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“The staff made the difference, a bit outdated”
Review of VOI Vila do Farol

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VOI Vila do Farol
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Stay from the 15th of January until 29th.

The cottage is spacious and up to three person, you can have a king + single or three singles bed. Bathroom is spacious but overall outdated. We had an issue with the hot water and it was promptly fixed.
Plenty of space outside the cottage and every kiter I saw had all the gears outside the cottage and nothing disappear in 15 days. You can easily hang all day your gear and your clothes cause the resort is quite safe and there is security all around all day and night.
The food was great and in two weeks we saw two different rounds of recipes. Unfortunately during the second week the weather wasn't really nice and didn't allow the fishermen to find good stuff but the menu was great anyway, with always Italian recipes. I also have some allergy and the Italian chef was always kind and available. The bar upstairs the hall has a great espresso and cappuccino and please tip the bartenders cause they are really nice people.
The entertainers are majorly for Italians, we had some English speaking tourists and they were complaining about the lack of knowledge of English. Well, it's a Bravo Club, Italian resort, so what would you expect? The staff was great and funny and able to entertain you during the whole day, if you spend the time in the swimming pool or if you spend time around the resort. While I was kitesurfing they were taking care of my mother and she didn't get bored at all.
In the evening they offer great shows and funny "happy hours", but the major of the customers are Italians and that's the major language spoken in the resort and during the shows.
The kite spot is nice, you can kite outside of the resort BUT the shorebreak is very high and it's not a spot for beginners. With 5 euro the "taxi-pickups" outside the resort can bring up to 4 kiters to kite-beach, a great spot and the one where everybody goes in Sal.
If you like waves riding and want to see some good waves riders you can walk up to Punta Preta from the Bravo resort. It's a 15 minutes walk with your gear. I prefer this spot cause it was less crowded. Also at the top of Santa Maria you can spot some good riders.

Overall a nice stay, nice staff, good service and great kitesurf. I give 4 cause the infrastructure is outdated and this ruins a bit the great job done by the Bravo staff.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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6  Thank raffaeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 5, 2013

Nice hotel. Simple but clean rooms. Tv, refidgerator and AC. But my parentes Rom undortunately had a mushy smell.. Nice pool area with a saltvatten pool. Al inclusive with a good selection of food, a little bit boring after 14 days thoug.. A little bit underspiced food sometimes but fresh and a LOT of fruit and desserts. My mom, who doses not walk that well, had some problem to reach the water at the beach, its is a quite far walk from the pool to the sea and you have to go in soft sand. Would return to Vila do farol again if it was not for the fact it is an all italian hotel, the amusement staff is all italian and they scream and shout, in italian, all day long. All activities is in italian and a LOT of the music by the pool is in italian (the volume is too loud to..). A good thing we did not have have any children with us, they would have been disapointed in not being able to participate in the activities because they were all explained in italian only. All and all, nice hotel, good food, clean and tidy but VERY Italian..

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Aasa37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

I stayed in Vila do Farol from 28/08/13 to 04/09/13. First of all I must say that the holiday went very well, also thanks at all staff and service offered by village. The Food was good and there was many choice of meals. The solution all inclusive from this point of view offer much. Food and drinks don't lack!
The animation is polite and keep the guests commitment for all day. Games and shows are present everyday. The structure is generally good with a little negative note on the rooms. They are a bit old and they feel the weight of the years. Don't is the news find out the insects inside the room also if you have let all closed! If I can give a tip, I suggest to restructure the rooms. However it was clean. The village is enough near the beach, it build in front of the sea but to going by the sea you need to cross about 200 meters of beach. I surely can say that Vila do Farol is to try and especially you have to going to SAL island because is nice place.
Now I don't know if there is the only possibility to do one week or two week but would nice to do holiday packages of ten days.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Sh4rk82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Conclution first: if you don't understand the Italian language, it is lot less worth visiting this hotel.
The hotel facility it self is ok. It is fairly up to date maintained, the staff is polite, the food is great and plenty (note: much fish though), the rooms is clean and the all-inclusive system works well. It is short distance to the beach, and 10 minute easy walk to the city of Santa Maria either by the road or along the beach. The hotel pool is saltwater, which was a bit surprise, but it's ok.
A bit of a drawback is that the rooms are not very sound insulated. You can fairly easy listen to conversations in neighbor apartments, which makes everything a bit quaint when the neighbours is doing their highly private affairs.
The big reason for not giving this hotel a good score is that all entertainment including the animation team is in Italian only. The bar pianist is singing dubbed songs and the Bravo animation team is sticking to their Italians rule the world regime, forcing everybody to participate in the nonsense at all places at all times. By all means, they are nice and polite and they speak english with you if you talks with them one-to-one, but for the rest of the stay you could as well have been deaf, actually it would probably have been better that way.
I also don't understand why the childrens show starts as late as at 10pm, but as long as they don't understand anything anyway it doesn't matter.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
5  Thank Tessem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daniele C, Direttore generale at VOI Vila do Farol, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Dear Tessem,

thank you for your time writing about the AW Bravo Vila do Farol.
The feedback of our guests is very important for us because we can understand how our service is perceived.

Independently of the nationality, the entertainement team and all our hotel staff always try to involve all our guests.
The show time in the theater at 10 pm is not only for the children but for all the people.
We never had any complaints about it.

Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

The hotel is generaly good. Based on wood bungalows with no accoustic protection. If your neighbour speaks normally you'll ear it! The food is very good and abundant! The beach and swimiming pool are like you see in the brochures.
Now the bad part, this is an Hotel aimed for Italians, if you come from every other country, chosse another Hotel. You can think that this is normal but try to take part of the animations and soon you will see that they put you apart.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank jdiogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daniele C, Direttore generale at VOI Vila do Farol, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Dear jdiogo,

thank you for your time writing about the AW Bravo Vila do Farol.
The feedback of our guests is very important for us because we can understand how our service is perceived.

