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“waste of my annual leave”

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Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 15, 2012

i have just returned with my two adult daughters. we all have experianced very upset tummies so much so one of my daughters could not return to work and is waiting the results of tests from the doctor.there did not seem to be enough staff and those who were there had no intrest in their guests.The bars and resturants were swaming with files which i understand you expect in a hot climate but there were no precautions taken! there is no way thomson should be marketing this hotel as 5 * and as a member of the Melia group rewards i am surprised they have not got the proplem sorted out after so long! The choice and quailty of food was awful and thealcohol cheap nasty. i asked for a Godons gin and was told it would be a extra four euros!my next job is to write a letter of complaint to thomsons . The rep and area manager there were not intrested in hearing about complaints just selling excursions which incerdently they would not refund when we were all confined to our rooms as we had not given them 24 hours notice they said i had to sort in out in England.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank karen f
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 November 20, 2012

Dear karen f,

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 so sorry to hear that your holiday with us did go according to your expectation. As you yourself have mentioned the tropical climate here does favor insects, however, having this in mind we take all the necessary precautions to ensure that your health and safety always come first and that we offer the best quality product for our guests. We have a routine disinfestations program in place and as all of our guests may have noticed the hotel grounds are constantly being cleaned. We do sincerely appreciate your comments and feedback and we will look into each matter and take the necessary actions.

We hope that you will give us another chance by visiting us again in the near future.


Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed November 14, 2012

Positives- Great flight times so no jet lag experienced.
Reasonably priced & great for winter sun.
Transfer time excellent at 20mins approx.
Rooms very modern and spacious, clean & tidy.

Negatives- Food. This was the biggest disappointment to us as it is so important when staying all inclusive in a 5 star hotel. There was lack of choice available. The buffet restaurant was like a canteen, very busy, very noisy. Had to ask for plates, cutlery and butter on one occasion. House wine was dreadful, barely drinkable however, the local beer was ok.
During breakfast at one end of the room there were flies around the tables which was off putting.
If you wanted an omelette made by the chef, sometimes you had to queue and experience some wait due to a lacking in staff. Also, some of the waiting staff didn't speak very good English.
There was the option to book a table at either the Italian restaurant or the beach grill if you desired but when we did this we had to wait a few nights as we were told they were fully booked.
When we did arrive to eat in either of these they didn't seem full to us. Also, you had to pick your menu choice when booking the table.

The AI drinks did not seem up to the usual 5 star standard. Often, we ordered mojitos and the bar staff had no fresh mint so used a lime cordial!

The hotel lacks atmosphere by night with a minimal entertainment programme and could do with improving, seeing as there is nothing else to do near-by.

On checking out of our room we asked for assistance from the staff to collect our luggage and take this to reception for us. Once our bags were loaded on to a golf buggy and we set off we only got half way to reception and the battery ran out. We then had to push the buggy the rest of the way. My partner has a back injury so this wasn't ideal!!

The majority of the staff we spoke to were friendly and polite.

Bottled Water was provided in our fridge when we arrived but was not re-stocked after the first day so we had to keep bringing back from the nearest bar. Also, there was minimal tea/coffee/sugar available in the room and this was not replenished.

We spent a few days on the beach which was nice. The sun beds are free and there was generally space whatever time of the day we arrived. It is often windy so be prepared and also, you cannot really swim in the sea as either a red flag warning is in place or it is too rough/rocky near the shore. The beach grill bar was busy at Lunchtime but this is because we feel it is the best option available and most popular.

All in all, having both travelled worldwide and stayed in various other 5 star hotels, we would not class this as 5 star standard.

We appreciate the hotel has only been open just over a year and they are working hard at things, but reading reviews on here and feedback from last year not much seems to have changed.
We chose this hotel and resort as we both wanted a chilled week in the sun and this is what we had. It's clean, tidy and well presented but definitely needs improving with food and entertainment as these are the main key points for many people when staying all inclusive.

