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Royal Horizons Boa Vista
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Boa Vista
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We had a fantastic Christmas holiday at Royal Decameron and the recent negative reviews are unfair.

The buffet food is varied and changes daily - excellent seafood selection for my partner and me slightly more picky (great vegetarian/chicken dishes). Fresh fish every day - we have never seen so much meat on fish. Very impressed.

Our room number was 713, which was one of the furthest out from the hotel, so lovely and quiet.However. if elderly or less mobile, requesr rooms closer to the main area. Rooms were slightly dated, but nothing to complain about and the cleanliness was amazing. The shower was powerful - a massive plus in my books! The bed was huge.

The pool was the cleanest we have experienced. It was a salt water swimming pool.

The cleaning staff were like something out of Cinderella! Scrubbing and mopping external stairs/everywhere DAILY. Amazing.

Sunbeds were amazing!

Tips:
-They charge 2euros per bottle of water even though it is an all inclusive. You can get cups of water all day. They don't wish you to fill water from the taps (there are signs) however we discovered, this is only for hygiene reasons if you put the bottle opening onto the tap, if you hold away they didn't mind you refilling.

-A lot of people are commenting about it being a windy hotel. If people had done their research, its not this hotel or island, but all of Cape Verde is windy, this does not detract from the amazing all year round weather. It simply means you get a suntan without sweating. The downside of the wind is that the waves and undercurrent are dangerous most of the time. The beach is stunning and although there was a red flag up our whole visit, it did not deter a lot of people still going in.

-The entertainment was fantastic. Although doesn't start until 9.30 and baring in mind the hour time difference being 10.30 UK time.

-The hotel is prominently French. The staff's local language is Portuguese, they speak excellent French, and can communicate in English. The entertainment staff are dressed in blue and speak a good mix of all languages and don't pester. There are other entertainment staff dressed in red.... these are are the French's travel company's reps for the hotel and they outnumbered the hotel entertainment staff, but they mainly/only spoke French. (which was fine by us) During our stay, 70% of the guests were French, 15% German ... a handful of Swedish and lesser English.

-We had issues with Gatwick on our outgoing journey (British weather) our Thompson rep Bianca was there to meet and greet and available at convenient times in the hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank MargotBrighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2014

We didn't have a good start to the holiday. The hotel were not welcoming and check-in appeared clumsy and unprofessional. We had previously sent an e-mail to the hotel and the in-house First Choice team, appraising them that we required two rooms close together so that we could be close to our elderly parents. This totally failed and the rooms were given were as far away from eachother as they could be. After a very long wait and having had to eventually complain to the Assistant Manager, we were moved closer to them. Talking to other guests, this appears to be a common occurrence. Make sure you take your booking confirmation form to the hotel as this is required on arrival.

Good points: the food was nice, though repetitive. The complaints about it being cold are due to the constant breeze through the restaurant. The Italian restaurant was very nice with a lovely ambiance. The drinks were of an excellent quality for an all-inclusive hotel, although the house wine is ok to have with meals, but not as a social drink. The bed was big and very comfortable and the hotel was kept very clean at all times. The views from the hotel overlooking the pool and beach were beautiful and the beach itself is lovely.

Bad points: This hotel is not suitable for anybody with mobility difficulties due to the fact that there are a lot of steps, everything is very spread out and there are a lot of faulty tiles in the pool area. Rubber soled sandals are best around the pool area as the tiles are very slippery. The sea is too rough to swim in most of the time and the swimming pools were very cold. Because there was a constant breeze it felt chilly coming out of the water.

The animation team were OTT and annoying and the constant loud music around the pool was overbearing and everything was done in French. Towels were being placed on beds exceptionally early. We went on a trip to Sal Rei (25euros per person). We found this over-priced as there isn't a lot to see and suggest if you want to go there hire a taxi at 10 euros each way.

The ugly: My mother fell down several steps, landing on her head and left arm. There was no doctor at the hotel, we went to the hospital and were horrified to see there was nothing there in the way of facilities, staff or medications. Mum was seen by a nurse who did not speak English and spent the night there on a drip that didn't work properly. The next day she was seen by a Dr (15 hours after the accident), had no x-rays and was just prescribed paracetamol and a cream for her very bruised and swollen head and face.

