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“nice CLEAN rooms, desolate location”

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Hotel Sabura Ponta Preta
Ranked #7 of 13 Santa Maria B&B and Inns
New York, NY
Level Contributor
181 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“nice CLEAN rooms, desolate location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

We spent 3 days at the Sabura on Sal. The hotel is an affordable choice for those who have to be in Sal. We decided to visit Cape Verde and our best choice and connection was to fly into Sal from New York--hence Sal. The island is ugly and does not offer neither cultural diversity nor natural beauty. The weather is nice but the water is too rough to swim--at least at this time of year, nor are the beaches inviting--certainly if you compare them to Florida. The Sabura is in a desolate, isolated location about 10-15 minutes to the town center. The hotel is across the huge RIU chain package vacation hotel. Like the Riu, the Sabura serves mainly package tour tourists plus some business travelers (TUI Belgium stations its flight crew at the hotel). While we were in the hotel, we encountered mostly package tourists from the UK, Poland, and Germany, some Dutch, some French, more of an older crowd. The people are very pleasant and quite. Overall, we got three good nights of sleep. There is no entertainment or animation but we picked this hotel particularly for that reason. The pool is clean but it was too cold to swim.
Santa Maria is obviously caught in the economic downscale and building skeletons are everywhere. The lots immediately adjacent to the hotel are empty. There is no construction noise, but the area won't win any architecture awards either--see photo.
The rooms are nicely appointed and very clean. Overall, the hotel is very clean, that includes public spaces. The buffet breakfast is adequate and the food is presented in a very appetizing way. While we were at the hotel, we did not encounter any mosquitoes and only very few flies. I read reviews about people getting sick from the food. While we were there, the food was handled in a sanitary way and always looked fresh--we only had breakfast and were not on an AI basis.
The check-in was slow--certainly after a 11 hour flight and a 14 hour lay over from New York. The staff are professional and do their best, even speaking in English.
Overall, the hotel is a nice stop over for visitors who will continue their travels through Cape Verde. As a vacation destination for Americans, the hotel, nor the location are attractive. But it allows for a gentile introduction to other islands. There are hardly any barking stray dogs that will keep you awake all night like in Mindelo. For those with money to burn, the Morabeza seems to be a better choice: closer to town, directly on the beach, and true luxury.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TomSonntag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
derby
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have just got back from Cape Verde after staying for two weeks all inclusive at the Sabura Hotel,in fact got back yesterday!
The hotel is set on open ground which is obviously going to be developed for tourists and opposite the Rui hotels.I have read reviews complaining about the "construction site" but there were no disturbance/noise caused to us in the hotel and although the view may be a bit unsightly how else is the place supposed to grow?
It's location from the small town of Santa Maria is about a brisk ten minute walk along the newly laid roadway or can be a leisurely hour stroll along the beach dependent on where you join the beach, for there are several access points to the beach.
The room we stayed in was very clean,quite roomy and comfortable with a small balcony overlooking the uncrowded pool area, (all rooms overlook the pool) If there are any complaints about the rooms on this site, I can only assume that the reviewer must be very picky!
The hotel staff were always helpful and even some did struggle with english they always tried.I have read about"unsmiling staff" well the reviewers ought to try smiling in the first place because everyone responds to a smile and the impression I get is that the Cape Verdians are a warm friendly people but a little shy of smiling to unsmiling europeans.
The food will always be a bone of contention and whilst we were there I overheard an English bloke complaining,although I noticed that he didn't go out and about and ate and drank plenty at the hotel everyday! The food is perfectly adequate. The breakfast is a buffet continental style with a cooking station for fresh eggs as you like and bacon, I would be suprised if any complaints can be made about this at all. Lunch and dinner are a served option, both with a choice of 3 starters,main and dessert alternatively the snack menu can be chosen( burgers etc) which can be served in conjunction with lunch and dinner.The food isn't "top notch" but as stated previously,but certainly adequate and as we ate out several times, on a par with the restaurants/cafes in the town.
Drinks are the usual assortment of local brands and beer and are freely avaliable all day, one point is that there are no wrist bands at this hotel so all meals(except breakfast) and drinks are signed for at the time, so you may encounter a delay of up to a minute waiting to sign for your drink/meal,in other words big deal.
The hotel only caters for adults and consequently was quiet I have read a review saying that it's mainly for old people, I would say that the hotel is ideal for someone wanting a peaceful,happy,clean,safe break in the sun,if you want noise go the the Rui across the road.
Would we go again? Well we would return to the hotel no problem, as for Sal, we've seen the island , so I wouldn't rule it out, but it's a big world out there

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank DerbyBradley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire, England
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

This was our second visit to the Cape Verde islands. Our first trip was to Boa Vista island for Xmas 2011 which we found too quiet. We stayed at the Decameron Hotel which was good but felt marooned because there was nowhere to go outside of the hotel. The island is only just developing and the infrastructure is poor. The airport was a wooden structure. There were no roads and no taxis apart from pick up trucks and no towns to visit. So this Xmas we decided to visit the island of Sal.

