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“Excellent Service”

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Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We have just returned from a fanastic holiday at the Melia Tortuga in Cape Verde. The staff where very friendly and the service excellent. Even with this a newish complex the was nothing fault. The staff where alway polite and alway had a smile on there faces.
The manager should be very proud of his staff.
The different types of food is a excellent choice for everyone. The tour of the island is a must specially going to the Salt Mine and swimming in the salt lake was fanastic.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank ciel97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Dear ciel97,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m please to know that you’ve had a pleasant stay with us and that you were happy with the staff, the food and the service. Thank you once again for acknowledging the staff, your message will serve as a motivation for us to offer an even better service each time.

We hope that you will return to visit us again in the near future as we do value our loyal customers.


Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 25, 2012

Things that could have been better:

1. Too many flies and nothing to reduce them. Definitely a hygiene issue!!
2. Drinks: no menu, what is on offer is cheap and tasteless (scratched plastic glasses!)
3. Music around bars & pool is too loud and uncensored.
4. Staffs level of English is poor (understand and speak)
5. Cats in OGrille need to be controlled (overrun when having dinner there twice)
6. Wifi is in very limited areas (if I've paid for it, let me use it anywhere!!)
7. Not much outside of the complex, very barren (not the hotels fault but no warning)
8. Building work is 7 days a week and easily heard (wont abate for quite a while yet)
9. A better welcome pack and brochure of what to expect from where and when is needed
10. Air conditioning needed in main hotel and restaurants, too hot to eat!

Those that were/are good:

1. Staff are helpful, in the main
2. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with air con
3. Complex is clean and looked after
4. Sun in October is very hot and guaranteed a tan
5. Plenty of security guards around

So, in summary...
- Is The hotel 5 star, no, probably 3-4 star at best.
- If you want romantic getaway then I'd look for somewhere where it's more couples and less kids oriented.
- Flights, with Thomson (on First Choice 757 out and a Thomson 757 back) are incredibly uncomfortable (seats a joke). This is the Thomson experience for you; pack you in on a seat that is fit for a small child only. Be prepared for the worst 6.5 hours x2 of your life!
- Santa Maria is worth a visit but beware of what/where you eat and drink.

Finally, I'm recovering from amoebic dysentery - a few visitors to Cape Verde seem to get this (got it 4 days in and the last 3 days were very uncomfortable). It's down to hygiene, food preparation and water contamination. It's not a nice thing to remember the holiday by and I would suggest that you watch carefully where your food and drink is prepared and comes from (hotel or not).

Would I go back, no. Tried it and for the money, could have had a better experience elsewhere. You live, you learn.

Room Tip: We stayed in 356. Go for first floor and not near the main pool as its noisy and overlooked. Also, t...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MikeLandG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Dear MikeLandG,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m sorry to hear that your holiday here did not meet your expectations, we sincerely appreciate your comments and feedback as they will allow us to keep on developing a service that will ensure your complete satisfaction. Thank you for mentioning the positive points of the hotel, please allow me to answer some of the points stated:
Regarding the flies: the hotel grounds are cleaned everyday and we have a disinfestations program in place, this is a tropical country where insects thrive.
Regarding the drinks: Our drinks are provided by internationally renamed suppliers from Europe, they are all inclusive standard drinks imported from Span and Portugal. For safety reasons polycarbonate glasses are used at certain areas of the hotel such as the pool or the beach area where guests tend to walk barefoot.
Regarding the music at the pool bar: we will investigate into the matter and make the necessary adjustments.
Regarding the staff: Please note that Cape Verde is a non English speaking country where the mother tongue is Creole and the second language being Portuguese, to most of the staff English is their third, fourth or even fifth language and they are currently undergoing ESL training in order to ensure your complete satisfaction. Although you will find that we also have staff members with very good level of English.
Regarding outside the hotel complex: we would recommend guests to do some research on any place that they are visiting in order to avoid wrong expectations.
Regarding the welcome packs: all guests are given an information leaflet about our service when they check in to the hotel, there are also representatives from tour operators who will inform the guests about the island.
Regarding the air conditioning: the main building as well as some restaurants such as the OGrille or the Waterside is areas open to the outside where air conditioning will not be effective but there is air conditioning in all indoor areas.
Our hotel and our services is designed to cater all kinds of guests such as couples, families, group of friends, people traveling on business, etc. Honeymooners can enjoy a romantic dinner and be pampered by our Bali Bed experience service.
I hope that we have helped clarifying some issues mentioned and we can change your mind regarding visiting us again in the future.

Best Regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 24, 2012

We recently (October 2012) came back from this hotel.