It's not good when the best meal you have had all week is the Thomson in flight meal back to the UK!!! :-(

Hopefully, both some customer service training and some well travelled, honest guest reviews will improve the standard of the Hotel Melia Tortuga. Good luck.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank milehinik
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 November 15, 2012

Dear milehinik,

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.

It’s a pity that you did not enjoy the restaurants or the food and drinks, we do our best to please all of our guests, offering them only the best quality product available. Please note that there is no food production on the island and that 90% of our products are imported from Europe according to the highest standards. The booking limit of the restaurants is based on how many people and not on how many tables to ensure that our guests enjoy their dining experience.

Our entertainment concept is soft entertainment that’s suitable for all ages and combines with our relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

I’m sorry that the buggy had run out of power and thank you sincerely for having offered to help, generally when that happens our staff would carry your bags all the way to the reception and buggy would be left behind to be picked up later.

I’m sure that during your check-in you were provided with an information booklet regarding the all services including the mini bar, upon check-in you are offered four bottled water in your mini bar free of charge, the replenishment of the mini bar is a paid service, but because we are an all inclusive hotel you may request bottled water or any other drinks from any of the outlets without any charges.

As a hotel we are continuously working to progress with the quality of our service and the comments and feedback from our distinguished guests are highly valuable to us.

Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed November 12, 2012

ON arrival the staff at reception could not cope with influx of guest and there english was not good enouhg to cope with issues arising,when we got to our rooms they where ecceptable,the Aqua Restaurant limited to 3 meal to chose from all inedable we left and never went back,Spices where do you start,staff not trained walking round aimlessly no cutlery,no plates, when these available no food,no variety what so ever,the staff where not trained to 5 star standards the management where also undertrained,when we asked for the airconditioning to be increased we where told the temperature was set for the staff to work in,not our comfort,we also asked then would they open the windows this was also refused,the other situation was the infestation of flies,they where everywhere,so annoying.The O Breach Grill,no better llimited menu,when they remember to book your table,they ran out of glasses, plates.dishes,cutlery,
but ther e is anabundence of flies everywhere,Waterside pool restaurant ceiling fan never on impossible to eat in far far to hot, guess what flies everywhere again, beach towels not available for 2 days not ecceptable at all for 5 star.Pool bar staff totally unware of customers waiting for drinks and continue there conversation and ignore you all the time very poor service for so called 5 star.
My biggest complaint is with Thomsons,for rating this hotel a 5 star and brokerage there brochure with this hotel,the staff are so undertrained it is impossible to rate this hotel anything but 3 star,they have no idea what 5 star quality is,you as company,should review your policy for rating this hotel,
As a family we ate out on a regular basis due to the poor variety and quality of food,
for an all inclusive 5 star dont be fooled by the brochure and the Thomsons sales staff selling this product,be aware of this review dont be taken in by the sales team.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank socketbox
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 November 15, 2012

Dear socketbox,

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 sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations. When there is a lot of guests, say 100, checking in all at once it is normal to expect to wait a while. We do our best to make our guests feel welcome, upon arrival our guests are offered a non-alcoholic cocktail welcome drink and if the waiting time is too big you are welcome to sit at the lobby or at the Sway Bar. It’s a pity that you did not like the 3 set menu of 4 course meals that we are offering at the Aqua restaurant. Taste is a matter of personal preferences, it is not easy to please everybody but we always take your comments and feedback into account, the same applies to the Spices restaurant where there is at least 10 different choices to make from.

Our staffs are doing the best they can to ensure that everybody is well served as soon as possible, again if there are any twitches we will investigate into it and make the necessary improvements.

Cape Verde is a tropical country where insects thrive, our guests can see that our hotel grounds are constantly being cleaned throughout the day and we have a periodic disinfestations program in place.

