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“A great place to get away from it all”

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Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A great place to get away from it all”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

We booked through Thompson and got a great deal on an all in one flight and resort package to stay at Melia Tortuga flying from Gatwick. I'll summarise the bits that I think are important to save waffling on:

Flight is about 4 hours.

Make sure you pay for your visa when booking, this will save you waiting in the long queue with everyone else who forgot to pay ahead of time!

Currency is mainly Euros. They are accepted everywhere but you will get your change in Escudos which are only useable in Cape Verde.

Electrical Sockets are the same as European sockets (such as Spain, Greece etc).

People kept saying there'd be mosquitos but we didn't get bitten, I'm assuming it was because 't was quite windy.
Check with doctor about which jabs you need before going.


If you booked an all inclusive package like we did (which I recommend) then this is what was included:

Coach picks you up from the airport in Cape Verde and takes you to the resort, which is about a 15 minute journey.
Upon arrival to the resort, you are given a drink and a wristband while you queue to check in.
It was only two of us but we got a three bedroom villa with a private swimming pool, we were really impressed! It had a kitchen, dining room, living room, three bedrooms, three balconies and a view of the beach. The fridge had bottled water and the bathrooms and bedrooms were stocked with the usual things that you would expect in a hotel such as shampoo, hairdryers, tvs, safe etc.
Once you're settled in, I suggest you nip to the reception, get a towel card (€20 deposit per person) and then go to the main pool located in the middle of the resort and you will receive beach towels that you can swap for clean ones whenever you like. At the end of your stay just take back the towels and you get your towel card and deposit back.

If you book through Thompson, I recommend going to their meeting on the first day. I know it sounds boring and it's early in the morning but you'll be able to book fun excursions and activities such as quad biking etc through them and ask any questions about the resort that you have.

There are four restaurants in the resort, 3 are buffet for breakfast and set menu dinner restaurants and one is an all round buffet (Spices).
You have to book dinner in the 3 restaurants (so it's not crowded) but Spices is open all the time. Booking is done in the late lounge during lunch times. The food in all of them is amazing, I forgot what it was like to feel hungry during my stay!

Activities:
I recommend the 4x4 tour, the guide is really helpful and informative. You take a tour of the island and stop at various places such as the fishing market and the salt lakes which were fun to swim in.
I also recommend the quad biking especially for people that haven't done it before, they'll love it but expect to get really dusty so take a bandana! We did the neptune (submarine) tour as well but the water was so choppy that I felt rough the whole journey. Even people that don't get sea sick didn't really enjoy it.
There's also a spa at the resort which was really good as well as a gym.

The resort offers a free shuttle to and from Santa Maria (the island's main town). But if you want to go by your own schedule, taxis are only €3 a journey and €4 at night. If you want to buy anything in town, make sure you haggle! It's fun and you save a few quid!

We mostly stayed at the resort as all we wanted to do was relax. The place is amazing, the sand is white and the sea is green. The staff are really friendly and helpful, your glass is never empty and there's never an empty plate left in front of you. You can walk up to any bar in the resort, order a bunch of cocktails (for free!) and take them to the pool, beach or even to sip in front of the tv at the villa!
It's a very windy island which is nice because you stay cool on the hot beaches but the downside is it makes the sea very choppy and the red flag was up the whole time we were there. I wasn't that bothered as there are a load of pools to choose from and if you really want to swim in the sea, you can go around the corner to the east of the island where the sea is less wavy.
Drinks or dinner at O'Grilles during sunsets are highly recommended. Stunning views with chill out music in the background while on the beach... What more do you want!!

All in all, we had an amazing time. We're a young couple but the place caters for families, there are "kid's clubs", children's shows and a kid's pool so mum and dad can escape for a while!

Book it, you'll love it!

Room Tip: We had villa 42 but just ask for anything closer to the beach as they put on shows at night near rec...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank s a
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 review, March 26, 2014
Dear s a,


Thank you for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your holidays and for allowed us the opportunity to gain an insight into your holiday experience through Tripadvisor.

I appreciate reading your review as the information that you share are very important for future travelers. Thank you for the detailed description of our services, I am glad that you took advantage of all the services that we have to offer. Our hotel caters for all kinds of guests and our main objective is to offer you’re a high quality service during a relaxing holiday with us.

