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VOI Vila do Farol
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Reviews (1,933)
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Reviewed November 16, 2007

We have just come back from a one week holiday in Cape Verde. Whilst we both had a relaxing time, we left wondering why the media hype about these newly developing islands does not really live up to reality.

It might be to attract property investors perhaps?

We started our stay at the Bravo Vila Do Farol (which we had booked from the UK).

I don't know where they took the pictures that you see in the brochure, because reality is quite different.

The dining room was reminiscent of a Pontins Holiday camp, and either there was no food left, or what was left was covered in flies.

The constant loud noises that seemed to eminate from every quarter of the hotel was enough to make you search for for ear-plugs.

We met a number of couples who had also just arrived and were busilly trying to find somewhere else to stay on the island, which, thank goodness, we did also.

It was a bit of a shock all round.

No-one speaks more than a smattering of English on reception/front desk, and I am sure that they must be well used to complaints.

Our options were to either try and move hotels quickly, or get the next flight home. They are only once a week at the moment to Gatwick, so we went for making the best of it.

The holiday Rep was so helpful, and we moved the following day.

Do yourself a HUGE favour, when looking at the brochures for the Bravo Do Farol, bypass it as quickly as possible.

The best hotel on the island of Sal in our opinion, is the Ojua, and if you are hell bent on Cape Verde as a holiday destination, try and get yourself a room there!

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank NurseJW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2007

My husband and I together with our two grown up children booked a holiday at this hotel in June. We knew from the brochure that it was Italian owned and that was fine. However when we arrived we quickly learned that unless we spoke Italian we would have problems. Only one member of reception staff understood English - everyone else we encountered could not even understand the words "taxi, milk or wine" etc. What would have happened if there was a medical emergency at night I shudder to imagine.
There was loud music around the pool most of the day and the entertainment in day and in evening all in Italian. When we complained to the manager we were told "we prefer only Italians at this hotel"!
We saw our rep the next day and he said he understood that if there was a communication problem then it was useless staying at the hotel and offered to move us. This he did the very next day to a hotel which was splendid. However we were charged a lot of money to do this and we are engrossed in communication with the travel company to recoupt this large sum. There were six other Englist guests and two German guests who had arrived the same day with other travel operators. They also were moved. this left only Italian speaking guests.
I do not believe that any English travel company should advertise this hotel in their brochures. It defies the Trade Descriptions Act.
Stay away if you are not Italian speaking.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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10  Thank MLittle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2007

If you can' t speak Italian, then don't go to this hotel. Only a few of the staff understand any english. We were the only two english guests there at the time. All the entertainment was is italian, so didn't have a clue what it was all about. The hot food was barely warm most of the time. Although the cleaners work extremely hard all day long, there were coackroaches in our room, in the bar & along the pavements. Mini-bar provided only 2 small bottles of water. This hotel is stated as being beachfront which it is, but you still have about half a mile walk to get to the sea. I really don't think this hotel is suitable for english guests. We ended up changing hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank AnnieEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2007

The staff are charming and despite previous posts both Italians and Cape Verdean can speak good English to those whom they do not take a dislike to. The food is nicely made fresh Italian pizza and pasta and
you are able to buy drinkable, if Italian wine, unlike th got rut served for free at most other AI hotels in the Cape Verdes, Definitely worth going back for, if you do not mind wall to wall muzak around the pool area. Blessfully the restaurant and beach are both quieter. It is offerred by Soltropico and Cape Verde Jetaway as a package from the UK, Much preferable to the Thomson Riu, in my opinion.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JamesEnsor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2007

Just returned from a two week stay at the Farol. It was a bit noisy, generated by the animation team. They were enthusiastic and Italian but seemed to be appreciated by the Italian guests and had no problem in getting them involved, good family fun really. We didn't try and get involved but I'm sure we would have been made welcome. They organise a dance competition in the piano bar at around 9pm, this lasts until 10pm then nearly everyone returns to their rooms leaving only a few couples in the bar. Some of the animation team did make a genuine effort to talk to us in English and asked if we were enjoying our stay. There were one other British couple staying at the hotel and they described it as an Italian Hi-Di-Hi, which describes it quite well.

If the noise became too much then the beach was quieter and roomy. It was nearly always breezy, although on two or three occasions it could have been described as windy, it kept the windsufers and kite-surfers happy though. The sea has strong currents and the red flag was regularly out advising you to stay out of it. The sand is very fine and the dry stuff was hard work to walk on but nearer to the sea it was a pleasant walk, Westerly towards the Riu hotels or Easterly towards Santa Maria town.

Santa Maria town, and Sal itself, does not have much to see really, so we were glad we went on excursions. We went to Santiago, Fogo and on the Fun Quads, all were worthwhile but a little expensive. Be prepared for a 5.5% surcharge for credit cards.

The hotel reception were very helpful with a couple of air con related problems, resolving them promptly, both around 9pm in the evening. They did have a couple of staff who could speak reasonable english. On occasions ordering coffee was a bit tricky but "duo cappoccino por favore" would suffice.

The food catered for all tastes but I was regularly dissappointed to find that my first choice was cold, I simply went back and got something else but this was a bit wasteful, especially in a country where alot of people only scrape a living.

The maids, reception, buffet staff and bar staff all must be commended on their hard work and friendliness. The rooms were clean and tidy, no dishes were lying around for long and they all had a friendly smile for you, even when they realised you are English.

If your room number is between 300-400 you will be on the East side of the hotel, these are adjacent to the Hotel Criola. We twice encountered fairly loud music from there until 4am and one night there was a dreadful act on, very loud, until 2am. So be prepared for the possibility of noise from there.

There is a tremendous amount of development in Santa Maria and wherever you go outside the hotel you cannot avoid it, but if you stay in the hotel or on the beach West of the jetty then you are not affected in any way.

On the whole we are glad we went to Cape Verde, the price of the excursions made it a costly holiday but an interesting one. Two weeks without the excursions would have been a little boring.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank gtsankey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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