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Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 27, 2013

I have thought carefully about whether to post a review in respect of this resort. It wasn't my cup of tea but other people might well like it. The local economy needs the tourist income and, given all that was there before was a salt mine, tourism isn't going to spoil something that was previously beautiful.

We went for the same reason that many people do i.e. the flight is only an hour or so longer than going to the Canaries but there is a better chance of hot weather at Christmas. And we couldn't afford the Caribbean. So you pays your money and you takes your choice. If you do not normally go on package holidays and you're thinking "Well how bad can it be? It is quite cheap and at least I'll get to see the sun" then I just want to tell you that it can be quite bad indeed.

The food is appalling. Your best option is to avoid the restaurants where you have to book in advance and stick with the buffet where you can at least cobble together something resembling a normal meal. I couldn't believe I had stood for 50 minutes in a queue in the midday sun to book my meals for the whole week, only to discover it was utter filth. Think you can throw money at the problem? Think again - there isn't anywhere better on the island.

I found the staff to be absolutely fine especially given some of the guests that they had to deal with. And ultimately that is where the problem with this place lies - when you're lying by the pool with headphones in reading a book, you can pretty much ignore everyone. When you're standing in the check-in queue at the airport, you are trapped with them. Maybe it was an unusual week and there was a convention of racist alcoloholics in town? So, if you're the sort of person who likes to rant about immigrants and think Enoch Powell was right (someone in the airport actually said this to me) and you don't care how rough the drink is as long as it is plentiful then you should book immediately.

The experience at the airport upon return is not especially pleasant. I found the Thomson rep patronising and overly defensive but when I saw what he had to experience every afternoon at the airport, I understood why he was like that.

The accommodation is good. It's clean and spacious. The beer is surprising palatable.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Agadou67
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 March 28, 2013

Dear Agadou67,


Thank you for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to write a review on our hotel.

I’m very sorry to read that your holiday did not go as you have expected. It is a pity that you did not enjoy your food, we do our best to satisfy all the different palates of our international guests, I understand that taste is something very personal and can vary from one person to another.
At our hotel, booking for restaurant is done at the Late Bar, where it is air conditioned and comfortable. The restaurant reservation is open all day so that guests have enough time to go when they can without having to stand in a queue.

I hope that you will give us another chance by paying us another visit in the near future and allow us to prove to you that we can ensure your total satisfaction.


Best regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

On arrival to the hotel my poor husband had terrible toothache and my little toddler Mabel had flu bug so you can imagine my horror when I saw a lengthy queue at reception for checking in to accommodation....I needn't have worried as I was lucky enough to meet ELISA who immediately took over kindly and said she would help, few minutes later after a nice cool drink Marco had checked us in...so grateful. Then off we went to our beautiful 3 bedroom villa by the sea, immaculately clean and furnished to a very good standard. We were spoilt and treated very well the whole week we spent here, even though the trip to the dentist loomed for one of us!!! Special mention to Daniel at Grille restaurant and bar, thank you for all your help and of course ELISA who was always ready to guide us and help with meal reservations etc...and Jose is the reason everything is so customer driven, always around checking holidaymakers and staff happy...you should all be very proud......the only constructive advice I would like to mention is a sometimes limited menu but guess that's unavoidable with import constraints?!
Will be back next year, thanks again Jose...Kicks Ayre clan x

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Leighbuoy
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 March 26, 2013

Dear Leighbuoy,

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

I’m so sorry to read that your husband and your little toddler were unwell upon your arrival, however, it was nice to know that Elisa and Marco had helped speed up your check in. I’m also pleased to know that you were happy with your villa and that Daniel at the OGrille was very attentive. Thank you for all your kind comments, it is always a pleasure for us to be able to assist our guests with anything that they may need and ensure that they enjoy their holidays.

I am already looking forward to the pleasure of having you and your family as our guests again next year or hopefully sooner. I hope that your husband and your little baby are now feeling much better.


Warm regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed from 7th -21stMarch and from the first day we had fantastic weather very hot but the breeze made it comfortable.
The hotel was lovely and we have been to several places all inc. and have never had a welcome meeting which included the general manager and some of his staff.In fact I don't think we have ever seen a manager at any resort before. Jose was a very likeable man who obviously wanted to give the best to his guests, always wandering around the resort and ready for a friendly chat. This showed in the way all his staff were so friendly and couldn't do enough for you and would put anything right straight away if there was a problem. Always smiling.
The restaurants were all very good, limited choice of food but if you used all of them you had a good choice. Having to book at this resort was much better than others we have been to where you had to get up at some unearthly hour if you wanted to get a particular time or restaurant. I did feel that it seemed a long time from 10.30am -5pm to be able to book. Elizabeti was always so friendly and chatty as was her 'deputy' but it must be a bit 'boring' for her to be there all that time. We popped in to chat to her when we passed if she had no customers. In fact on our last day we were waiting for our coach and went in the room to read and she just wasn't her usual self and I was concerned and asked her if she was ok and she said no but she had got someone coming to take over while she went home. I do hope she is better now.
We went on a trip round the island which was very interesting to see how the locals lived and got the 'free' bus into Santa Maria and watched the fish coming in to the pier so many types of fish.
The grounds and pools and entertainment were all very good. We aren't beach people so it didn't matter that most of the time you couldn't swim because of the winds, but it was nice to sit in the Grille restaurant and see the beach.
All in all a very relaxing holiday and would certainlly recommend the resort. My only 'complaint' would be that we left a lovely hot country to arrive home to anow and 0 degrees!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank trixie053
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 March 25, 2013

