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“Good value but could do with a little tlc.”

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Crioula Club Hotel & Resort
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Bolton, Lancs
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Good value but could do with a little tlc.”
Reviewed October 8, 2009

On an excellent beach with a good size pool. The food was excellent and the staff, with 1 exception, were very friendly. The hotel caters mainly for Italian guests with some Brits and Germans, but that is not really a problem. The beach is not really suitable for young children as the waves are quite strong and there is also a fairly strong current.
The town of Santa Maria is about 20 minutes walk along the beach.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bluemoon-Bolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Telford
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2009

On first impressions the complex looked good but the whole place needed some touching up and repairing. Cracked and loose tiles around the pool area, toilets not working - that sort of thing.
The standard of food we found quite high and there was always something to suit most tastes but vegetarians were not very well catered for. Unfortunately many holidays from the UK are Thursday to Thursday and the only day you can get a lobster is...Thursday. Great but you must give 24 hours notice that you want a lobster.
Thank you to the person that advised to take a bottle of your favourite spitits as the all inclisive fare is awful. Small glasses of weak, tasteless fizzy beer, undrinkable white wine and awful red plus a doubtful wiskey are all that are available. You can buy cocktails and known brands of drinks but, like everything on the island, they are quite expensive. On the plus side the coffee is great
The pool is salt water and to help purify they add...more salt so can be difficult to swim in and very hard on the eyes especially as the wind is quite strong and whips the surface up. The pool was hardly used and mostly empty during our stay. The beach is very clean and litter free but it was mostly too rough to get anywhere near the sea
The animation team tried hard and as it is an Italian resort the entertainment is aimed at them. There was no bar in the entertainment area and not worth taking one with us.The bar staff with one or two exceptions were surley and not very pleasant..
A walk into town is a must but do not expect much other than overpriced wooden African style ornaments. Can't say we saw any giraffes or elephants on the island but there were plenty o carvings on sale. Beware the friendly people starting to walk with you, they are trying to get you into their shop. There was even one guy who said his baby had been born that day and wanted a conribution for a gift of gold. He used the same story about his baby 3 days running.
The rooms were well furnished and comfortable with enough space. The hot water was a liitle irregular so showering was by chance of being quite cold.
Although this review seems rather on the down side we did have a reasonably good time but the wind made it chilly out of the sun and we were bored after 4 days. Plenty of building work going on on the island so there may be more to do in a few years time

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Telfordtwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Santa Maria hotels

blackpool, england
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2009

the wind never stops blowing on sal. great for wind surfers. the place is safe and very quiet the island is barren and very little to see. but if you just want the sun and peace and quiet its got lots of that. the hotel food is quite good but best to eat early as best food soon goes and is not replenished. all inclusive drinks very limited. i cant complain about the staff , hotel or the holiday but dont expect to walk out to lots of nice bars . there are a few but drink and food is very expensive as everything is imported. a basic meal is about £10 and lobster £35. small bottle beer £1.20.Deep sea fishing trip £150 for half day take your own food and drink. but plenty of fish so was worth it. lots of people got sun burn on first day trust me you will burn if you dont use blocker.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank catBlackpool_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2009

