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“Really lovely holiday”

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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Really lovely holiday”
Reviewed November 8, 2013

Not perfect but very very close.
Food excellent, not world class but well presented, great taste and good choice.
Staff are all really lovely and hotel facilities are excellent.
Rooms are alittle 'old hat' but nice enough and perfect as you wont be in the room much. Our 3rd bed for our 12yr old son was alittle small, so we asked for a bigger bed and Thomson moved us to a bigger room with a sea view (cant be bad can it !)
Sun and wind. The wind makes this the most pleasant climate we have stayed in (not as fierce as Egypt,Turkey,Cyprus etc etc). We all loved it.
Sea. Great fun with big waves and crashing surf - teens will love it buy non swimmers would be scared.
Overall we loved our 2weeks here. No hesitation in recommending and we would love to go back ourselves.

Room Tip: Block 5 is closest to beach (but dont think you can really go that wrong)
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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4 Thank Martin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

My wife myself and our two friends stayed at the riu funana between the16th to31st of october 2013 and had a fantastic time,we were in block 2 which was central for the restaraunt,,reception,pool and beach so a very good spot. The rooms are more than adaquate the showers red hot anytime you needed them and the towels and sheets changed every day, the rooms were spotless and always tidy.The staff from the maids to the management were always pleasant and attentive,with special thanks to Kimber and Nelson at the reception bar area and Roger at the pool bar.for making our holiday a great experience.The grounds of the hotel were a pleasure to walk around the gardeners and the cleaning staff work so hard to keep things tidy,the pool area and swim up bar are great with alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails,rum vodka beer etc pool cleaned every morning.The food was excellent with plenty of choice how people can say its repetitive i do not know this was a good selection for an all inclusive,we also ate in the mandalay restraunt twice which was excellent and the grill which wasin the pool snack bar in the evening which was exactly what it says on the tin.whilst on the subject of the pool snack bar, during the day this had agreat choice of food from burgers and toasties etc to salads and sweets.the beach was beautiful white sand big waves wonderful to watch yes the red flag was out a few times but you could swim at all other times.dont forget to check out the turtle hatchery as you go onto the beach.Ok now if you like tours forget the thomson one around the island at 41euros check out Gus and Marley who charge 25 euros each,situated just before you step down onto the beach, there are other people there but we had a fantastic tour with Gus who was our guide on the day,we visited a beach,saw the blue eye the harbour and town, went into a school(please take pencils pens etc) .saw the mirage in the desert, floated in a fantastic salt lake, ate in a really good restraunt and the bill was only 34 euros for two including drinks and visited a shanty town which will break your heart we were asked to take some fruit with us so we took a carrier bag full,believe me it wasnt enough,if you do go on this tour take some more fruit for me! This tour is an all day trip you are never rushed, Gus was full of interesting information and i cant recomend this tour more highly also there was a photographer called jay with us all day who took some fantastic natural shots of us all put on dvd and given to you before the tour ended if you wanted them cost 20euros well worth it.check out the beach party every week,we didnt watch much of the entertainment but what we did see some was good some was average,karaoke was fun in the barracuda bar twice a week,if i had one criticism of this hotel it would be the daytime games, dont get me wrong the staff all work very hard especially Kiki around the pool but it wasnt advertised well enough only on boards around the restraunt and nowhere near where the games actually happened (Riu management please take note)that was our only gripe and a very minor one at that. This is a great location, fantastic weather 33 degrees most of the time, please make sure you use a high factor lotion as it is genuinly hot.have fun no stress i want to go back! Im missing it already.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Mike D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

we stayed here for two weeks in oct.Cant fault the place staff always there,clean rooms an spotless.the shows weren't brilliant but watchable.tried three out of four resturants and the food was good.pool was clean and the gardens.had two trips of the beach,were cheaper and you saw more as they were local.going into town was ok,get a little hassle from the locals but there are plenty of cabs overall a lovely hotel but two weeks could be too much unless you sunbed all week or sit on the beach which is also very nice with plenty of beds

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jwl66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

After a thoroughly enjoyable holiday at Easter with my husband and 11 year old daughter at the Riu Touareg in Boa Vista, we decided to try a different island for October half term. So we picked the Riu Funana in Sal and booked what we thought was an identical holiday.
We couldn't have been more wrong!
We booked a family room however this was much smaller than at the Touareg, the furnishings are very tired the room smelt musty, there was lots of cracked tiles which had just been filled with grout dust handing from lamp shades broken drawer runners and my daughter was on a camp bed. The first night in the room none of us got much sleep listening to cockroaches
I spoke with the Thompson rep in the morning who immediately made arrangements to move to a larger cleaner room on the second floor
When we moved the room was slightly better although still smelt musty and was no bigger
I went to reception to speak to the manager and was informed the rooms need to be better in Boa Vista because there is no where else to go! And although we had paid £800 for my daughter they would not change the camp bed for a single bed. This left a very bad taste in my mouth
We found 95% of the staff never smiled or engaged in any kind if conversation
The sun beds were all spoken for by 7.30am
The buffet restaurant food was very repetitive and bland
Internet is very expensive through the hotel
This hotel claims to be a 5T rating I wouldn't give it more than a 3T and that is being generous
If you want to try Cape Verde a Islands strongly recommend Boa Vista Riu Touareg

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ashleigh B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