We read very carefully what you wrote about the Hotel and we are really sorry that you didn't like our entertainement team.
Our staff indeed is Italian but they really try to involve all the guests, regardless of the nationality.

We are happy that you enjoyed our food and that overall your holiday went well.

Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I would have rated this hotel a tad bit higher, BUT for the entirely awful experience I had with the staff on duty upon returning to my hotel room one night!

I found it highly offensive and discriminatory that this man followed me all the way to my hotel room, in order to stop me and find out what my business was in the hotel!!!

I was literally at my door and although my wrist band was not visible, he should have waited to see if I actually had a KEY to get into my room to verify I was an actual guest, out of respect for guests or ANYONE for that matter.

I had stayed at this hotel for two days already, and even if he did not immediately recognize me, due process should have been CUSTOMER FIRST, rather than trying to harass me as a young female.

The next morning they didn't even have the courtesy to offer a proper apology, the manager included! The offending member of staff continued to be insolent, and when my boyfriend stepped into the matter they were rude to him too!

It was a shame that we had already paid for our full stay in advance as my first instinct was to move to a different hotel. Looking back we should have done so - it would have made the overall trip a much better experience.

I am really sorry to give this hotel such a poor rating as the food and the theatre presentation were really good, but I am sorry to say that the horrible staff service has warranted this poor review.

Don't let this turn you down from Sal, it is a beautiful island with lovely people, and alot to do. We rented bicycles and rode around the island, as well as had a tour on quad bikes.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SamanthaWaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daniele C, Direttore generale at VOI Vila do Farol, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2013

For us, thanks to the guests who have entrusted us with the success of their holiday also means accepting their criticism carefully.

We are sincerely sorry for what happened during your stay and that only now, after a year, you have reported the problem.
But I hope you understand that since our club is an all inclusive one, barrier-free and completely open, the only way for our staff to recognize and avoid external guests from entering illegally inside, is the bracelet that we give you the day of your arrival.
For this reason, our security, if has some doubts, makes its controls.
This does not mean that it can be rude and, in that case, it is legitimate to complain and report it to the local representative of the tour operator competence, or, if not possible, directly to the management.
Since I was for many years the director of the hotel and being present during your stay, I guarantee I have not received information about what happened, because in that case, I would have personally made my excuses and tried in every way to make us forgive.

Sincerely.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We came here to spend the Xmas time of 2012, stayed 11 days in total.
The Vila Do Farol is a hotel of bungalows located close to the center of town (20 minutes walk on the streets or 30 mins on the beach) on a huge parcel. It is directly located on the beach and offers all inclusive service from 8 am to 12 pm.
Meals are served 3 times a day in the restaurant and during lunchtime in the Snack Bar (directly on the beach). It also has a great swimming pool plus a Pool Bar offering drinks from 9 am to 6 pm. The Lobby Bar in the main building is open from 8 am to 12 pm with live music each night.
The meals are offered on buffet basis, you are eating as much as you require. For each meal fruits and several types of sweets are served. As the hotel is owned by Italians, you can always find different types pasta and pizza in the menu. Each Saturday night Cape Verdean dishes are served and the dinner is followed by a performance of Cape Verdean dances in the theatre.
Within the all inclusive basis you are getting the non-alcoholic and local alcoholic drinks included. They serve Cape Verdean beer (Strela), good quality wine (better than anywhere else), Cape Verdean rums and grog, plus many types of alcoholic beverages mainly from the Canary Islands. All the alcoholic drinks are quality ones, nobody ever complained about headaches caused by bad quality alcohol. The most popular drink is the gin-tonic made of Canarian gin, which is really good (and runs out almost every night in the lobby bar) :-)))
Although we were really satisfied with the place (except the thin walls....), there're two things I will never understand with regard to this hotel. First is that you are getting water upon your arrival which is never refilled. Water is always provided in the rooms in all inclusive hotels.
The other thing is: why other nationalities than Italians are allowed to stay here! The people of animation take only care of the Italians, other nationalities are not even informed about the details of the Xmas party! They are simply ignoring the people who are not Italians, which is more than strange. This statement is confirmed by the fact that consumer surveys exist only in Italian, so other nationalities are not being heard! :-(((
Except this behaviour, the quality of the hotel is very good and I would go back at any time to the Cape Verdean paradise.

Room Tip: Try to choose a bungalow far from the main building (live music every night in the lobby bar) and fr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Krisztina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VOI Vila do Farol

Address: Praia Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $145 - $224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — VOI Vila do Farol 3*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Sal Island, the VOI Vila do Farol resort lies about 1 km away from Santa Maria, the main town, only a 20-minute drive from the international airport. It is immersed in a large garden overlooking the stunning beach. VOI Vila do Farol resort features 236 rooms housed in one-storey bungalows set along lovely lanes in a vast garden. The main meals are buffet served in the restaurant located in the main building, while a snack bar near the beach, a bar by the pool and a lovely bar in the lounge complete the offer. The main building includes a welcoming lounge with a reception desk, a disco, many boutiques, an internet point with wi-fi system, a multi-purpose room and a TV sat lounge. Between the main building and the seafront, a free-form swimming pool lies with a children section, surrounded by ample solarium terraces, and a separate plunge pool. Shady shelters and sun beds free as long as available by the pool and by the beach and towels. The beach is certainly one the main attractions of Sal. A shoreline of dazzling white sand extends for kilometres, lapped by the crystal clear water of sea characterized by unique colours… a true paradise for nature lovers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aw Bravo Vila Do Farol Hotel Santa Maria
VOI Vila Do Farol Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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