On return to the UK we took her to A & E to find that her wrist was fractured and had to be operated on. Thankfully the CT scan did not show any serious injury to her head. With all the tourists visiting Boa Vista there should be better medical provisions and facilities. The current state is NOT acceptable. There were a number of people with injuries, some serious while we were there.

Would we recommend this hotel or come back - we have to say no.

On a more positive note, some of the staff excelled at the Decameron with special thanks to Tanka, our waiter, Nigit Santa-Maria, the health and safety officer, Bianca and the other First Choice reps who were all brilliant during our stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank capricorn43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We returned today from a wonderful holiday at this hotel. I had been concerned because we had booked our stay eleven months in advance, in that time the reviews seemed to get worse every time I looked, we even tried to cancel our stay,but couldn't afford to lose such a lot of money. When we arrived at the hotel, check in went smoothly,we were disappointed that the staff weren't a little more helpful when it came to finding our room,but we managed to find it. We were really pleased we had a beautiful room,maybe not to Caribbean standard,but this is a tiny island. It was spotless,the bed was enormous and we had plenty of hanging space.
Bianca our rep was very helpful and gave us a really good tour of the hotel, we were never lost again,she answered every question we asked.
The food was lovely,we had NO tummy problems at all, we had some thing different to eat at every meal, we even had fresh lobster on New Year's Eve.
We were given a bottle of water when we arrived. It was never a problem to refill the bottle at any time through out our stay. We never had to buy any more water.
I am a very fussy eater, I have very high standards, I will miss this hotel.
It was true the entertainment was geared for other nationalities,there wasn't much English spoken, but the staff at the hotel really tried very hard, we had no problems at all. For a third world Island I was amazed at how many languages the local people spoke, I feel ashamed the say that I can only speak English .i would recommend this hotel, especially if you want a peaceful break,I can't wait to return

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lollypop1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

I have to admit that, when we arrived, I was slightly disappointed by this hotel - the check in was slow and the hotel looked a bit rustic. However, once we got to our room and began to find our way around it was all fine. It helps a lot if you can speak a bit of French (which I can) as you can then make your needs known to the staff. Really the rep should have told us about the language before we arrived at the hotel as it would have helped. Generally the rep (Bianca) really tried very hard and was going to improve the initial orientation so that you didn't start off feeling slightly lost. It also helps if you remember that Boa Vista is pretty much a third world destination. Right, the room was very clean and the bed both massive and comfortable (we had 5 large pillows for the 2 of us). There was a flat-screen TV but not much to watch. The air conditioning was a bit noisy but we decided to cool the room down and then sleep with the door open (insect screen supplied). Only slight moan was that the cleaner wasn't very good at leaving shower gel etc so we had to catch her and ask. The water was always hot and the towels large and fluffy. Can't say we felt threatened by the risk of theft but we did hire the safety deposit box for 2 euro a day - seems a pretty average price for a hotel. Some people have complained about paying for drinking water - they provided one bottle on arrival and you could buy more in the shop. It was also possible to be served with a glass of water whenever you wanted so we just took a glass back to our room when needed. We thought the food was fantastic. They baked all their own bread and seemed to take real pride in the food they produced. The desserts were often to German taste ie very sweet with no other obvious taste but we didn't feel this was a problem. We sampled most of the drinks on offer and found them all enjoyable, especially the lager which was quite strong. The pool area was massive but with the usual laying of towels on loungers. The music was rather loud by the main pool but there was a quiet pool with no music at all. We spent our days on the beach which was absolutely beautiful. We always got loungers there and there was a bar by the beach and a snack bar so you didn't have to go far to get refreshment. It is a big site but appeared to have disabled access as we saw someone in a wheelchair. The sea was, as usual for Cape Verde, quite rough at times but the beach was guarded and we followed advice and did not go in when there was a red flag. The worst thing was possibly the entertainment which was mostly done by the French-speaking animation team and was not to my taste. The "speciality" restaurants were a bit of a joke. The Italian (daytime snack bar converted) was OK but had rather little choice, and we thought the Cape Verdian restaurant was nasty - we had to go to the main dining room afterwards as the food was so unappetising. Lastly, the people here really keep to their motto of "no stress" and do not hurry to serve you with drinks. Didn't try the wi-fi but it did look expensive. Who cares? You are on holiday!