My management team and I are also always available at the hotel to listen to or offer any assistance to any of our guests, please do not hesitate to approach any of us whenever it is required.

Lastly, I would like to thank you for having recommended our hotel to future travelers, I also hope that you will give us the pleasure of having you as our guests again in the near future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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Cumbria, UK
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2014

We have just returned from the Melia Tortuga after having had a fantastic 2 week stay. If you want a relaxing holiday with plenty of sunshine, the Tortuga is the place for you. Also, it’s only 1 hour time difference from the UK, so no jet lag!

We are very surprised at recent reviews which criticise this hotel. Of course, it's not perfect, nowhere is. But it's pretty good, offers excellent value for money, and we would recommend the Tortuga to anyone interested in going to this island.

Rooms

These are large with air-conditioning. There is a kitchen (which is odd for an all-inclusive) but it is very poorly equipped. However, since I doubt anyone would want to self-cater, I can't see this is a problem.

Although not replaced daily, tea, coffee, sugar and milk can be obtained in the hotel. One reviewer thought this to be poor service, but it's not a problem and you know the milk is fresh (not long-life). The lack of replacement water in the fridge has also been criticised, but again this is easily obtained from any bar in the hotel. Simples!

The rooms are cleaned daily and the bed linen and towels are changed whenever you ask (by placing a card on the bed or the towels in the bath).

There is a large TV which has Discovery Channel and BBC News as well as other non-English channels.


Hotel facilities

The hotel is kept in immaculate condition. There is no litter or anything out of place. At the reps meeting the three managers of the hotel came and introduced themselves to the new arrivals. They were continually present in the hotel throughout the two weeks and we often saw them eating in the same restaurants as the guests. Although we never felt the need to, it was clear that they would be happy to discuss any problems directly with a guest, which in my experience is unusual (and very refreshing).

There are two main pools (plus a couple of shallow children’s pools), one with music (not normally loud other than then ‘Aquagym’ is taking place in the morning) and one without. It’s a pretty quiet hotel, unless you seek out the entertainment. There are plenty of sunbeds and there are large fixed umbrella-type things to provide shade.


There is a self-service restaurant – Spices – which has a very wide selection of food which changes daily. There is supposed to be a theme each night but we didn’t really notice much in the way of a theme, however the food is pretty good. In particular, the quality and choice of salads is excellent. We never struggled to find food to our taste. One reviewer criticised the availability of goat on the menu. If they had tried it they would have found it to be very tasty and tender, rather like lamb. Don’t be put off by the name! There are a few strange items on the menu, but this is Africa! You can’t expect it to be the same food as you might find in Tesco’s (and isn’t that part of the appeal of going somewhere different?)

There are three other restaurants which in the evenings are pre-bookable only. However, we actually preferred Spices. Wine is available, together with beer and soft drinks. The sparkling wine (like a Cava) was especially nice. These are served at the table and this can be slow in Spices, but if you avoid the busy period, it’s not a problem.

If you come to the Tortuga expecting genuine fine dining, you will be disappointed. However, there is plenty of excellent food on offer.

The bars serve a wide range of drinks and the cocktails are excellent. Sure, they vary a little, but this is because they don’t use standard measures, so they can sometimes be a bit on the strong side! A fairly decent cappuccino can be obtained from the bar near reception.

We had a problem with a faulty air-conditioning unit and jammed sink tap. Both were fixed within the morning while we were out sunbathing. Also a slip of paper was put under the door the following day to ask if we were satisfied with the resolution. You can’t say fairer than that!

The surrounding area

The Tortuga is on its own and about 45 minutes’ walk from Santa Maria town. However, there are always taxis waiting outside the hotel and its only 3 Euros (4 at night) into the town, so the distance is not a problem. There are a few nice restaurants and bars in Santa Maria and the beach and harbour area are beautiful.

Trips

4x4 safari – the island of Sal does not have a lot to see and is quite small so the 4x4 jeep safari lasted only about 3 hours. Worth doing bit don’t expect too much.

Catamaran - An enjoyable 3 hours on a catamaran with as much to drink as you like.

Beach BBQ - Good food, a fire eater and string trio. A very pleasant evening.

Tour round Santa Maria (free courtesy of Thompson rep) – very worthwhile to get your bearings.