Nice hotel, nice place but there are things you should know to help you when you are there. Firstly the all-inclusive package. You do not get bottled water, this will cost you 3 euros at the hotel. Water is available at both bars and in the restaurant in small cups and is purified and fine to drink. You cannot take your own bottles and fill them as this is not allowed.
The drinks package allowed is beer, white wine, red wine, whisky, local grog (rum) and one other spirit which I think was vodka, everything else alcoholic like brandy and gin you pay for. You have to pay for cocktails also. Be very careful if you order a spirit with a mixer as you will be charged for both of them, order the spirit separate to the mixer and you will be charged just for that usually around 5 euros per spirit.
There is no shop at the complex to buy small things and once again you will have to walk to the main town at 30 minutes walk if you want anything. Anything imported by the way will cost you an arm and a leg, a friend we met at the hotel needed some high factor suncream and was charged 25 euros for a small bottle. You are not advised to walk out at night as there is no street lighting. The place itself we found to be very safe so if you want to go out for a walk in the evening you will have to take a torch.
You will get a large bottle of water in your fridge in the room on arrival which is free but there is no other drinks in the fridge. In your room if you are English you will be able to get BBC World News as the only English channel with a couple of late night stations showing things like CSI in English with subtitles.
There is no charge for the safe key and for the remote for the television. There are beach towels available free of charge which you can change three times a week. If you loose a towel you will be charged 10 euros.
Clothes to wear: when we stayed it was very windy and this turns to a cool wind in the evening. The sun is very deceptive during the day and we found that we got burned very quickly if we did not apply sunscreen. It gets very warm in the daytime so take your normal sunwear. The Italians at the hotel (of which there are many) obviously have been briefed better than the British and took light coats, long sleeved shirts and jumpers with them for the evening. Once the sun starts going down say around 4pm some cloud comes over and you will need to put on a t-shirt as it does feel a bit chilly. In the evening my wife found having a cardigan a must to cover up bare arms so please make sure you pack these and you will be fine. It is by no means freezing but it can feel chilly because of the wind.
This hotel is run by Italians and I would say that 80% of the clientele are from Italy. This was fine apart from the entertainment which was in Italian five nights of the week. The other two were local dancers, tom tom drummers and kung fu artistes. The staff speak a little English and you will find that you get by fine.
The food in the place was fine, we were very apprehensive about getting diarrhoea and were very cautious but we can honestly say that now having had a go at everything including salads and ice in our drinks that we were both fine all week. They tell you to clean your teeth with bottled water. If you like Italian food you will be okay, there is a main area in the middle of the restaurant that serves two meat based hot dishes on one side and on the other there will be two fish based dishes. We found that if we did not get there within half an hour of opening that things started to run out and were not replenished and that some of the food was then only lukewarm, but overall it was good.
The swimming pool is large and has seawater in it. I found it difficult to swim in because of the salt content which makes you float higher than normal. The water is pretty cold and not many people used this facility. The sea is the same, it might say in the brochure that it is 24 degrees - it does not feel like it!
You can change money at the hotel from English to the local currency. We found though that everyone excepted the Euro so we did not bother. You can only use Visa at a small amount of places. I did see someone at the airport using a debit card though.
If you do the Island tour you will be charged 3.50 euros to enter the salt mine, this is not included in your tour price and we were not told about this. The tour was good in our opinion.
All inclusive is from 08:00 in the main bar, 10:00 at the pool bar till 18:00 and the main bar closes at midnight. That is then it, you are herded outside and you will not be able to get any more drinks even if you want to pay for them.
Other tips: there are only two shops and one cafe at the airport when you leave. The duty free is not exactly cheap with cigarettes at around 25 euros for 200. T-shirts are around the same price.
So what did we think? The hotel was nice, well maintained and the staff overall were very friendly apart from the pool bar where they did not seem to want to serve anyone. The food was good, entertainment pretty poor but it is the animacion team that do this so they try their best. The sunbeds are plastic and have no soft cover on them so are pretty uncomfortable (some people took the two spare blankets that are in your room down to the beds to give them something soft to lie on). The beds are all on fine sand and we found that as usual this gets everywhere.
This hotel does what it says on the can but does not go the extra mile to ensure it gets a five star review from me. Most people were happy with the place, it just could have been that bit better if they tried a little harder.
I must point out that when we went to this hotel we had a good time and that our views will not necessarily be the same as yours. You could however do a lot worse than this hotel as we heard from people who were staying at the giant Riu hotel up the road.
Oh, by the way when we were there we had no problems with mosquitoes, it is too dry and windy for them but we heard that they are there in the rainy season. So nice and warm in the day, coolish at night and nothing biting you at night, can't be bad.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Peugeotman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2009

The hotel crioula was a definite find, especially when we drove past the monolith of the 1000+ room Thomson / Rui hotel down the road.

Its a five star hotel by Cape Verde standards, which is slightly different to US / UK expectations in terms of rooms, but had everything else you needed.

The complex was roomy and features a very large pool surrounded by sunbathing areas and small sports areas (think boules, beach volley ball etc) to the sides. It has 2 bars (one by the pool) and a large all inclusive restaurant, which is predominantly Italian. Given that 80% of the goods on the island are imported we thought the choice of food was excellent. It also has a small gym, a hairdresser, tv room and spa and kids club

The rooms are spacious and have separate bathrooms, toiletries, safe, hairdryer, mini bar etc in them and are cleaned daily.

The resort is predominately Italian, so don't go if you want a full english breakfast / pints at 8am type of place (which is one of the reasons we chose it) As a result not all the staff speak brilliant English, but enough to get by, and this also includes the entertainment team who will try and entice everyone into the aqua classes / nightly shows etc!

The hotel is straight onto the beach, and its about a 15 min walk into Santa Maria from there. The beaches are fantastic, and more so if you want to learn kite or windsurfing as there are plenty of places that give lessons around the hotel.

