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“An escape from "All Inclusive"”
Review of Odjo d'agua Hotel

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Odjo d'agua Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2011

Myself and a friend stayed at Odjo d'Agua at the end of May '11 for a week. My idea of hell is an all inclusive resort and so we were looking for something with a bit of character and charm even if it meant not having 5* luxury. The Odjo d'Agua Hotel was perfect. Set on the each of a cove with its own private beach this hotel is small and relaxed offering an escape from the larger, all mod con laden resorts further up the beach. The hotel was very quite when we arrived with only a few people scattered around and this was great. We felt as if we had the whole resort to ourselves. Towards the end of the week a few more couples had arrived but even still most of the time the pool was empty or the beach was quite. People tended to leave the hotel for the day and come back in the evening. This hotel is very couple/adult friendly and that was great for me as I didn't have to worry about screaming children or noisy kids clubs. The hotel has a very relaxed feel and the staff, although very attentive and helpful when asked, don't intrude on that.

The layout of the hotel means most of the bedrooms surround a central courtyard and all of them either have a patio or balcony complete with chairs and a hammock, which was used frequently when all I wanted to do was relax with a beer and a book. The rooms are simple yet comfortable and they were always very clean and well equipped with clean towels etc. The housemaid was great at coming back to clean our room if we had slept in and was always on hand to fill the mini bar. The TV only had one English speaking channel but then who comes on holiday to watch TV anyway.

The hotel itself has a gorgeous pool area with sun loungers overlooking the beach and there was nothing more perfect than lying in the sunshine listening to the waves crashing on the shore. The beach is literally down a few steps and there are sunloungers available for a couple of euros a day. There is a small shop that serves cold drinks and ice creams and they can charge to the room if you do not have cash on you. There is also a small spa area on the beach where you can book in for massages and treatments through reception.

The hotel restaurant is lovely and has a terrace perched above the sea where you can sit at dusk with a cocktail and watch the sun go down. Perfect. The seafood is truly excellent, caught that day by the fishermen further down the beach. I ate what was described on the menu as "Africa Fish" and I am still not sure what sort of fish it was but it was beautiful. This restaurant is by far one of the most expensive places to eat in Santa Maria, so be warned but it is worth coming to if you can. It is extremely popular so book early. (Also the portions are often very big and tend not to come with sides so ask the staff when ordering.)

There are many good places to eat in Santa Maria. The food is often very simple but extremely tasty and I actually found the smaller cafes and restaurants that served the locals served the best and cheapest food. The is a small open air restaurant on the beach, a short walk from the hotel. It has live music/BBQ during the weekend and is always very popular. The beer is cheaper here than anywhere else we found in Santa Maria. There is also a great cafe further down on the beach which serves pizza and sandwiches and its sister cafe behind it and over the road has an ice cream parlour with Italian style ice cream. Delicious.

We did venture out to one of the 5* resorts for lunch during the week. The Morabeza has a very lovely beach front restaurant and serves a wide range of typically European dishes. This is great if you want to eat somewhere a little bit more upmarket but then you do pay for it.

The pricing in Santa Maria seems to vary from place to place. Often ice cream is more expensive than beer so always look at the prices first. Also in Cape Verde they accept Euros and Cape Verde Escudos (closed currency) Its worth keeping a track of the exchange rate as often vendors will give you change in Escudos even if you have paid with Euros and you may lose out. You can also use US Dollars in Sal too but I am not sure if everywhere takes them or if it's just the airport. Make sure you get some money from the airport on arrival as there are not that many ATMs in Santa Maria.

I spent the week doing little more than reading my book on the beach but if you are interested in water sports then Santa Maria has diving schools and the opportunity to go kite surfing, snorkelling and surfing as well as boat trips to the other islands. Sal is a very dry and arid island and so if you are looking for lush tropical forests or mountainous vistas it isn't the place for you. However what Sal does provide is an escape from the tourist resorts of the med. With its gorgeous sandy beaches, warm blue seas and ideal climate Sal in May was perfect. The temperature was about 28/29 degrees but it was dry with a refreshing light breeze. I imagine later on in the year Sal can get more humid.

I had a wonderful week at the Odjo d'Agua Hotel and if I come back to Santa Maria this is definitely where you'll find me.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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23  Thank tulip_1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 27, 2011

Odjo d'Agua is a very nice little hotel in a superb location in Santa Maria. In the spot of a former lighthouse, it's restaurant offers fantastic views and very tasty seafood. We stayed here for the last two nights of our hiking holiday which we spent mostly on Santo Antao island. It seems that most Sal hotels are all-inclusive mainstream places so we were looking for something nice and special. We were not disappointed. Our room had a lovely sea view and private balcony and was quite spacious. Everything was spotlessly clean and the staff were very friendly. If I had to spend time on Sal in passing as we did, I would definitely choose this hotel again.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank groovy_j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2011

I have just stayed at the Hotel Odjo D'Agua and had a wonderful holiday.Having dropped off at a few hotels enroute I was extremely pleased with our location.It really is the best located for Santa Maria,the fishing jetty and the shops /restaurants/bars in town.All within a 10 min walk.We stayed half board and thought the food choice was actually very good considering everything is imported.Fish lovers will be in heaven!Altogether a wonderfully relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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7  Thank Alandul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

We spent a week at Hotel Odjo d'Agua and loved it.

It is conveniently located, has an awesome restaurant, cute little beach and while the service might not always be the best, it was a lovely week.