Dear trixie053,

I appreciate you having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your holidays and you having taken the time to share your experience with us.

I’m very happy to know that you have enjoyed your stay with us and that you were happy with our services and our food. Thank you sincerely for your kind comments on our staff service, I am aware that the success of our hotel relies heavily on its human resources. Here at Melia Tortuga we work hard everyday to ensure that our guests feel at home with us and return with warm memories of their stay. I will forward your message to Elizabeth, who I’m sure will be very happy to hear from you.

Thank you for recommending our hotel, it will be a pleasure to have you as our guests again in the not too distant future.


Best regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

Great hotel and friendly staff. The first three days I was not feeling good and all staff have done their utmost to help, including serving lunch and dinner in the suite. The island is very small and does not offer much to do but relaxing. According to the local people the other islands of Cape Verde are the most interesting. I will come back to the islands of Cape Verde and follow the advise received also because with few hours of flight you are in warm.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jacopo_12
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 March 25, 2013

Dear jacopo_12,

Thank you for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to shre your review with us.

I’m pleased to read that you were happy with our hotel and that you found our staff to be friendly. Thank you for your kind comments on the staff, they always do their best to ensure that you have a memorable stay at the hotel.

The next time you visit our island it will be a pleasure to have you as our guest again, hopefully that will be very soon.

Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 20, 2013

This hotel has many good points , a wonderful climate and friendly staff , however the accommodation is not of five star standard .
Rooms are clean and comfortable but not well equipped , we had to ask for a hairdryer and no box of tissues.
Three stars for service only , more staff are needed in the three restaurants , especially at breakfast time ! Running around looking for a cup and the man who services coffee is not the way to start your day.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony room or one not on the main paths leading to and from the swimming pools which are...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Celijo
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 March 21, 2013

Dear Celijo,

I appreciate you having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the trouble to share your review with us.

Thank you for mentioning the good points of our hotel. I am, however, sad to read about the bad points. My staff and I strive to ensure that our guests have a memorable and enjoyable holiday, we do our best to cater to your every need and we are always available to listen and assist any of our guests. I am very sorry that you were not able to perceive this, we will keep on improving our services day by day and continue on listening to our guests who are the reason for our being.

I hope that this does not discourage you from giving us one more chance by returning as our guest in the near future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 19, 2013

Since I retired in 1998 we have stayed at many hotels around the world, including some of the” best” but our 3 week stay at Melia Totuga was the most relaxing and enjoyable. Very good food and friendly helpful service

We certainly plan, if possible, to return next year.

Room Tip: West facing rooms get the best sun on the balcony
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brian M
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Brian M,

Thank you kindly for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the trouble to share your opinion with us.

I’m very pleased to know that you have enjoyed your stay at our hotel, it is always nice to know that our guests have had a relaxing time with us.

It will certainly be a pleasure to have you again as our guests next year and greet you personally then.


Warm regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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Reviewed March 17, 2013

just came back from Cape Verde Islands had a lovely time very relaxing and a great all inclusive hotel, great weather and the contant wind took the edge off the heat, we sun bathed on the beach as there are quite a lot of Germans/Scandinavians staying at the resort so most of the sunbeds around the pools were held ransom by towels just after dawn, which we were very happy with the only drawback was that the sea was too dangerous to swim in for the 5 days we were there but views were lovely.
Hotel has a Gym although very small and limited equipment especially when 25% of the machines were out of order so I went for a run each morning to make the most of the weather.
Food was good for a buffet style ate 2 nights in the pre-book restaurants really wouldnt bother as menu very limited.

Room Tip: one as near to the beach as possible as the local drum music on twice a week on the piaza outside th...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank karen c
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 March 20, 2013

Dear karen c,

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

It’s nice to read that you have had a lovely relaxing time at our hotel. During this time of the year, depending on the weather condition, the sea could be rough, for this we place a red flag on the beach to warn our guests, unfortunately there is not much we can do with nature.

I have made note of your comments and feedback and will discuss this with my management team during our quality meetings.

I hope that you would return to visit us again the near future and enjoy some more relaxation under the sun.


Kind regads,
Jose Luis Cuevas

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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 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $169 - $349 (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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