Room Tip: All rooms have a sea view - upper rooms (only 1 or 2 story bungalows) have a better view. Best view...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank sausageEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

I would need to write a book for all instances happen during our vacation in this hotel, therefore only bullet points.
It is not a 4 star
It is a real all inclusive with the concentration of the bad sides of this business model
Upon arrival you need to know you that you are treated as a suspicious object. You have to pay all services in advance, no usual hotel treatment such as , can I have a copy of your credit card please, no, only cash in advance, (if you pay with credit card that doesn't help, because the local currency is not accepted by CC banks).
Reception doesn't host valuables, rooms have a safety box, which in reality is not worth the payment of 2 € per day for usage, because the box can be taken off with one heavy pull. Where does one pay for safety boxes nowadays? Entrance doors of the apartments have mainly all signs of break ins, gives a very cosy and safe feeling.
All inclusive means all is free, specially the hard drinks, BUT you have to pay for drinking water! How wrong is that? The bottle is 2 €. What on earth is wrong with that management, the neighborhood hotel, Iberostar, gives every day 2 bottles per customers for free. Not to forget that the management at the Decameron, tells you not to drink tap water, because it can harm you. Wifi cost you a fortune, 4 € per 30 minutes or generous as they are, 7 € per hour. I thought we live in 2013 and not 1990 anymore.
The whole day you are tortured by music everywhere you are in the resort. If you are in the main spots around lobby and pool, you have the privilege to be tortured by the entertainment by the pool, heavy bass rhythm and parallel by the bar music entertainment, folklore music and last but not least by the 2 TV screens with different channels. A cacophony of sounds one has to fled. The same noisy ambient is everywhere at the restaurants, its more the feeling of being at a huge company's cantina instead of a vacation place
The rooms are YMCA style, not at all near to 4 Star, we had mold at the walls, so we insisted in another room, which we got finally. Mosquito protection was a joke, all protections in doors and windows were rotten.
Taxi cost you 10 €, no public transport, no restaurants or something similar in neighborhood, you either walk 1 hour each direction or you pay 10 € each. Don't forget that you have been warned not to walk alone in the evenings, not save.
It were the worst stay we had in a resort for years, because we never received the service we paid for and the worst thing is we felt as an annoyance to the staff and not as guests. I need to say that there has been some very friendly staff members but they were the absolutely minority.
The resort is good for people who want to drink alcohol and eat the whole day by being entertained with noisy staff, don't want to interact with locals and just looking for a 1 or 2 weeks eat and drink as much as you can holiday. Customers are mainly French, English and German.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Hg K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My wife and I went for an 11 day all inclusive at the end of November. Firstly the Thomson flight is pretty miserable for what amounts to about 6 hours + on the plane.

However the descent into Cape Verde is spectacular and once we had landed the rep (Bianca) was exceptional and very friendly.

Overall the location is spectacular, only a 5 minute transfer from the airport, the views great, the hotel maybe a little dated, the food fresh and varied and the entertainment regular and varied. The accommodation is spread out and reasonable with a very comfortable large bed !

The British are a sizeable minority with more French and Germans. All the entertainment was in French but there was a relaxed atmosphere which was very European. There is a large selection of drinks available and a good quality beer on draught.

Take plenty of toiletries as the hotel is a long way from the nearest town and the prices are excessive in the hotel shop eg about £12 for a can of shaving foam.

Staff are friendly and do their best but English is not their first language so you have to be patient.

We would recommend this hotel which is in a lovely location but be aware of the couple of points that might niggle some people.

Room Tip: Most rooms have a sea view
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Leemumbles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

The hotel is really big - but because it's so spread out you rarely feel that there are tons of other people there. It is very clean - absolutely everywhere. There are lots of staff, who are all very friendly and give the impression of being happy to work there. We had a room on the beach and it was cleaned beautifully every day, crisp white sheets and fluffy white towels replaced every day. Yes, there is the odd spot of mould between the bathroom wall tiles, but you have to remember you're in Africa! Remember to take mozzie repellent with you, it costs 25 euros in hotel shop - everything is very expensive. We didn't take any with us and we endured a fair few bites. Lots of people whinge about having to pay for bottled water at the hotel, but you can drink as much water at the bars and in the restaurants as you like, as part of the all inclusive, so there is not really any need to complain about this. The reason they charge for bottled water is because people leave them lying out in the sun, they get thrown away half-full, and the waste is shameful, given that the local people don't have running water!