We stayed at the Sabura Hotel near the small town of Santa Maria for two weeks over Christmas and New Year and we were not disappointed. The island of Sal was the first to be developed and this is ongoing. Despite the recession many European countries are in the process of building hotels on the island, Spain,Portugal, Italy and the UK. The islands will take off in a big way. Beautiful climate, beaches and aquamarine sea. A paradise for kite surfers and it was great to walk over to the beach and whatch the water sports. The international Kitesurifing competition is due to take place there in February 2013 which will help put the islands on the map.
We chose the Sabura Hotel because it was small (44 rooms) and for adults only. We were on All Inclusive although some guests were staying on a bed and breakfast basis. These were mainly kite surfers who were out most of the day. If big hotels are your thing then go to the Riu Funana or Riu Garopa Hotels opposite. They are huge, on the beach and have facilities for kids but this is at a cost, around £700 per person extra
.
The Sabura is ideal if you want to chill out. No blaring music. Spotlessly clean everywhere with a small army of cleaners who arrived each morning and worked all day. An attentive Portugese Manageress who was available every day and ate her meals in the dining room with the guests. The staff were mostly young and were very pleasant. Portugese is the main language and all the staff could speak English some better than others but they did make the effort. Guests were mainly British with Dutch, German, and Italians and several European Airlines use the hotel for their Flight crews who stay for a few days between flights.
The weather was good at around 28 deg every day but very windy. They rarely have any rain 2002 was the last time, which was a welcome break after leaving the rain in the UK. Bare in mind that this is Africa and most of the islands are very barren and very desert like. Everything has to be imported to the islands including all of the food and we felt the hotels do very well to cater for guests and prepare and serve fresh food every day.
The hotel was all inclusive. Breakfast was buffet style with juices, cereals, large variety of breads and pastries, cheese and ham and a toaster, with a chef on hand cooking omelettes with various fillings and a coffee machine to help yourself. Lunch was a 3 course meal served by the waitresses. A choice of three with each course. Lots of home made soups, fresh fish and salads and the same for dinner in the evening. I would describe the food as neuvo cuisine, freshly cooked and well presented. Portions are not huge but we did manage to put on weight over the two weeks which we are now trying to get off. If you are a fan of burgers,pizzas, toasties and chips there is a seperate Snack menu available all day
The hotel put on a fantastic Gala dinner for Christmas and New Year. Each couple were given a large bottle of Champagne and the guests asked the Manageress to bring in the Chefs and kitchen staff to join us to toast in the New Year and thank them for all their hard work.

The hotel is set back from the beach and after a couple of days we did manage to find the shortest route which takes about 10 minutes. The walk to the small town of Santa Maria takes about 12/15 minutes. The town has a caribbean feel about it and has lots of small bars and restaurants and a beautiful beach. There is a lot of building work going on but not immediately around the Sabura Hotel.
The Thomson rep, Elias, is very professional and calls at the hotel each day. The trips organised by Thomsons are expensive but there are several places in Santa Maria who do the same trips for half the price, including one run by an English couple who have a kiosk in the town on the corner of the main street. She is very helpful and we booked the round the island trip which cost 13 Euros each and was well worth it. The same trip through Thomsons was 41 Euros each. Good idea to do this trip as it gives you an idea of what the rest of the island is like before it gets over developed.Take your swimming things, you can swim in the salt lake which is great. You can float around even if you can't swim.
We met lots of lovely people at the hotel who, like ourselves had come for a good rest and chill out. Unfortunately, hoteliers do not have a choice of which guests they have to stay in their hotel. As world travellers we have come across what some call "the Brits abroad" and we did have 4/5 staying at the Sabura. The beer bellied, tattooed vest wearers who come into the dining room for dinner in vests and shorts their bodies covered in multi coloured tattoos, its enough to put you off your food. Strange that only the British think this is normal dress when no other European visitors dress like this for the evening meal..They constantly complained about just about everything which may have had something to do with the fact they had a bottle of beer in their hands from morning to night. .The hotel was very busy over the Christmas period and sometimes the service was a little slow in the dining room but at the end of the day we were on holiday and not going anywhere. One even threw a tantrum because he was told it was not allowed to smoke in the bar/lounge. Their behaviour was appalling and the way they spoke to the staff made you ashamed to be British. The rest of the guests referred to them as "the moaners" and avoided them as much as possible. We travelled back to the UK on 8th January on the same Birmingham flight along with one couple in the group and they were still moaning about having to queue to check in.! Don't let this put you off staying at the Sabura. Unfortunately, you can meet these undesirable Brits anywhere.
The rest of the guests all agreed the hotel was very good value for money and would not hesitate to stay there again and we told the Manageress this on the day we departed. The flights from the UK are only 1.1/2 hours longer than travelling to the Canary islands with good weather guaranteed.
If you want 5 star service and food then dont book into a 3 star hotel and then spend your time complaining that you are used to better things. We have travelled to all five continents and most of the countries in Europe over the last 50 years staying in 3 star hotels on the Greek islands to 6 star in Dubai and at the end of the day you get what you pay for.
I should mention that one of the reviews stated that you had to pay for bottled water. This is untrue. There was a large bottle of water placed in our mini bar each morning by the cleaners and this was replaced when we had used it and no charge was made. In fact, the only money we spent at the hotel was for a phone call from our room to home on New Years day which cost £12. and well deserved tips for the staff at the end of our holiday.