We have added more towels to ensure the complete satisfaction of our guests. I hope that you will change your mind and will return to visit us again 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.
Reviewed November 12, 2012 via mobile

I enjoyed my 10 day stay at the Melia despite the general ill feeling of some of the other guests that were on our flight. A moaner actually started on the rep during the welcome meeting, and completely hyjacked it with moans that they had read on trip advisor and from others guests they'd spoken to in the bar that had been here awhile already. RUDE!
How on earth are you going to enjoy your holiday when you start off whinging, or anyone else around you when you spread such poison.

The flight was fine, my husband would have appreciated an extra inch in legroom as he is 6 foot tall and couldnt quite manage to stretch his legs out under the seat in front but he wasnt particulary uncomfortable. 6 hours without entertainment is a bit long though on a flight.

The hotel was very busy the first week of our stay as it was half term week and was obviously at capacity which meant that facilities and service were stretched, it got better as it got a little quieter.
However, even as its busiest we still enjoyed ourselves.
The rooms were very nice, with flat screen tellys with some channels in english including a film channel which showed some decent films (girl with a dragon tatoo).
The beach was lovely but the waves too big to be able to swim in the sea. I did enjoy playing in the surf though.

The food went from being ok to being quite nice. Nothing wow, but then I wasn't expecting to be wowed at an all includive hotel who cater for the masses, including several different nationalities. If you like fish your in luck as the fish was the best of all the foods they offered. Fresh tuna, Wahoo fish and Marlin were all excellent. I noticed that a previous reviewer states that fish and goat was all they offered in the main buffet which is total rubbish. I did enjoy veal in red wine, portuguese style pork chops, peri peri chicken, lamb chops, pear and proscuito salad and the pasta station where they cook up a pasta dinner to your requirements (you choose the pasta, sauce and ingredients) in the buffet restaurant. However there were some less appetising things on offer sometimes, such as meatballs in 'tomato' sauce. The sauce was bright lurid pink, so I would assume that it was either thousand island or marie rose sauce, looking at it actually made me feel sick!
The Ogrille on the seafront supplied consistantly good food. We ate there nearly every lunch and occasionally there was a cat or two about but certainly not 'full' of cats as one reviewer put it.

The fact that all the food has to be shipped in does have an impact on the variety of food on offer however, perhaps there should be a bit of warning in the blurb.

The service was a bit hit and miss on occasion everywhere in the resort, but the staff were very hard working and were never rude or unpleasant. Unlike some of the guests who were sometimes eye watering nasty. If you were polite to them they were polite in return and all smiles, if you were rude they were still polite but less smilley and avoided eye contact, understandably. I dont know why people were rude, I dont know if it was because they had paid for the holiday and had a sense of entitlement that gave them the right to speak to the staff how they saw fit. Perhaps because they were racist?

The drinks were again hit and miss. The house wine was not very nice but the cava was lovely. Cocktails that required fruit come from concentrate, so not the best. Except lemon based cockails (they had plenty of lemons and mint) so mojitos and margueritas were fab. The local lager was good and I liked it that all the bars had proper coffee machines.

The evening entertaiment was low key and it was just how I like it. They had bands in playing in the main plaza area which were very good as were the pianist and singer in the Sway bar. The late bar got busy occassionally and was good then if you fancied a late night boogie but was often empty.

There were a few things they should sort out though.
We booked into the Waterside restaurant twice to duly turn up to find we were on the wrong day. I dont speak Cape Verdean, but the person taking the bookings obviously struggles to get communicate the right day. The restaurant booking system should easier, colour code the days and give people receipts of bookings.

But my biggest gripe would be the pool. The grouting is discoloured and often black. It needs to be empied and given a good scrub!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank katewingate
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 November 16, 2012

Dear katewingate,
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 learn that you’ve enjoyed your holiday, a positive attitude does help you to enjoy your holidays to the fullest. I’m glad that you were happy with your rooms, that you enjoyed the food, the restaurants, the entertainment and the friendliness of the staff.

