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“Great relaxing sunshine holiday”

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Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Our 2nd trip to Cape Verde........ great weather guaranteed, fantastic beach, welcoming locals and did I mention the sunshine!!!

Having previously spent a week at the Riu we decided to try the new Tortuga Beach Resort. The first thing to say about the hotel is that the rooms are exceptional, plenty of room, modern with great facilities, we had a 2 bedroom apartment and the balcony was fantastic with views over the pool down to the excellent beach.

Loved the beach club, it was perfect sat there in the evening watching the sunset whilst sipping the all inclusive cocktails!!

Great pools, good quality food for an all inclusive resort. The staff were friendly although it was obvious that they are still training and were a little slow at times but their attitude more than made up for any shortcomings.

I would certainly recommend Cape Verde and Tortuga is probably now 'the place to stay' on the island.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank JamesH869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2011

Dear James H869,

Firstly I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and also for taking the time in writing this review. I am very happy to learn that you enjoyed your stay here with us and that our facilities were up to your standards. Being a new Hotel, our guests opinions are very important to us be it negative or positive. We are working continuosly to improve the wuality of our services on every level, that also includes the continuous and ongoing training of all of our staff.
We hope to have the pleasure of having you again as our guests during your future visits to Cape Verde.

Best Regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed August 31, 2011

We were in Tortuga for one week and had a great time!
The hotel's facilities are by far the best in the island (this was our fourth time in Cape Verde). The rooms are great (we stayed in a large 2bed apartment with great areas) and very well furnished and equipped. The swimming pools are what you should expect from a proper 5 star resort and the white sand beach is amazing with clear water and a pontoon that allows good fun moments.
The staff is very pleasant and educated as they always tried their best to assist us in all our requests.
Definitely the place to go in Sal island!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank Nuno C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2011

Dear Nuno C,

Firstly I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, I am very happy to learn that you are happy with our facilities and that you enjoyed your stay here with us. Thank you also for taking the time in writing this review.
My staff and I hope to have the pleasure of having you as our guest again in our hotel in the near future.

Best Regards,

The General Manager

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Reviewed August 29, 2011

We booked this holiday as we wanted to try a shorter flight time option than our usual excursion to the Caribbean. The only airline that currently flies from the UK is Thomson and they are rubbish. Small cramped plane, miserable crew and horrible food. However that is nothing to do with the hotel and is not reflected in the rating.

The lobby at the hotel is minimalistic, modern and very clean. The reception staff quickly processed us and were helpful with their introductions to the resort.

Rooms - We had a first floor two bedroom family suite. Great accommodation with excellent features - two bathrooms, two tvs, kitchen, lounge and balcony. There was no resupply of drinks to the fridge or tea/coffee etc. This is rated as five star so should be a minimum expectation.

Bars - The lobby bar and sports bars are have no real atmosphere and say nothing about Cape Verde. I would have preferred to see some African/Portugese influences in the decor, rather than clean white lines everywhere. Most of the drinks were ok, however the white wine is disgraceful. It is without flavour, tastes watered down and is always served from a jug. I asked a bar man to show me the bottle, however he could not. He tried to explain that it arrived in large containers. Very poor for a 5 star hotel.
I preferred the O Grill bar for an evening drink as there is far more atmosphere with a relaxed vibe.

Restaurants - The buffet was fairly basic and lacked real variety. What food they had however was well presented and well cooked. The staff are learning their business and I had no problem with occasional mistakes in drink orders as they were so helpful and friendly and were genuinely trying their best. The Restaurant Manager and chefs were very obliging with any special requests that we made regarding food preparation and I thank them sincerely for that.
I was angered by the fact that they had set up a fresh fruit juice preparation area in the middle of the restaurant and then had the nerve to charge 3 euros for fresh orange juice!! One again, this should be an expectation of the All Inclusive Package. Oh and salt and pepper on each table is basic table dressing and you should not have to share with other tables!


The Italian Restaurant - We didn't go so don't feel qualified to comment. However we were put off by that fact that it seemed very underused and shared it's kitchens with The Buffet restaurant.

O Grill - The food was nicely cooked and reasonably varied. There were flies, which were irritating but I know that the management are trying to address this.

Pools - The main pool was nice enough however the music was irritatingly loud a lot of the time, it seemed to depend a little on the mood of the pool bar staff. Many of the songs contained bad language, despite the management claiming to have vetted them. Not ideal if you have a young family! The pool side activities were not properly scheduled or very well organised by the pool team. This could be easily remedied by having a pool side notice board that clearly states what type of activities are available each day and their times.

