be a comfortable ride for anyone with long legs. As mentioned before there is no in-flight entertainment so bring magazines, books, DVD player, ipad, etc. (Although I’ve heard they are taking out two rows for the 2013-season to increase the leg room)

Boa Vista Airport

This is a small airport so you will leave the plane via steps at the front of the plane (between rows 11-12 I think). The sooner you get off the plane the better as this plane carries about 235 passengers and you will be funnelled into a queue for immigration. If you are at the front of the queue you will be standing under the shade of sun sails/tarps. The further down the line and you will be standing in the full sun at 15.30hrs of a Boa Vista afternoon. Hot. There are only two immigration desks. On this trip it took them about a minute per couple, so about an hour to get the whole plane through immigration.

Transport to Royal Decameron

Having said all that about the queue, even if you are first though you still have to wait until the last hotel guests are through before the minibus leaves for the hotel. Baggage is taken on a separate vehicle - make sure you put it in the right one. Someone on the bus left it to her husband and the husband left it to the wife! Not a great start to their holiday. The journey to the hotel lasts 5 mins, if that. Brilliant.

Royal Decameron

When you check in, you get your key, aircon controller and TV remote. All to be handed back when you leave. We got the wrong remote and it took them an hour to sort this out. Depending on your room number you will be taken in small groups - bags to follow. We stayed in Room 511 is described as a junior suite -bedroom with TV, bathroom, sitting room with fold down bed and kitchen/diner area. There is a private patio area with an unobstructed view of the beach & ocean. It is a single storey block of four or five which sit at the very front of the hotel and I would say this room or 510 are the best.

If you do find yourself in 511 and wonder why you've got two sun beds on the patio, don’t ask just tip one of the gardeners. Why RDBV haven't put sun beds on the patios for these rooms I don’t know.

Paths

Apart from the pool area, all the paths and pavements are cobbled stone. They are not the smooth stone that you can find elsewhere in the world but sharp angular volcanic-like stone fragments that have gaps in-between. You cannot walk on these in bare feet. You cannot walk on these with stilettos - although all credit to one honeymooner who gave it her best shot in 6" heels! The hotel sits on a relatively steep slope down to the beach and which makes it particularly challenging for anyone with mobility issues and wheelchair users.

The pool

There are plenty of sun loungers around the pool and on the beach. As breakfast starts at 7am and I am an early riser (on holiday at least) I was able to get a sun bed at the pool. But I did see other holidaymakers having to interrupt their sleep to 'bag-a-bed' by 6.45 or lose out. So you may want to check this out for yourself on your first morning. And if you think you can reserve on the night before - you can't. The pool attendant goes around and removes all the towels.

Bars

Pool bar lacks any atmosphere. Give it a miss. Also the entertainment takes place here. The upstairs (sport) bar, near reception, is Ok. Get a stool and sit at the bar. You get to see and hear everything that is going on. And the bar staff gets to know you and your glass is never empty! However, when they run out of drinks that's it! They only seem to stock once a day. This is really not very good and certainly not popular with guests. Imagine you've been drinking Whisky all evening and they run out. Instead of getting a bottle sent up from the other bar or taking one from stock they offer you Gin. Not good.

Restaurant(s)
There is a beach cafe - chips/burgers in the afternoon. OK. There is a restaurant at the far end of the complex. It is promoted as a special dining experience. It’s not. They serve the same food as the main restaurant. I think they should really turn it into a feature restaurant - either an Italian, Indian, Chinese restaurant or rotate it through these every second day.

The main restaurant has a wide selection but very little variety. It's the same every day. This is why, for me, I couldn't stay here for more than a week. I also have concerns over the food handling practices that I witnessed. The layout is also poor. I know these are issues that the management have recognised and are planning to fix. It will be interesting to read future reports on this aspect of the hotel. I have stayed at other Decameron Hotels and I know they can do a lot better than this.