Tips

Take jumpers for the evening. Although hot in the daytime, the evenings get quite chilly.

If you don’t want to be disturbed by the evening entertainment – which can be loud – make sure you get a room away from reception. We couldn’t hear it from our room (361) and it finished around 10pm anyway. We would also recommend asking for an upstairs room as the views are better.

If you go with Thompsons, definitely go on the Saturday morning (free) guided walk around Santa Maria.


Summary

Overall, we found it hard to fault the Tortuga. Don’t forget, Sal is a small African island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so expect things to be done a little differently than in Europe.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank David H
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 review, March 26, 2014
Dear David--Gwen—Cumbria,


Thank you for having elected Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for a two weeks stay and for having set aside some of your time to share your holiday experience with us and with fellow travelers on Tripadvisor. We greatly value the feedback that we receive from our guests as they enable us to gain an insight into their needs and preferences and adapt our services accordingly.

I have enjoyed reading your review and I am delighted to know that you have had such a wonderful stay at our hotel and that our services are according to your expectations. I appreciate your detailed description regarding each of our outlets and our services, as they are quite detailed for which I am glad as it means that you took the opportunity to try out and appreciate each one of the services that we have to offer.

I am also pleased that you also took the time to visit around the island and try out the different tours to get better acquainted with Sal.

I hope that you will give us the pleasure of having you as our guests again at the hotel, hopefully in the not so distant future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Dear Jose Luis Cuevas,

We've just returned from a wonderful week of relaxation in Melia, thanks again for the perfect family holiday (we travelled with our 2 young boys). Beautiful and spacious appartment, proper cleaning daily, very helpful and friendly staff in all the restaurants and at the pools the animation team added to a very positive experience at Melia. We'll definitely be back!!

Now I have one huge favour to ask, and I do so through this site because the phone line is bad for some reason... We had family pictures taken at the beach in front of the hotel by the photographer who visits your hotel am and pm and I would have loved to buy those as a memory of our wonderful holiday. Very unfortunate though, we missed each other on the day of departure. Can you please help me to make contact with the photographer as I don't have his number or email address??

Many thanks,
Family Spoelstra

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Spoelstra2014
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 review, March 24, 2014
Dear Spoelstra2014,


Thank you for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your family holidays and for having taken the time to tell us about your holiday experience.

I am very pleased to know that you have had a wonderful relaxing week at our resort and that the suite, the restaurant service, the animation team as well as the staff service are all according to your standards.

We will contact the photographer and ask him to contact you directly regarding your family pictures. I am delighted to know that you will be returning for another visit, it will be a pleasure to welcome you as our guests again in the not so distant future .


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Myself & my husband have recently returned from a fantastic weeks stay at the Melia tortuga. I would first like to congratulate the management on a well run & friendly hotel.
All the staff are friendly and hard working, always a pleasant hello and nothing is to much trouble I would like to single out Jose in the Sway bar, he always anticipated when you we're ready for another drink, he really looked after us, also Ary who made us perfect omelette's every morning. The food in all of the restaurants was outstanding but a favourite of ours was the Aqua restaurant the octopus and tuna steaks were delicious.
We were very lucky we were upgraded to a villa with our own private pool, it was a fantastic base for our week and we felt thoroughly spoiled.
There is only one very small negative and that is if you like to swim in the sea you cannot do so from the hotel beach as there is a rock shelf preventing this. But if you prefer you can take the shuttle bus to Santa Maria, this is free from the hotel, alternatively it's only €3 in a taxi and the beach there is lovely and you can walk straight into the sea.
We had a fantastic holiday and if we visited Cape Verde again we would definitely stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dawn W
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 review, March 24, 2014
Dear Dawn W,


Thank you for having elected Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your holidays and for having taken the time to share your holiday experience with us and with fellow travelers through Tripadvisor.

We are very pleased to perceive that you have had a lovely stay at our hotel and we would like to thank you sincerely for your kind comments regarding our facilities and our staff service, especially the ones mentioned in your review, we will gladly share your comments with our staff and I am sure that they will be very happy to hear from you again.

It is also a great satisfaction for us to know that you would choose to stay at our hotel again should you decide to return to Cabo Verde, it will surely be a pleasure for my staff and I to welcome you back, hopefully in the not so distant future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

Having read the previous reviews I felt compelled to speak out. I really don't understand the criticism we found the staff extremely helpful and the food selection fabulous.