In the second week of our stay, sun beds and parasols were becoming scarce. Please invest in more of these as it can cause tension between guests. Large parasols would also be advisable.

The quiet pool was nice and was not affected by the music from the main pool. It could be heard but it was quiet by direct comparison.

Beach - A source of concern for me before we arrived, however the sand was good, the beach wide and the water clean. The access to the sea was limited due to the rocky shoreline, however the floating pontoon made up for this and was fun to swim, dive and snorkel from.
The water sports centre had nice equipment and dealt with scuba, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Staff are friendly, flexible and helpful.

Environment - The resort looks good and the gardening and vegetation are really doing well. The early morning smell comes from the treated sewage that is used to water the gardens. Not a massive problem and is normally gone by the time people are up and about. Can be a bit pungent if you are an early riser such as between 6-7 am, but they have got to get water from somewhere!
The place as a whole is kept really clean and the ground keeping staff do a good job.
There is a better beach if you walk along the coast toward the south for about 10-15 minutes (Ponta Preta)

Gym - Small but modern with some really nice cardio machines in there. (treadmills, bikes and cross trainers) The machines have Tv screens and Ipod connectivity.

Spa - Looks really nice but seems underused. I went in their a couple of times and used the steam room and themed showers which were great. I was unsure if this formed part of the all inclusive package or not. You do pay for actual treatments such as massage, pedicures and nails etc

Clientele - There seems to be decent class of people at the hotel, however I have concerns that this may suffer deterioration over time unless the hotel steers more toward the luxurious experience that people expect of a 5 star. We met some lovely people and this was a big factor in the enjoyment of the holiday.

Overall, I would hesitate to recommend the Melia to my circle of friends or family and this may seem odd as I have given it a decent rating. That said we did have a good time, helped along by the great staff and people that we met. If you choose to go here please do not expect this to be equivalent to some five star hotels that you may find in other countries. I think it would be entitled to call itself a four star establishment at the moment.

If I could offer some advice to this hotel it would be to pay more attention to the smaller details that people expect on a luxury holiday, stocked mini bars, food variety, reasonable quality wines, a la carte restaurants etc. If not, I suspect that people that have holidayed their once will not return.

I have tried to make this as fair and balanced as I can to assist other guests and the Hotel itself.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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24  Thank SergeantBankers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 31, 2011

Dear SergeantBankers,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for choosing to stay at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and also for taking the time in writing this review, your comments are very important to us as they give us an insight into what areas we can improve to make your stay with us a memorable one.
I am very sorry if there are certain aspects that were not up to your expectations, I can assure you that we are making improvements daily, unfortunately these take time and do not occur overnight. However please allow me to address a few points mentioned in your review:
The salt and pepper shakers: more will be added for the tables.
The flies problem is being solved.
The pool: we have set a standard volume for the swimming pool so as to not to disturb our guests, there are over 500 music in the pool and one or two songs might have missed our attention, this issue was immediately addressed. We will put up a notice board informing our guests regarding pool activities and more parasols will be added for the pool soon.
Water is very precious in Cape Verde, Sal does not have any ground water supply and the water used here is desalinized water from the sea and the supply is limited. The purpose for the use of treated sewage water is sustainability and water conservation. Rather than discharging treated waste water to pollute the ocean we’d rather use them for gardening which somewhat helps fertilize the plants and also helps keeping our oceans safe.
Once again thank you for your review, we apologize for any inconveniences caused, your comments are taken seriously and the issues brought up will be addressed. We hope that this will encourage you to visit us again in the future and enjoy a more memorable stay with us.


Best Regards

The General Manager

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Reviewed August 21, 2011

I dont need to say much about the rooms and the food the other reviews have said it all.
My children also suffered from the green hair and the ear infections. We all had to throw our swim wear away. The response from the management to an earlier review not accepting responsibility seems to be a theme that runs through their responses.. We have travelled extensively throughout the world with our children aged 6 to 18 and spent weeks under water in pools and have never suffered or seen such extreme effects on clothes or hair. Nor have my children ever suffered ear infections. It wasnt just hair and clothes my childrens bodies were green, we had to scrub them down to return them to anything like their normal colour, My doctor said my childrens ear infections were irritation in the ear canal and more likely to have been caused by excessive chemicals in the pool not bacteria.
i also agree with other reviews regarding activities, this was a real let down. The management again mention their were other activities other than the pool activities. We must have missed these. other than the odd game of football on the beach the activities promised just didn;t happen.
The flies in the O grille are not due to the location we ate in Santa maria in the beach bars many times and they didn;t have this problem.
The 1 hour for ice cream here is a joke. The ice cream cups and spoons run out really quickly and the guy who serves it is down right miserable. The hotel then have the cheek to put an ice cream vendor in the hotel at night and charge you for it.
The surrounding area is so baron that if you are travelling with family you need an Hotel that can give you it all Tortuga beach doesn;t even come close.
This Hotel has a long way to go before it is anywhere near a 5 star. The best thing the management could do would be to recognise this take responsibility and stop making lame excuses on trip Advisor
on Trip Advisor.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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12  Thank Will03082011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2011