Unless you are a kitesurfer...BE PREPARED FOR THE WIND!! It is relentless!! My husband is a kitesurfer and he loved it - the conditions out front of the hotel are permanently side-off shore, and most days the shorebreak was over 10 foot, so unless you are experienced you would probably go to the next beach (taxi from reception) called Morabeza - the wind there is straight off-shore but they have a rescue boat and there are tons of kiters there and flat water. If you have a family, they can easily spend the day at Morabeza as there is a lovely shady restaurant and the Wi-Fi is cheaper for a whole day than for 1 hour in the hotel! (E7 per hour in hotel, E5 for whole day at Morabeza) Morabeza is worth a visit anyway as it's quite unique - and something a bit different from the hotel.

Something we wish we had known....there is almost always a red flag at the beach in front of the hotel, meaning you can't swim there! We did allow our kids to paddle there, but the surf is HUGE (not surfable, in case you are a surfer - as it just closes out, but it's MASSIVE.) If you are an experienced kitesurfer, you can kite out front but be aware that there is no rescue and no lifeguards. The wind is very gusty, take a 9m and 12m. If you are there for the sun, be prepared to put up with the wind - it adds a chill factor so that I didn't even swim in the two weeks! If you choose to sunbathe on the beach, your ears literally will fill up with the sand blowing against you! The most sheltered spot I found was by the baby pool at the hotel, next to the sign with the pool rules on it. Book your sunbeds early - by 8am there are none left!

Right - now for the really serious advice. One of our children was taken very ill one evening, it became an emergency situation and was potentially life-and-death. Without going into all the details, we called reception twice screaming for an ambulance, but none came. We ran with a non-responsive child to reception, but there was nobody on the staff with any medical training, reception STILL hadn't rang the ambulance, and shockingly, the hotel had no oxygen. We leapt into a taxi and endured a desperate race to the hospital, still not knowing if our child was even breathing, but on arrival at the hospital found that there was no doctor, and only 1 nurse staffing the entire place. We spent the worst night of our lives in the hospital and nobody even checked on us once. The doctor arrived 12 HOURS LATER. Parents....travel with EVERYTHING you think you might need, not just Calpol/Nurofen but Piriton, and even antibiotics. When we did finally see the doctor, she was pretty useless, didn't speak much English, we don't speak Portuguese, and when she gave us a portuguese prescription we walked to the pharmacy, only to find she'd prescribed him a bottle of VITAMINS.

DON'T BE FOOLED into thinking that because there is a hospital that it will have any resources - it doesn't. You can see the doctor at the hotel between 3 and 4pm each afternoon, and this is pretty reliable - but in an emergency situation you cannot rely on ANYTHING. No doctor, no ambulance, no medicine, NOTHING. We were charged for our night in hospital although our child was not even checked on once, and had no meds, despite us calling the nurse 3 times and begging her to at least give him some pain relief. She refused. The hospital was clean, but there were a lot of cockroaches, and a donkey braying all night outside the window! Our holiday rep came to bring us blankets, pillows, water and toilet paper as the hospital doesn't have any of that. The pools at the hotel have no life guards - an emergency or near drowning incident could so easily happen, please learn from our terrible scary experience that you have to be self-reliant -nobody at the hotel can help in an emergency and there is no equipment. THIS INFO COULD SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE, in particular if you have children. You never think it could happen to you....but it happened to us and we realised how isolated we were, in an island hospital with NOTHING to help save our child's life if need be. The reality is that it's very undeveloped.

If you need to buy meds, unless you speak Portuguese (or French, lots of locals speak French, and the majority of hotel guests are French) you will probably end up with some vitamins! Take it all with you! There is a shop called Bos Compras in Sal Rei which is a supermarket - you will never find it on your own so ask a taxi driver to take you there and wait for you while you shop. You can get coffee/nappies - pretty much anything at this store. The locals all shop here and it is the biggest shop. A taxi from the hotel to Sal Rei costs E10 each way. You can only draw escudos from the machine at the hotel so take enough euros with you as escudos cannot be changed back at the end of your hols! We tipped the luggage delivery man, the cleaning lady, the barman at the beach bar, and our favourite waiter at the end of our holiday - E10 each.

Room Tip: The best rooms are in the second row up from the beach, area called "Zona Boa Vista" - we...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank rederiemad
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

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: $143 - $355 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Horizons Boa Vista 3*
Number of rooms: 300
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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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