We visited the Melia tortuga as a party of three travelling from Manchester on the 5th march. The transfer was swift just 15 minutes from the airport and on check in we were greeted by the management, guest relations and our thomson rep Kati who by the way was outstanding.

On arrival we were greeted with a glass of tropical juice just what was needed after a long flight and were overjoyed to be upgraded to a villa with three bedrooms.

We were taken to our villa on the back of golf buggys so didn't even need to drag our cases to our rooms - fabulous service.

It was my birthday the day after our arrival and a table was arranged at the agua restaurant where we were presented with a cake and a bottle of cava a lovely touch made even more so by the fact that having attended the thomson welcome meeting in the morning and met the management they all went out of their way to say happy birthday - I have never in all my years travelling been personally congratulated by one manager so to have all three was definitely a nice touch.

On the second day we ventured down to the beach and on the recommendation of our thomson rep tried out the o grille restaurant for lunch - the Caesar salad and chicken kebabs were absolutely delicious.

We found all the staff to be helpful friendly and polite and they couldn't do enough for you. Our room was cleaned every day and was spotless and our sheets were changed twice in the week we were there.

Having eaten in all the hotels restaurants I could honestly say the selection was fabulous and we always found something new to try - I think some people just have no taste and I wonder if we stayed in the same hotel ?

On the Saturday we joined Kati for her free walk into Santa Maria which we found extremely informative and helpful - we got to see the sights and find out about Cape Verde - you can really tell she loves her job and has a great rapport with the hotel staff - nothing was too much trouble. ( if you go on the walk you'll also visit the charity school so take extra toiletries for the children - it will break your heart when you hear the story)

All in all we had a fantastic holiday at the Melia Tortuga and would like to say a huge thank you to Marco, Kais , Mr Cuevas, Katia, Anna and all the staff at Melia you do a fabulous job and we'll be back next year.

Thank you

Mr and Mrs Mountford

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Keith 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 review, March 21, 2014
Dear Mr and Mrs Mountford,


Thank you for having selected Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your family holidays and for having set aside some of your precious time to share the experience of your stay with us and with fellow travelers on Tripadvisor.

I am very pleased to read that you have fully enjoyed your stay with us. We want our guests to feel that they are on holiday mode the minute they walk into our hotel and let them know that we are here to make them feel welcome and at home through small but very important details.

We feel privileged that you have decided to spend your birthday at our hotel and as such we make it a point to celebrate this with you not just by wishing you a happy birthday but by also organizing a special dinner for our guests who are celebrating.

We are glad to know that your Rep Kati took a very good care of you and all the other guests at our resort and we would also like to thank you for your kind comments regarding the management team and the staff, it has been a great pleasure for all of us to have you as our guests.

We are also very pleased that you had such a good recollection of your stay with us and we are already looking forward to the pleasure of having you and your family as our guests again next year.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Accommodation

Pros:
• Nice big suite with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen and lounge area.
• Comfortable bed.
• Good aircon system
• Powerful showers – fresh towels every day
• Ironing board and half decent iron
• Easy to use safe

Cons:
• View of footpath, gravel and a few shrubs and no sun on patio area after 11am – luck of the draw I guess.
• Shower broke on 2 occassions – aircon broke and leaked. Fixed but each time had to ask twice.
• No mini bar – just a fridge. Water on day one and never replenished – not 5 star service!
• Not cleaned properly. Drinks rings on tables there for whole week of holiday – not 5 star service!
• No replacement of coffee and sugar. Complained but was told it was only for day 1. No milk on day 1 either! Then you have to scrounge some at the bar – not 5 star service!
• Linen changed once in the whole week – disgusting!

Resort Facilities

Pros:
• Two nice swimming pools and separate shallow pools for kids
• Choice of 4 restaurants
• Beach very short walking distance and nice beach-side bar
• Hourly free shuttle bus to Santa Maria
• Quiet pool – the only place to get respite from the noise and throngs of people.
• 15 minutes from airport but no noticeable aeroplane noise.