Dear Will03082011,

Firstly I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa. I wouls also like to thank you for taking the time in writing this review. I am very sorry to learn that our services were not up to your standards, we will take notes of your comments as these are very important to us in our daily effort to improve our services, we do take your comments seriously and I assure you that necessary actions will be taken immediately.
I'm very sorry that you were not happy about the 1 hour free ice-cream policy.
Regarding the swimming pool, we keep a record of the testing done on the level of safety of the chemicals used on our swimming pools, I will gladly provide you with the information if you will be so kindly as to provide us with your email address.
We are working on finding a solution to the flies problem in the Ôgrill, since it is an area where there is food served we take a special care in not using toxic chemicals for the safety of our guests and staff.
Once again thank you for your time, we make it our commitment in offering our guests the best quality services that they deserve, and make efforts in always improving the quality of our services day by day.

Best Regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed August 17, 2011

When we arrived at Tortuga we were taken to our rooms via a golf buggly and It was a nice surprise to see that in addition to our bedroom we also had a large lounge / diner as well as a well equipped Kitchen complete with washing machine, (if you intend to wash then I suggest you take your own washing powder), there was also a large flat screen TV in the lounge (as well as the bedroom), This all inclusive reslort was very spacious with several swimming pools, restaurant and bars. The Restaurant on the beach was excellent, freshly prepared food was cooked to order every lunchtime and evening, so dinner with a wonderful sea view and sunset was available every night. We also had an excellent meal in the Italian Restaurant which has to be booked in advance. The main Restaurant had a running buffet every lunchtime as well as dinner also offering quality food cooked to order. The chambermaids did an excellent job cleaning the rooms thoroughly every day.
This is ideal for a quiet restful holiday, the weather is excellent and it is a very safe Island. We did venture into Santa Maria and found some excellent Restaurants, Leonardo's in particular was outstanding.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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12  Thank Clive T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2011

Dear Clyde T,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, its been a pleasure for us having you here as our guests. I am very happy to learn that you enjoyed your stay here with us and in Cape Verde, we have individual sachets of washing powder available on our hotel shop for 50 cents each should you wish to do the laundry.
My staff and I hope to have the pleasure of having you as our guests here at the hotel again soon.

Best Regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed August 16, 2011

we stayed in this hotel beginning of August for one week. And although for me holiday is doing nothing one week is more then enough as it was getting boring. The only thing you need to take into consideration is ; you are not in Europe anymore so you need to adapt. Everything goes slower than we are used to. A summary of the week:
Room: excellent, two bedrooms, one, although small, bathroom, kitchen and sitting room.
Restaurants: food quality was very good, not enormous in choise but more then enough.
Pools: I also experienced the problem with clothes getting yellow because of the water. You could also see it at the borders of the pool. the only MAJOR problem I had was with the lack of sunbeds at the pools and beach. If you have a hotel with a potential of some hundreds of guests, 60 sunbeds is just not enough. Solution: be at the pool or beach at 9am, have breakfast in shifts and let someone stay with the sunbeds. For me, it being a 5* resort, needs to be solved.
Beach bar: not pleasant, much flies and an awefull smell of rotten fish. I saw some cats but not a lot so can't say if that was the cause.
Overall, it was satisfying if you can adapt and know where to stay away from.
I definetively will go back to the Cape Verdian island, but maybe change the hotel unless they solve these issues.
One last remarks: it is a 5* resort, all in so I was extremely surprised that after dinner an ice cream was something that needed to be paid. 1,5 Euro per boll!!!! This is not done for such a resort.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank JP141169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2011

Dear JP141169,

Firstly I would like to thank you for choosing to spend your holidays here at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, and also thank you for taking the time in writing your reviews about the hotel, your comments will be taken into account in our continuous effort in providing the excellence of service to all of our guests. Please allow me to comment on two things: regarding the sun beds: we are planning to place more sun beds soon; regarding the smell and the flies, we are very sorry on any inconvenience that this may have caused you, I can assure you that we are working at the moment to find an effective solution for the problem. All of our guests comments are taken seriously.
We hope to have the pleasure of having you as our guests again in the near future.