The staff are undergoing an English training, to most of them it is their third or fourth language. We sincerely appreciate your comments and suggestions, we hope that you will return to visit us again 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.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Just back from an amazing holiday in Turtuga Melia, had a fantastic holiday experience the resort had all the facilities one would expect,the accommodation and food was absolutely amazing. Definitely 5 star. The island was totally unspoilt, once outside the resort it was life as it really is on Sal island. Its so nice to visit a place place so beautiful that hasnt been commercialised. My wife and I will definitely be going back next year.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Jackie L
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 November 14, 2012

DearJackie L,

Thank you for having chosen to stay at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your business travel and holiday and for having taken the time to review our hotel.

I’m very pleased to learn that you were very pleased with our accommodation, our food and that most of all you had a fantastic holiday.

I will look forward to having you and your wife as our guests again soon.

Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

So Much For A Honeymoon ,FIRST ImpressionWas Good,Till We Went Inside,To a Very hot reception,rooms were clean and Spacious,No chance of the pool,packed ever day unless YOU left towels on overnight seems like english are now doing A german towel thing.So on to the beach not a chance of a safe swim,all volcanic rock,So plenty of scrapes and cuts.Staff were So layed back they might as well not be there,,,,The THOMPSON REP done all she could {NOBLAME}....please do not take your children, there is nothing to do at all except cry.....Beware

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank colinandjanexeter
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 November 14, 2012

Dear colinandjanexeter,

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

I’m sorry to learn that your stay with us did not go as you’ve expected. Cape Verde is a tropical country where there is sunshine all year around and the temperature can get up to 30º celcius. Our reception is located in a cool open area with outdoor access and a lot of space. When you’ve come from the European winter you will perceive it as very hot and it will take time for your system to adjust to the temperature.

We have a sign at all the swimming pool areas warning against reserving the sun beds, I’m sorry that there were guests who did not respect this. Our staff will do everything they can to make sure that you have a relaxing holiday and of course your privacy is much respected.

We have activities that are geared towards children and parents who would like to have some time alone can leave their children at the Kids Club while they pick up on their reading by the swimming pool for example.

It’s a pity that we did not meet your expectations, I hope that you will give us one more chance and return to visit us again in the future.


Best regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed end of October in the Melia with 4 adults and 2 children (2 and 5).

Great holiday with family in the pool Villa. Own space in the garden, own pool - what do you want more? People who write bad reviews seem to forget that the island is closer to Africa then to Europe and living status is very poor (do a bit of research and you understand), hence you simply can not expect a 5* service as in Europe or on the Canary islands. Great staff especially if you try to at least speak 2 words of portuguese.

Food is ok and plenty, if you go to the main restaurant before or after the busy times it is more quiet as well. Lunch at the beach restaurant is a good option but be there at 12.30h sharp!

Only negative thing is that staff was a bit lost when the hotel is fully booked as in our second week but if you take a relaxed attitude towards this - which you should since you are on holiday - then it will be ok.

Food in the speciality restaurants, especially the one on the beach is great but as mentioned don't expect a "all singing & dancing" luxury meal.

I think the island itself is a really good place to travel in October / November and it will overtake the Canary islands in popularity soon, the amount of new hotels and holiday homes in built at the moment is almost too much and I saw this with one laughing and one crying eye.

All in all a great place for an All Inclusive holiday if you like sun, pool and good weather. If you want entertainment all day, disco, party and the typical "holiday club life" go to the Canary islands. A wonderfull place to enjoy the sunset on the beach and also a relatively quiet hotel. I can recommend and would come again.

Room Tip: Pool Villa if you want space, own sunbeds, own dipping pool and terrace - saves you from the daily t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Tobi2902
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 November 14, 2012

Dear Tobi2902,

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

I’m pleased to learn that you were happy with your villa, with our staff service and with the food. Some of our staff members are new and are still undergoing training, hence, some may look a bit lost when it gets busy.

Thank you for having recommended our hotel and I will certainly be looking forward to having you as our guests 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 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $169 - $359 (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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