Cons:
• WARNING: Not a single table and chairs under shade in the whole resort. Not good if you have light skin and wish to be outside but in the shade. Shocking really.
• Loud loud music blaring out everywhere except the “quiet pool”. If you wish to sit on the main terrace, then it’s to be hoped that you like “Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse as we heard it on average about 5 times a day – enough to drive you scatty. They have around 30 songs on a random shuffle – do the maths.
• Main pool is more like Butlins that 5 star platinum. Loud music, ram packed, people getting drunk for the sake of it.
• Construction work next to the quiet pool meant it was not so quiet after all! The loungers were scratty and old. No poolside bar.


Staff

Pros:
• Very pleasant welcome and free buggy ride to your room
• Capable and multi-lingual reception staff
• Fantastic entertainment team – the “Brazilian Night” is a must!
• Evening entertainment in general was good, particularly Patrick De Santos

Cons:
• Overworked staff that are unhappy. Never in 30 years of travelling have we come across staff that don’t smile back and often avoid eye contact and even turn their back on you.
• Bar staff in particular can be quite rude. The men seemed fine but the ladies looked like the bar was the last place they wanted to be. Expect long waits – not 5 star service!
• Staff in “a la carte” (if you can call it that) are confused and unorganised to the point of chaos. We tried all 3 restaurants and had the exact same experience in all of them. It seemed that they severely lacked the correct training. Not even 3 star, never mind 5 star service!

Food/Drinks

Pros:
• Drinks available on AI package are very good. The Strela lager is nice. The G&Ts are spot on.
• Cocktails at the Waterside pool bar and O Grill bar were a nice touch but a little inconsistent
• Breakfast and lunch in spices was just about acceptable, but a million miles away from 5 star!

Cons:
• No diet drinks anywhere except the late bar – for me that meant no diet cokes during the day so it was water, coffee or alcoholic drinks – how can any “5 star “ resort in the world not stock Diet Coke???
• Evening meal choices was absolutely shocking. Quite often there was some meat choices, salads and then every carb under the sun, but no veg. Yet on a lunchtime when you perhaps wanted something light like fish and salad, there was meat galore and veg galore???
• Meat – you had 3 choices – well done, very well done or boot leather. And you had 3 temperatures – luke warm, tepid and cold.
• Variety – there was always a general feeling of “variety” but hardly anything fitted together. One night it was “international night” and the next it was “around the world night” – you couldn’t make it up! And then you had “gala night”. Every night was the same – nothing much different.
• All in all, Spices was one notch up from a works canteen. If you are a sausage, egg and chips person then you might think it is okay. But if you enjoy eating out at nice restaurants then you are going to be bitterly disappointed. To claim this as being 5 star is disgraceful at best and blatant false advertising at worst.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank zico2000
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 review, March 19, 2014
Dear zico2000,


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

I am sorry to read from your feedback that there were some aspects of our services that did not fully meet your expectations, however, kindly permit me to clarify some of the points that you mentioned.

Our suites are laid out to enable each one of them to have a nice view of the garden or the swimming pool or the sea. It was a pity that you did not appreciate the garden view. We have a preventive maintenance program in place and all of our suites are previously checked and approved before being given to a guest, should any problem arise during its use immediate measures are taken. I am surprised that you complained about the cleanliness and the housekeeping service as this is not the usual impression that we receive from our guests. Prior to coming our guests are informed about the supply and the replenishment of the mini bar in the room, please note that as this is an All Inclusive service our guests can request for drinks, coffee/tea making supplies as well as bottled water from any of our bars without extra charges.

There are plenty of well shaded areas, for example the restaurants and the bars, as well as open areas at our resort, for example the piazza. Some of our daytime activities are carried out at the main swimming pool, for guests who would like some quiet there is a quiet pool available as well as some areas of the beach. Our music selection is prepared to play a whole day of music without repetition.

I am surprised that you found our staff to be unfriendly as this is not the feedback that we receive from our other guests, as generally our staffs are perceived to be friendly and helpful at all times. They work very hard to ensure that all of our guests are happy and feel at home at the hotel.

There is diet coke available at our outlets except at the Sway Bar and the Spices, however, I am sure that the staff at the restaurants would have gladly provided these for you at your request.
The daily menu at our restaurant is prepared with a balanced variety of fish, meat, vegetables and fruits, there is always something for every taste. The food is prepared from the best quality products available under the supervision of an experienced executive chef.