As with all holidays it starts with a flight, which as many many people have put with Thomsons is terrible! The plane going out seemed like a 'Spain' plane, im about 6ft and couldnt sit with my legs in front of me (extra legroom is a must if your tall but we didnt have this problem with other holidays) the next issue is the 6hour flight has no entertainment at all! Premium booking also doesnt include seat reservation now and this cost us £50 to do (id love to know how thats justified!). The food on the plane was really good but we never got the cup of tea/coffee that should of come with it. This is more a problem for people with kids who were really struggling to keep them entertained.

The return flight was just as bad, although the plane was much better with better legroom etc, again there was no entertainment and again no drink came round with the meal. Although drinks/snacks could be brought on the flight which we did, this is expensive but no worse than any other airline. The problem on the return night flight was the cold, night flights are normally cold but people were putting jumpers/coats on with hoods up etc it was that cold. People all over the flight were complaining and twice the staff said they'd turned up the heating but there was no difference it was freezing! You couldnt even purchase the blanket (no longer free) for £5 as they'd ran out.

The staff on both flights were very helpful and friendly however.

The hotel was fantastic, clean and impressive looking. The complex was large and impressivly laid out.

Food was fantastic, i cant belive some of the stuff i see on the other reviews. The breakfasts were the usual, fruits, cereals and cooked foods as expected. Dinner in the waterside or O'grill were nice food but more snack like. The food in the Spices was more varied and more selection. Evening meals were brilliant, excellent quality food and lots of choice (although this isnt a sausage and chips kind of place). Food is changed each night but theres always something to take your fancy. We also tried the Aqua restaurant which was great service and food - just a shame the menu never changed so going once or twice is enough.

Rooms are large and clean, with modern and high quality furniture a nice place to sit and relax after a day by the pool! We did have a few ants/woodlouse in the room, but the maids were cleaning and treating the room every day so it was never a major problem.

Staff around the site were plesant and always willing to help, i think some people mistake the language barrier for people being rude, however were in there country and shouldnt expect everyone to be fluent english, saying that though most staff seemed to know the basics.

Pools were nice, the quiet pool was a little 'too' quiet for us seen as the 'lively' pool only had background music playing. Only problem we had is 2-3 time they ran out of pool towels. I dont understand this as they know how many pool cards have been given out so the max number of towels that are needed, cant be that difficult to make sure there are at least that many towels availible?

The beach was nice and calm (although its more windy), the sea was fairly rough when we were there. As others have mentioned a 15min walk along the beach (to the left as you walk out of the complex) gets you to a much nicer beach if you are beach people.

Trips wise, we did the Neptunus trip which was a good morning out, its very weather dependant about how much you will see but its worth the fairly small price tag for something to do.
We also did the tour of the island (through thompsons not the people on the beach) this was again a good trip and interesting insight into the island. A few of the stops are 'skeptical' but the time flies on the trip.
Finally we went down into santa maria using the free shuttle provided by the hotel, the town itself is friendly and clean. People are friendly but you may get hussled by people trying to sell you things or show you round to the market. To be fair if these people didnt show you the market you wouldnt find it and some fairly cheap souveniers on offer. As they take you to the market however they do show you the school etc so its almost like a free trip! Some good photos can be had on the fishing pier as the fishermen come back in.

Overall a fantastic holiday (although a week is enough) if you want to relax but as others have said not much going on at night. We would definatly go back for a re-charge at some point and would recommend to others.

Room Tip: We were downstairs but i think a upstairs room would be better.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lee K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Lee K,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays with us at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m pleased to know that you were happy with our hotel, with your room and the food at all the restaurants. I’m also pleased that you were happy with our staff service, please note that our staff are undergoing English training and take into account that it is their third or fourth language, other problem that some may encounter is to understand the accent of different English native speakers.

We have also added more towels in order to solve the towels problem.

I’m glad that you also took the opportunity to take some trips and get to know the island better. I will certainly be looking forward to having you back with us again as we do value our loyal customers.


Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 24, 2012

we've just returned from our stay at Melia Tortuga and have to say we were very disappointed. The accommodation is excellent- pools and setting superb but the resort is severely let down by its staff. they are surly and unsmiling, How many times we went into one of the restaurants and there were no cleared tables, no-one serving drinks. How the O'Grille Bar has been placed in the top 50 in the world is beyond belief- flat mixers, very poor selection of spirits, selection of 5 cocktails dispensed from a machine! on occassions- no glasses to serve drinks in! in the O'Grille restaurant- staff standing around gossipping while tables went uncleared, having to wait through two courses of our meal for drinks order to arrive. Food quality was adequate but not five star. for two days there was insufficient beach towels to be handed out so nothing to lie on but a hard rattan bed with no cushions. They could do with bringing in some external talent from real 5 star hotels across the world to train the staff and show them how to organise themselves and engage with their customers. having stayed in many 5* facilities around the world, this place matches in terms of accommodation facilities but not in service, food, entertainment or drinks quality. we will not be looking to use a Melia facility in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lesley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Dear Lesley T,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays with us at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to write a review on our hotel.