As you enter the main dining room there are hand sanitizers by the doors - please use them. They will help you reduce the chance of you picking up or passing on any bacteria. I say this because other holiday makers will be touching the drinks dispensers and handling the serving 'tools'. Believe me - I am not a health nut but better to be safe than sorry. I hear numerous people feeling unwell. I have travelled extensively and I wasn’t 100% and wished I had seen the sanitizers sooner.

Entertainment

They have their own amphitheatre. Absolutely fantastic! And the animation team put on really good shows. It's on the other side of the car park. Also out there are the tennis courts, boule and archery area. Try the archery its fun. Although, the need some new arrows! The guys down there are brill. Inside the complex are a gym and a quite/adult pool. The animation team (entertainment team) come round the pool to try to rope you in to stuff. They’re well natured and if you're not interested then they'll move on. Having said that, if they hadn't pestered me I wouldn't have done the archery or the water polo.

Guests

The animation team and, I would say, 80% of the guests are French. I made some friends despite my schoolboy French - hilarious. The remainder are 10% British and 10% other Europeans.

Beach

The hotel sits on a very long, largely deserted, sandy beach. Great for a walk. The sea is not really for swimming and was red-flagged most days.

Summary

One week was enough. Get room 510 or 511. Go to breakfast early and get your sun bed by 6.45 Have a light snack in the beach bar to stop getting bored with the food in the main restaurant. Hang out in the sports bar. Take a walk along the beach. Go to the amphitheatre once. Go to the archery once.

Hotel: Stock the bars fully - don't run out. Offer cocktails in the sports bar. Refit the main restaurant and get a more interesting, varied menu. Don't offer everything, everyday. Change how you use the speciality restaurant.

Room Tip: 510 or 511 as they front on to the beach. I think the block ranges from 509 - 513
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dr David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Stayed here in January 2012. Very clean hotel with a great selection of food at the buffet fresh fish everyday and the pizza was top class. Recommend eating in one of the speciality restaurants which you dont have to pay extra for, but get in quick as they get booked up really fast. We hired a car for a day which was a great way to see some of the beaches on the other side of the island which were beautiful. Its an hour walk along the beach to the centre or there are always taxis outside. Unfortunately the sea was very rough when we went and some days we couldnt go in the sea at all due to the high waves. All in all a fantastic week getaway in a nice resort.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We went to Boa Vista for the first time on Boxing Day to find some sunshine and fun and generally escape the British winter for a week. We had a real blast and enjoyed every minute of it, as did the children. I was very pleasantly surprised at the standard of the hotel and gardens, and especially our suite which was very close to the beach Everything was very clean, fresh sheets every day, towels replaced when you needed them. I couldn't have asked for more. The food was excellent, plenty of variety, served buffet style which was ideal for us. In fact there was food available all day down at the beach bar. We took the 'hot spots' trip which we thoroughly enjoyed - bumpy, but great fun nonetheless. The pool was a bit chilly but we spent most of our time on the stunning, beautiful, gorgeous, almost empty beach so it wasn't a problem. There is practically nothing to do here but this is part of the charm for us and I am just in the process of rebooking for next year. We plan to keep coming back to this little slice of paradise until the children (8 & 10) need more to do which I hope will be a long way off. Having been there and had such a lovely time I struggle to understand the negative reviews but I guess we are all different in our expectations and outlook on life.

Room Tip: We asked for a sea view and went to sleep to the sound of the waves - wonderful.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Horizons Boa Vista

Property: Royal Horizons Boa Vista
Address: | Boa Vista Island, Boa Vista 4110, Cape Verde (Formerly Royal Decameron Boa Vista)
Location: Cape Verde > Boa Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Boa Vista
#4 Spa Hotel in Boa Vista
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Horizons Boa Vista 3*
Number of rooms: 300
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Boa Vista Hotel Boa Vista
Ventaclub Hotel Boa Vista
Ventaclub Resort Boa Vista
Royal Horizons Boa Vista Cape Verde

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