Best Regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed August 15, 2011

After a pretty hectic year we wanted a relaxing holiday this year and this was ideal. Having read some of the earlier reviews we went with some trepidation but our concerns were soon forgotten.

The apartment (2 beds, 2 bathrooms) was fantastic, in between the two pools - ideal spot. It was cleaned every day and on the odd occasion we didn't have enough towels etc you only had to ring reception and they came within minutes. The kitchen was very well equipped but we only had a selection of glasses, 4 tea cups and 2 spoons. It would have been nice to have more utensils but I think some apartments do so perhaps it is pot luck. If you want to use the washing machine then I'd suggest you take a few tablets or whatever you use. We did look in Santa Maria but the only washing powder we could find was a large box so we didn't bother for the tiny amount we would have used it. There are 2 airconditioning units in the apartment, one in the lounge and the other in the double bedroom. The twin room could really do with one - our son had to leave his door open to keep the room cool - not great for grown up children, even worse for another couple. And the only other minor gripe I had was that it really needed a full length mirror.

The food was very good, lots of choice, and well cooked. We loved the Grill Bar, despite the flies, and we also used the Spice Restaurant quite a lot. We tried the Aqua once but found the set menu too limited compared to the other restaurants so although it was nice to be served at the table for a change we didn't bother again. As others have said, Daniel was one of our favourites as well. Most of the time we ate quite late (9pm ish) but the chefs were still stocking up the food so that we had a full choice and we found this time much quieter (and cooler). A lot of the management also ate at that time and they were happy to be approached if you had a problem. We found them extremely helpful and on the odd occasion we did complain it was sorted out very quickly.

We found all the staff extremely friendly and helpful. We never waited very long for service either in the restaurants or at the bars and, unlike many other reviewers, we loved the loud and busy 'fun' pool. The odd occasion we couldn't get a bed there we went to the quieter pool but it was too quiet for us.

Sal itself is the most barren place I have ever been to, just rock and dust. We went on a few excursions - the adult catamaran trip was great fun, diving, swimming, drinking and dancing; the half day tour of the island - although they try to make it interesting, there is not that much to see but we always like to see where we are staying; we took a taxi into Santa Maria and, although our CVE rep explained that it wasn't a town as we knew it, it was still a shock. It was however very interesting and although the shopkeepers try to get you to go into their shops it was no worse than a lot of other places we've been to.

The one excursion that I would thoroughly recommend is the trip to Santiago. It is not cheap - I think about 180 Euros - but Santiago is the complete opposite to Sal. It is very, very green, has lots of history (it was the centre of the Portuguese slave trade) with old forts, etc, and it is far more African than Sal. Ideally I think you need 2 days there. Even though the trip lasted about 13 hours, because you have to fly you only get about 7 or 8 hours on Santiago and you need longer to do it justice.
There are other inter-island trips as well and as far as I can tell each island has its own personality so when I go back to Cape Verde (and I am sure I will) I think I will try some island hopping.

But for a relaxing holiday, taking in the sunshine but without it being ridiculously hot (there is often a lovely breeze), then Sal and the Melia Tortuga Beach is great.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank jsgGodalming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManagement1, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2011

Dear jsgGodalming,

Firstly I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, it's been a pleasure for me and my staff to have you and your family as our guests here at the hotel. I'm happy to learn that you enjoyed your stay here with us and I'm are also happy that you decided to visit another island during your stay here. Each island of Cape Verde here has a different charm to it as you will discover the next time you decide to visit Cape Verde and do some island hopping.
We hope to have the pleasure of having you and your family as our guests again here at the Melia Tortuga the next time you decide to visit Cape Verde.


Best Regards,

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Urbanizacao da Cabocan | ZDTI Ponta Preta, Cape Verde - Sal, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#8 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $155 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 286
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5 star Melia Tortuga All-Inclusive Resort is located in the southeast of the island Sal, only a few minutes from the colourful town Santa María and Amilcar Cabral international airport. During your stay you will find relaxation and fun right on the fabulous Algodoeiro beach, with its white sand and turquoise waters. The resort offers spectacular suites and villas with up to 4 bedrooms, private garden and swimming-pool. Set in gardens there are 2 magnificent adult pools and 2 pools for children. Experience Yhi Wellness with sauna, Turkish bath, whirlpool, thermal circuit, fitness facilities, massage and beauty treatments. Dining options include a variety of 4 restaurants and bars, offering a selection of international and local cuisine. The Melia Tortuga All-Inclusive is also the perfect destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing or scuba diving. Events for up to 200 people can be organised in 2 meeting rooms with natural daylight. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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