Enjoy Subaru and Sal, we did.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 123 which is a suite. Sunny terrace. Ground floor. There are no lifts to the firs...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank anonimus10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
193 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

Sal is a slightly weird destination - and you have to think carefully what you want out of your time (week) here before choosing your hotel. On the one hand Sal's a bit like low-end Caribbean .. but for Europeans there's no jet lag and flying's cheaper. But there's not much to do so make sure whether you want to kitsurf, dive, maybe windsurf or simply lie in the sun (and some cloud maybe) before you finalise your hotel.

Sabura is a friendly little hotel with nice spotless rooms (fridge, airco) and a small pool. 15 minutes walk from the centre of Santa Maria. The cuisine is OK for breakfast but too limited for all-inclusive - no big deal as there are dozens of restaurants in Sal. For diving or kitesurfers ..... you're probably active enough to enjoy the walk. For horizontal beach bums the walk to get to some sand may be too long. Because of its size you won't get the huge groups some of the large all-inclusives attract. During my week the guests were 40:40:20 Dutch:English:other. If you prefer Italian or French company go elsewhere !

Before booking I was torn between Sabura and Morabeza - and after seeing both they would be my recommendation depending on how much you want to pay for accommodation (you get more at Morabeza but you also pay for it). If you're into waistline-expanding all-inclusives it's a different story - but then you won't be reading this.

Money: Sal works a dual exchange rate system. 1 euro gets you 100 escudos in some places and 110 escudos in others. Watch out - Sabura is one of the 100 escudo locations, so don't pay here in euros. Sal (almost) only takes Visa cards for ATMs and payment - Sabura is not one of the exceptions, no Mastercard or Amex here. Room rates are more variable than some other Sal hotels - check different providers at different times to get the best deal. My taxi from the airport
was 1000 escudos (there's an ATM at arrivals, VISA only, max withdrawal 20000).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Amstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

A basic hotel and I would recommend it for a stayover in Santa Maria, not so much for a longer stay. My room and bathroom were spacious, though not very well decorated. The area near the hotel - like many places in Santa Maria - looks like a construction site, but as there was not construction going on, it was okay

Very clean and well maintained (1 little cockroach in the hallway when I arrived - never saw it again ;) ). Staff was friendly, but little to no command of English language.

Minibar was empty besides a bottle of mineral water, modern Safe for free use.

Breakfast was very basic, I didn't try the dinner kitchen as the dining room was not very inviting.

The inner area with pool and deck chairs was tiny but quiet and relaxing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank manankanchu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

Hotel rooms are clean that's the best thing I can say, food and drinks for an all inclusive are very poor, really this is a B&B. They do not prepare enough food and the quality is very substandard, not buffet but grooge and even do not stock enough crockery for guests to have a cup of coffee in the morning! You have to laugh but when you have paid best part of £4k for 3 for a Boxing Day to New Year break to Thomsons not that funny.
Weather was sunny, windy but we knew that, but when I say windy,I mean kite flying/ surfing paradise, must learn before I go back! Looked good fun.
Santa Marie is within walking distance, if you walk on prom walk in trainers can take you 25 mins, we enjoyed the walk in the day, taxi at night about 4 euros, we went often to find food!

Room Tip: We had 102&104 for 3 of us they were good for morning sun.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank L2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Santa Maria hotels

Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

Had just one week here (flew out Christmas Day and returned on New Years Day), we just wanted to relax, recharge our batteries and enjoy the sun so this seemed like the perfect place. In fact it was. It was a lovely small hotel on the outskirts of the town, mainly English guests whilst we were there and no under 14's. The rooms are lovely and clean we had upgraded to a junior suite with a little more space inside and the blackout curtains aided our sleep. The majority of the staff are friendly and helpful although probably due to poor management they were severely overworked and the poor waitresses in the restaurant were 'run off their feet' as the hotel was full and there were just two of them most of the time! The barman Flavio was excellent, always smiling, nothing was too much trouble. Our only disappointment was that the quality of the food appeared to deteriorate during our stay, to the point where we started to avoid breakfast and eat out, including the Gala New Years Eve Dinner & entertainment which was included in the price of our holiday, we chose to pay 30 euros for our meal at Baileys Bar a short walk down the road. We knew to expect it to be windy at this time of year, the island is reknowned for surfing & kite surfing, but the wind is warm - we still managed to get a tan.

Room Tip: All rooms look over the central pool area with balcony's the suites appear to have the majority...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank lfh75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Sabura Ponta Preta

Property: Hotel Sabura Ponta Preta
Address: Urbanizacao de Ponta Preta 2E, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Maria
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Sabura Ponta Preta 3*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
Hotel Sabura Ponta Preta Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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