Be stayed in a junior suite which was quite big and really clean. We had a 2nd floor room with a terrace and hammock, so nice.

The hotel also has a tiny outdoor spa at the beach where all the employees are so nice, prices OK and service excellent. What could be a better way to relax than having a massage by the beach?

The hotel restaurant is really good and for someone who lives in Finland, where the restaurant prices are really high, I feel that the prices are reasonable for the quality of food.. we had some of the best meals there! and when you add the spectacular view.. well.. I truly recommend!

I admit that it was a bit unconvenient to pay 2€ for the sunbed and shade / day but we didn't use the services at the beach every day and it's not that much money after all. We didnt use the pool much, we preferred the beach.

The prices in the minibar were very reasonable too, but we bought water from a nearby minimarket. Breakfast at the restaurant was OK, but for better value or more options I suggest going to Cafe Creole which is nearby and REALLY cheap, even the locals had breakfast there.

The hotel also has a good reception "library" where guests have left their books to be traded. Nice idea!

I strongly recommend this hotel to everyone, it's close to everything and we had a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Annemi83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We are not used to go to resorts, so I can hardly compare. But I guess it is not normal if you want to order a drink at the beach bar and the waiter is more interested in trying to pick up some girls than serving you. This did not happen once, but every time we went there. They always found a reason to complety ignore us.
There is a nice but rather small private beach, but watch out if you go into the water because there are sharp rocks under the surface. My toe got quite damaged by hitting one. And there is a 2 euro fee for the use of beachchairs and parasols, which I find unacceptable.
The rooms are nice and big with a porch. There is a minibar but the prices are very high.
The view from the restaurant is spectacular. We only ate there once and the food was allright, the service was very nice, but prices are rather high.
The pool area is rather dissapointing, it is very small and there is only room for about 10 to 15 people to ly there, wich is not enough for a hotel this size.
But what bothered me the most is that all prices do not include tax. I don't know if this is a general rule in these resorts, but we have been travelling Cabo Verde and we have NEVER had to pay tax on top of the marked prices.
We spend two weeks Islandhopping and rested here for 3 days, but I do not understand why people who just want a week of sun and beach come to Santa Maria or Cabo Verde anyway. You need a visum, life is rather expencive, there always is a strong wind which can be very chilly and there is not much to see on the beachisland Sal and Boa Vista.
But if you absolutely want to come to Santa Maria, this hotel might be a good choice because of its locating. If you are the type of person that wants to be pampered on a holyday, stay away as far as you can...

Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
3  Thank JobAntwerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2011

Easily the best place for dinner in Sal. The service was very good and the location fabulous. Our only complaints were the tepid water and noise on some nights from an adjacent bar. We really enjoyed our time in this hotel.
We were not impressed by Barracuda Tours who should be avoided.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank halsueskiing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2011

Arriving for a week in Sal my girlfriend & I had few preconceptions & were just hoping for a week of relaxation, sunshine & a warm welcome to this relatively new tourist destination.
The island itself was a little barren but not without its unique charm & besides the occasonaly overcast skyes & strong winds (though the hotel sheltered the wind) it was still beautiful, sunny & interesting enough to keep myself & my girlfriend happy for the week (any longer & I think we may have got quite bored).
The rooms were clean & the chambermaids did a reasonably good job, however due to oversized airvents & room design, mosquitos seemed to be able to hide or come in ready to feast on us to their hearts content throughout the night. Still itching!!
The staff at Odjo D'Agua were disappointingly unhelpful, disorganised & we were left with a feeling that we weren't welcome; although our money was!
Luckily our travel rep (Thomas Cook) was very helpful & provided us with all the info the hotel wouldn't.
I don't intend to complain too much, as the location, style, food & entertainment was well up to standard for a hotel of this type. My only real problems were with the staff & the non existant gym ( which was advertised in the brochure), again a little info from the staff to inform us that the gym was under renovation may have been appreciated.
The bars & resteraunts within walking distance were generally good, with some being fantastic (though a little pricey). As mentioned in a previous review the Tam Tam Bar owned by an Irish man was very welcoming & busy as the owner seemed, he still found it no problem to help & advise us with whatever we asked about. So please pay him a visit if you go.
In summary - Sal great for a short stay but too little to see/do unless you are into kitesurfing or dont plan on leaving the beach.
Hotel Odjo D'Agua - Great location, good food, ok rooms & awful service. Watch out for the 'added taxes' for using the mini bar & we weren't impressed by the scam involving the security guard & the bus to the airport that left without us!!!
However do visit Fogo - It's well worth it even if it is expensive & relax but keep an eye on some people.
5\10

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Shugs666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Odjo d'agua Hotel

Address: Zona do Farolinho, CP 71 | Ilha do Sal, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 4111, Cape Verde
Phone Number:
Location: Cape Verde > Ilha do Sal > Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Santa Maria
#7 Romantic Hotel in Santa Maria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Maria
#9 Spa Hotel in Santa Maria
Price Range: $114 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Odjo d'agua Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built on a small promontory where the Vera Cruz Lighthouse is located, the hotel is partially built over the sea. From the hotel restaurant you can enjoy the stunning overlooking of Santa Maria Bay. We offer a warm welcome to our clientele, who can relax in a quiet, intimate and family atmosphere while enjoying the surrounding beauty of the ocean and Santa Maria beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Odjo D'agua Hotel Cape Verde/Ilha Do Sal - Santa Maria
Hotel Odjo d Agua

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