I’m sad to hear that your stay with us did not meet your expectations, specifically the staff service, please note when the restaurant and bars are busier it will take you some time longer to be served but generally the service is quite quick.

The products that we offer our guests are the best quality available and are all imported from Europe to ensure their standard and quality.

It is part of our commitment to train our staff and ensure the quality of our services.
As per the towels, we have solved the towels problem, please accept our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences caused.


Best Regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 23, 2012

We chose this resort, Melia Tortuga, as it was smaller than the other AI options on Sal and was not disappointed. The Tortuga is set out like a Portuguese village, with the buildings looking like villa's. The grounds are landscaped with colourful tropical plants. The Suite we stayed in was excellent, on the second floor (of two) overlooking the main pool. I have never stayed AI before and was a little concerned about people abusing the "free" bar and being anti social. I had nothing to worry about everyone was lovely. The food was excellent and the whole resort was so laid back. If you are looking to party all night this is not the place for you. The beach at the Tortuga is good but access to the Ocean is rocky, if you take a 10 minute walk over the scrub land you will come to a wonderful sweep of white sand sloping gently into the warm Ocean. Take the free shuttle bus into Santa Maria and have a look around, a step back in time. We did this on several occasions and walked back, takes about an hour to 90 minutes, taking into account the occasional sun bathe and swim on route, again the beaches are fantastic. Please take care in the Ocean as the currents are quite strong and respect the Sun, it is vicious ! Even on overcast days it can burn, please bear in mind you are not far off the Equator and the UV is very strong. The staff at the Tortuga are still learning and some can appear a little surly, however if you use the phrase " if you see someone without a smile, give them yours ! " goes a long way. The Cape Verde Islands are a place unlike any other I have been, tourism is still in it's infancy but go now before it gets over developed. Yes, there are flies and ants but hey, this is an Island off Africa, go with an open mind and you will have a great time, we did !

Room Tip: Ask for a pool or Ocean view, we stayed in suite 480 and it was excellent.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank John2604smith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear John2604smith,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays with us at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m happy to know that you were pleased with the hotel grounds and infrastructure, also glad that you were happy with your room as well as the food. Some of the locals can be shy and may not interact spontaneously, however, with your motto it does go a long way. We are training our staff in order to ensure a high quality service to our guests.

I hope that you will return to visit us again very soon in the future.


Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed October 21, 2012

I thought after a couple of days we had arrived at the wrong place having read a number of reviews stating that the staff never smiled. I thought all staff (with rhe exception of one guy in the O Grille, not Daniel who was excellent, I think some customer care training would help or a change of career) were excellent and generally always happy. Food very good, everything very clean, diving much better than I was expecting.
Some suggestions for improvement.
1. Ban smoking at the bar and within the O Grille restaurant, this was really annoying and the one thing that really bugged us.
2. Kick the two tear All Inclusive increase the cost and make everyone on the upper standard as most 5star resorts in Carabian.
3. Have a second menus in the O Grille restaurant and alternate each week.
We will definitely return despite the poor Thomson flights.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Raymond689
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2012

Dear Raymond689,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m pleased that you’ve enjoyed your stay with us, that you were happy with the food, the staff service and the cleanliness. We sincerely appreciate your feedback and suggestions, we will make note of it for future improvements.

I will certainly be looking forward for your return in the near future.


Best Regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed October 20, 2012

After a difficult 3-4 months we desperately needed to re-charge the batteries and this hotel fulfulled all of our needs. The apartment was very spacious for the 3 of us, we thought the choice of food was very good (couldn't understand why some reviewers complained about the lack of choice etc!), the staff were very courteous (again, couldn't understand why some people found the staff surly??), the entertainment was a bit repetative but as we are not bothered about being entertained it wasn't a problem. The Melia is the perfect place to stay if you just want to chill out. There were one or two issues re: pool towels and bath towels but the problems were soon rectified by the staff. As this is a fairly new hotel and others are being built nearby it was disappointing that we couldn't get access into the sea because of the rocks. However, if you fancy a 15/20 minute walk over the headland towards the the Ponta Preta beach, the beach and sea are perfect. We spent one day on this beach where the sea was like a millpond and one day when the waves were so big it was an achievement just to stand up!!

Room Tip: Unless you are young or don't mind music blaring out then opt for a room away from the pool with...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Ratters09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TortugaManager, General Manager at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Dear Ratters09,

Thank you for having chosen to spend your holidays at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m glad to know that we have fulfilled your needs for some rest and relaxation, it’s also very nice to know that you were happy with your room, with the staff service and with our food choice.

As for the beach, apart from taking 15/20 minutes walk towards Ponta Preta you could also take the courtesy bus to the town of Santa Maria and enjoy a nice swim at the Santa Maria bay.

I hope that you and your family will return to visit us again very soon in the future.


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
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $165 - $316 (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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