My wife and I have just returned from a 2 week holiday here. We were getting a touch nervy reading some of the reviews here (ie, strong chemicals in pool, cat smell in O'Grill, food not up to much etc etc), but we experienced none of this.
All staff are excellent. Very accommodating and helpful, and happy. Special mention to receptionist 'Katia' who helped us with a room misunderstanding very early on. Thank you. We did not have to wait around to be served in bars and restaurants, we weren't imposed up on by staff taking photos or selling Spa sessions etc and all service was pretty prompt and always with a smile.
We had a suite in the main hotel block. Very big, spacious and clean. The room was serviced at our convenience too. Beds are huge, décor and design very clean and all linen and fabrics modern and clean. Cant fault the rooms.
The food was pretty excellent too. We wouldn't rate it as 5 * dining though. The choices of meals weren't particularly vast and the main restaurant, 'Spices' got very busy and noisy during peak times. But on the up side, the restaurant opening times were longer than most hotels opening times, meaning an extra early or late sitting was always nice and quiet.
Breakfast was fairly typical in a hotel of this standard. Very nice, but nothing special. Lunch was the highlight (food wise) of the day for us - very light and enjoyable. Salads were excellent. Dinner was sometimes hit and miss. The standard of food and cooking was always good, but the choices weren't always there or suited everybody's tastes. Personally I'm a huge fish and sea food fan, so I was happy all the time as their sea food choices was always of top standards.
The hotel 'fine dining' room, the 'Aqua', was again not up to 5 * standards. As opposed to the buffet style main restaurant dining, the Aqua gave you a choice of 3 set menus (typed out on cheap looking lists), and service here was very very slooooooooooow. Typically, a 4 course meal for 2 would easily last 1.5 hours plus.
But as mentioned, the staff were doing their best and I'm sure service will improve and the management will eventually address little problems like this.
The beach bar, the O'Grill, was always nice for a lunch time hot grill and a cold beer. What a great little place. Typical of what you'd hope and expect from a hotel's beach bar.
Pools were nice, and like the beach loungers, we always found somewhere to sit. And no loud over powering pool side music either. Evening entertainment was not too bad either. Very African based as you'd expect, and it didn't go on late into the night keeping you up either.
The beach directly off the hotel has a rocky bed. You'll find it difficult to wade out into the sea because of this. There is a floating pontoon, but this was tied off shore out of action for the majority of our stay for some reason. A shame, because the day or 2 it was in use at the beginning of the holiday it was fantastic and enabled us to go swimming.
But, walk literally 5 mins southwards down the shore and the rocks disappear and are replaced with sand. This is the ultimate place to go swimming.
The sea temperature was pretty tolerable too. Almost like a coldish bath. No problems. There is a constant wind, which might seam strong at times, but it's a very warm wind and a very welcoming wind too, which was always a nice welcoming addition.
The place and area itself is very very poor and under developed. Santa Maria just down the road is literally a shanty town. It really is. Prices for food aren't the cheapest, (a medium cold beer was around £1.20 so that's OK), and choices are pretty limited. And expect to struggle if you're going self catering - the local markets are really very poor indeed. Don't expect any luxuries, or even basics like we're used to either.
And the locals are very very persistent and pushy for you to go into their shops and buy stuff. They're very nice and we never felt threatened, but we always felt hassled. It's worse than Egypt. The irony is they all claim their shop is 'no stress'.
My wife and I did have a couple of complaints about the hotel experience though -
1) Salt and pepper - the salt and pepper shakers were at a premium for some reason. We ALWAYS had to either go looking for them or ask a member of staff for them, for almost every meal.
2) Towards the end of the holiday there was building works starting to happen around the hotel and both pool areas. Ok, we appreciate works are needed, but we didnt spend all this money to have construction teams build around us whilst on holiday.
One night we were even woken up at around 12.30 by drilling in the main hotel and I had to go to reception to complain!
3) The whole resort is basically a complex where villas and apartments are actually sold to private individuals. The hotel side of it is a very very small part of things. minor in fact. And quite often the hotel or management guides would be hosting and touring around prospective investors and buyers. This was quite off putting to be honest. We quite often felt 'on show', and, these prospective clients always had preferential treatment over the general hotel guest. (ie, the Aqua restaurant was limited to hotel guests and given priority to groups of clients in case they fancied it)
But in general we had a most wonderful time. Dont expect activities galore and tones of stuff to do as there isnt. And excursions to the other islands are very expensive. Children, young families and self catering peeps might find it not what they expect here. Couples and people just wanting to chill out in the heat for a week or so will love it.
- 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