This was our first experience of this region. A two week vacation from the 6th of June. Flying out of Gatwick we arrived on the Island of Sal around 6pm. First impression was the amount of thick low cloud for miles even prior to landing. This appeared to be the case every morning until around 1030. And then it would all roll back in around 4-30 in the afternoon. This would make it feel rather chilly with the wind, so meant a early departure from either the beach or pool.
We stayed at The Hotel Riu Funana which is situated adjoining its sister Hotel The Riu Garopa, Santa Maria.
Both of the hotels are spotlessly clean and well maintained. Both have their own reception areas pools, bars and restaurants along with some shared facilities including the main entertainment stage. Food at all venues was very good. Staff were friendly and attentive and drinks were readily available, some of which you are able to help yourself.
Rooms are large and comfortable. (Pack your own hair dryer) Holiday hint !
There is entertainment through out the day around the pools and on the beach, you can either join in, watch the fun or just lay back and relax. Main stage entertainment is provided by the resident team with guests. Many enjoyed the shows but don't expect the quality you get at Thomson Gold Hotels.
The beach is glorious soft golden sand. With a beach bar and water sports available. Beware the waves are very strong so on many occasions the sea is not suitable for children. Life guards from the Hotel are on duty on the beach throughout the day.
Beware their are beach sellers and you do have to pass some of these when walking to the beach. Don't be put off though as they are friendly and don't harass you. Trips are available from some of these sellers and those we spoke to said they were good.
Thomson reps on site were very good and knowledgeable. The walking trip to the village of Santa Maria was really enlightening. Stopping off for an ice cream and visiting a charity school for local children. Make your own way back.
During our stay we did do a half day trip on the quad bikes through Thomson. Highly recommended, we wish we had booked the full day version. Prepare to get covered in dust with huge grin factor.
In conclusion would we return, yes. Probably try one of the other islands next.
There isn't a lot to do on the Island which is small, baron and desolate.
Entertainment is hotel based, the people are lovely although we were a little disappointed with the weather, cloud as mentioned.

Room Tip: All very similar.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sniffers_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caerphilly, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Excellent food, spotless hotel and rooms, very friendly staff.

Note that Riu Garopa is on the same site and should be classed as the same hotel as the facilities are shared.

The four themed restaurants are great and can be used more than once, pre-book to use them. Asian, African, Cape Verdean (Mainly fish) & Grill. I would recommend the African, although the Asian was very good also.

The only beer available at the hotel and elsewhere on the island is Strela which is their local brew.

Pools are not crowded, however turn up late and finding a sunbed free could be tricky.
You do not need to take any towels as they are supplied in the room and also beach/pool towels are collected at the pool on the first day, you can exchange them as often as you like.

The beach area is better than the pool, golden sand with a hint of black volcanic sand.
Clear blue water which was warm. Some of the waves can be large and it can also be very breezy.

Our room had a safe (no charge or deposit for the key), a fridge, bottled water was replenished daily by the housekeeping staff. It does unfortunately lack tea and coffee making facilities.
There was a shower (no bath), toilet and sink.
The room had a fan and air conditioning which was quiet and didn't affect our sleep.

Wifi is available in the reception area and is quite expensive:
Single session, 15 minutes = 3 euros
Single session, 30 minutes = 5 euros
Single session, 60 minutes = 7 euros
Multiple sessions, 2 hours within 2 days = 14 euros
Multiple sessions, 5 hours within 7 days = 30 euros
Multiple sessions, 10 hours within 2 weeks = 50 euros
Multiple sessions, 24 hours within 2 weeks = 100 euros

Wifi is available in the bars and restaurants in Santa Maria but also a a charge, there is apparently one place where it is free but we couldn't find it.

Santa Maria is a fascinating place with lots of little shops that all sell the same tourist gifts.
Canvas paintings, wood carvings and shell/leather jewellery seem to be all on offer.
If you search other items such as clothing can be found but they are very expensive, remember, nothing is created on the island, everything is imported.

Taxis from the Riu to Santa Maria are fixed at 3 euros by day and 4 euros by night. To walk it takes about 25 minutes and the pavement is not the best.

Beware that the local people will hound you to go in their shop or market. If they persist just be firm. They are very friendly people and we did not feel intimidated or unsafe at any time.

I would definitely recommend the Funana or Garopa but personally I think a week would be enough. Unless you could sit around a pool or on the beach for days on end, there just isn't enough in the resort or on the island of Sal to captivate you for more than 7 days.

Room Tip: We asked for a quieter location, we were given room 5109 in block 5, this block of rooms is the fu...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

I visited this hotel in October for a week with my daughter. The rooms are very clean but quite mediocre. No bath robes and towels quite small. Although the toilet is in a room with a door, the shower and wash basin are not! So privacy could be an issue for some people. The food selection was extremely good and the service couldn't have been better. The pools were lovely and the beach was one of the best I have ever been on. All the drinks were exceptional- being able to help yourself to beer, wine and soft drinks was useful. Overall a lovely hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank surreyringer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde
Address: Cabocan Lote A2, A3, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde 4*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Situated on the island of Sal in the Cape Verde Islands * Main building and 2-story annexes * Situated on the beach front together with the ClubHotel Riu Funana * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 1.5 Km to Santa Maria * 15 km from the airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Funana Santa Maria
Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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