All information regarding our services is available to you, and our guests are recommended to contact us should they need any information or assistance. My management team and I are always available to listen to our guests and help them in any way we can. I hope that you would give us the chance to change your perception by visiting us again in the near future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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England
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Melia. We chose this hotel as smaller than the Rui and also the newest hotel. The accommodation was excellent, clean and spacious. I did think the towels needed replacing as stained and fraying, not good Melia!

We visited all three restaurants, the Waterside has a fish menu but very limited so nothing for me to eat. Please note that the menus at all three restaurants are always the same. The O Grille was okay but again limited choice and there was no way I would eat GOAT! The O Grille at lunchtime was good. The Aqua was our favourite but again only two choices, Mediterranean or Oriental. Spices had a good selection but a lot of the meat was very poor quality.

A 14 day menu would be better as we were tired of the same menus and duplications in Spices.

Sadly a lot of the staff are still awaiting or undergoing training, I have been led to believe. During mealtimes in Spices we were rarely offered drinks. The staff were mixed from smiley to sullen. A lot of work is needed on staff training. Staff are very poorly paid throughout the Island but bearing in mind we paid over £3000 for this holiday then why are the staff not paid a minimum wage?

It is a very barren Island but it suited our needs fur sun and relaxation.

With regards to the Thomson rep, we did not attend the welcome meeting as I burnt my arm in the breakfast restaurant (Spices) quite badly (Melia management - the heating units above the food have not covers and I saw quite a few people burnt during our stay including a young girl, very dangerous). We were told Thomson info from the meeting would be pushed under our door, we received nothing. We did not receive any info regarding our pick up time for the airport and when we asked were told that coffee had been spilt over the letters!! Why weren't we contacted in another way eg; room telephone?

All in all a pleasant break but Melia you need to look at staff training and a few of the issues I mentioned.

I will say thank you to Gildo at The Aqua restaurant as he was outstanding.

This hotel is sold as a 5* because of the amenities but it is only a 3* quality!
Although there is a fridge and drink making facilities in the rooms we only received two bottles of water on arrival. The tea, coffee and milk was not replenished. Although water is readily available at all bars. There is no option for room service.

Diet drinks were not available at all bars.

We did feel that a blanket for the beds was needed at times as you only only get a sheet.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nessa62
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 review, March 17, 2014
Dear nessa62,


Thank you for having chosen Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa for your holidays and for having set aside some of your time to write a review about us on Tripadvisor.

I am sorry to read that your stay with us did not fully meet your expectations. Our three restaurants have fixed menus; the Ogrille has 3 different 3 course menus to choose from, the Aqua 2 different 3 course menus (Mezze menu) to choose from with a choice of 3 types of cold appetizers and 3 types of hot appetizers and the Waterside 4 different 3 course menus to choose from. From the 3 themed restaurants there is enough choice for 9 nights. The Spices is the main restaurant offering a buffet service with choice of appetizers, soup, salad, pasta, fish dishes, different meat dishes (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, etc.) and vegetable dishes and different choices of desserts. We try our best to cater all different palates of our international guests, however, each person has different preferences and it is not always easy to please all taste buds. Please note that most of our products are imported from the best food suppliers in Europe.

The installations in our outlets are all according international safety standards and there is a periodic check-up to ensure that everything is in tip top condition. We did not have any records of clients being burned, however, we will investigate into it at once and if required we will do the necessary adjustments.

Our staffs work very hard to ensure that all of our guests feel welcome and at home at the hotel, and all of them are paid according to regulations and above the minimum wage established in the country, please note that regulations vary from country to country. There are also ongoing training programs for each one of our staffs to ensure the quality of our services, kindly remember that tourism is still quite new in the island.

During meal times in Spices apart from the personalized service there are also drinks available at the counters for our guests to serve, as the buffet is self-service.

All of our guests are properly informed about the services available in our hotel prior to coming, this is an all-inclusive hotel and our guests can find drinks readily available at any of our outlets, water, coffee and tea making supplies can also be requested from any of our bars.

We hope that we are able to clarify a few issues mentioned here and that you will give us the chance to prove to you that we can meet all of your holiday expectations by visiting us again in the near future.


Kind regards,
Jose Luis Cuevas
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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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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