Traveled to Cape Verde (Sal) with my family ( wife + 2 boys ) to experience the warm weather, wonderful sandy beaches & the Island's culture & our wedding anniversary.
If you expect all the mod cons from the main tourist town Santa Maria, then Cape Verde may not be for you. Sal is certainly progressing & in my opinion may take another 5-7 years before the cleanliness meets most people's high standards. However, saying that it was still a lovely place to visit & witness the local community work/play together to achieve their belief 'No stress'.
The Italians have been visiting Cape Verde for some 20 years & that is evident in some good restaurants serving good local food especially fresh fish caught that day & sold on the pier. (Check out the tuna)
The beaches are amazing - warm clear blue sea & just perfect. especially Ponta Preta beach which was a 10 minute walk from our villa in the resort Vila Verde.
Our accommadation was a 3 bed villa with private pool.
On entry the villa was very clean & very well presented.
However on closer inspection we then discovered that in fact, there was only air-con in the downstairs open plan living area & NOT in the 3 upstairs bedrooms. To sleep at night was unbearable & all my family were forced to sleep downstairs for 11 nights, once we had carried the mattresses downstairs. (The owner should really make this clear for future rentals).
The owner also advertises internet. This is NOT the case!! You have to walk some 10 minutes to the main reception to pay for 1/2 to 1 hour sessions, to then sit & use your laptop. (Again the owner should really make this clear for future rentals).
A TV & DVD is provided, however there are no real English speaking channels, so take some DVD films for the kids to watch when they need some time away from the sun.
Vila Verde Resort is very new & was like a ghost town. There is a supermarket on the resort which is owned by an English family.
The clubhouse was not open & there was NO evidence of them ever serving food/snacks & drinks before/during our stay. (Once again, the owner needs to make reference to this for future rentals, to avoid disappointment). A good place for snack & drinks during the day close to the villa is the restaraunt on Ponta Preta Beach. You can't miss it , it's the only timber building on the beach.
There were several items missing in our villa ie; tea towels to dry up dirty plates & cups. No cushions for the outside sun loungers & we had to ask the owner to request the pool to be cleaned. On our stay for 11 nights we had NO cleaners or fresh laundry, so my wife was forced to wash towels & bed linen in the washing machine provided.(Not the holiday rest she had hoped).
Taxi's into Santa Maria are approx 5 Euros. Taxi from Sal Airport 10 Euros.
Would we go back to Cape Verde? - Absolutely YES !!! - Already looking to visit again over Xmas 2012. Beaches are superb. Good local food.
Would we go back to Vila 9 on Vila Verde Resort - Absolutely NOT !!
There is better accommadation in Santa Maria (Please email for suggestions) that provide air con in all living area's including bedrooms.
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