One thing to watch out for - especially at the moment with the £ - euro exchange rate - is the price of most things, even in town, is eye watering. Anything you think you may need such as sun cream, shower gel, flipflops etc, try and remember as it'll cost you in the region of 9, 5 and 15 euros respectively! This is a real shame (and again, we were told its mainly down to the cost of importing things) as it reduces the incentive to spend money outside of the resort.

Top tip if you're staying at the crioula is to buy bottles of water, coke, etc in santa maria as it's about 1/2 the price the hotel charges (it doesn't charge for drinks by the glass, only by the bottle) Also - if you drink spirits, buy some in duty free on the way out as its much cheaper

The island is small (about 6000 people, mostly geared to working with tourism) so you should go expecting that there won't be a massive amount of stuff to do, even if you hire a car. This, plus the fact its a developing country, seemed to surprise / disappoint a few people we came across, but it wasn't an issue for u, plus everyone was really friendly

To sum up - The hotel was great, the beaches on the island were fantastic and the people were great - it's a shame to be home!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank hb77London_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2009

Having read various reviews before departing for my holiday, I have to say I wondered whether we had made the right decision. However, it was a break in the sun with family and surely a holiday is what you make it!!!

The island was no surprise, we had been told it was similar to Barbados 15 years ago and it was......a nice change to all the other over-touristy places!

The hotel had received a recent face lift with a new grand entrance/reception and we were checked in immediately.

The rooms (while not UK equivalent 5 star) were presentable, clean and ample space. We had a first floor room with a balcony looking over the pool area and then onto the sea. There is a fridge in the room, however as the hotel is fully inclusive it isn't stocked - advise taking along something from duty free on your way out!

The pool area was spacious and always plenty of empty loungers to occupy......hardly any towels put out at ridicious hours to reserve. The bar in the centre of the pool served cold drinks, coffees, local alcoholic spirits, beer and wine all of which were included. A short walking distance from the pool / garden area is the beach where the hotel has more loungers for guest's use.

Having stayed at fully inclusive hotels before, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection/quality of food available at all sittings. Majority of dishes were Italian influenced and very tasty. There was also endless house wine and beer available. A previous reviewer did mention that there were certain dishes that were dished up for you, however, this doesn't mean you end up with small portions, the chefs will keep piling up your plate until you tell them otherwise! The only thing to concern yourself with, is how many pounds you're piling on with all this fabulous food available at three sittings a day!!!

But the best bit until last!! The staff!! Kiki, Alex and the rest of the team, they made our holiday. They worked endlessly through the week making everyone shriek with laughter from breakfast right until the last man stood at the end of the night. Thank you to you all and hope to see you soon........we'll definitely be back!

Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank NadineMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2009

I was a little aprehensive having looked at the reviews after booking but was very pleasantly surprised.

The first thing to explain is that the hotel is run for Italians by a lot of Italians and if you dislike being in the minority (Brits) then this hotel is not for you. I was one of only 5 Brits in the hotel amongst several hundred Italians.

This has several advantages:-
1.The food was typical Italian and probably the best hotel food I have ever had.
2. I could not understand what the people around me were saying so I did not have to listen to the constant whine of British holiday makers
3. The standard of dress was excellent.

The accommadation was of a reasonable standard probably lower 4/upper 3 star UK but what was expected of the location.

A pleasant pool area with enough beds and it's own beach with beds and supervision.

My only reluctance is regarding Sal/Santa Maria in that there is a lot of development going on (or at least started) and the environment reflects this and the infrastructure has certainly not kept pace. This would not be a problem if you did not stray too far from the hotel.

  • Liked — Food
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Buster_Bob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crioula Club Hotel & Resort

Property: Crioula Club Hotel & Resort
Address: C.p. 45, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#11 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Crioula Club Hotel & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 244
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in June 2000 with the aim to reach to Italian market demand, begins to extend to other European markets in 2007, arousing the interest of many TO, by its location, rooms particularity (large and well distributed), kitchen and general services. In 2014, after a partnership with Thomas Cook Group, associated with the brand smartline, the hotel started a deep restructuring process, increasing as well its capacity. All services are covered, since, restaurants, bars, rooms, pool, reception, anphitheatre, much of which is already completed. A new face of the smartline Crioula will be presented from November 2014, and is already perceptible, which also includes more beverage offers in AI, and more options for cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crioula Hotel Santa Maria
Crioula Santa Maria
Crioula Club Hotel & Resort Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria

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