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“Highlight of the holiday”
Review of Mar Tranquilidade

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Mar Tranquilidade
Certificate of Excellence
Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Highlight of the holiday”
Reviewed March 2, 2014

We loved this accommodation. The owners Frank and Suzy are very friendly and made us feel welcome straight away. On Cape Verde we had our best meals here ! The beach is stunning and we loved the 2.5 hour drive with the 4wdr from Porto Novo to get there, but you just need to know it is a bit bumpy and dusty. If you can choose sit inside the car :)
We stayed 3 days.

Katinka, The Netherlands

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatinkaPuglia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

When you read this review I assume you are pretty much aware of what you can expect in Mar Tranquilidade (based on other user's review or on your travel guide). My girl-friend and I spent 5 days in this place and here is our very subjective opinion.

Things we liked:
- Delicious food (true for lunch and dinner - breakfast is nothing special)
- Taraffal is a very authentic place to visit, far away from standard touristic tracks
- Nice contact to the locals (e.g. I played ping-pong with the carpenter)
- Interesting and special natural environment (black sand beaches, impressive mountains)
- Breath-taking sun sets (all guest meet up at this occasion to drink some gratis Groque based drink)
- Very personal, friendly and professional diving schoon in Taraffal (David and team)

Things we did not like:
- Tarrafal is dirty: there is lots of rubish and animal droppings from chickens, pigs, ducks etc. also the fishermen gut their catch just in front of you at the beach
- There is not much to do in Taraffal (we were pretty bored after 3 days)
- Many BIG insects in your room (spiders, cockroaches etc.) but the hosts refuse to do anything against this because they consider this situation as natural
- Hosts are not really helpful - for instance they refuse to help you arranging your trip back to Porto Novo
- Hosts tell you that mobile phones don't work and that there would be no WIFI but in fact this is not true (which we considered as somehow weird)
- The 2,5h trip to Tarrafal over the bad road is pretty exhausting and considring the above not worth it

All together we would not go to Tarrafal again and rather spent more time in the area of Paul which we liked a lot.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Pattt_Rick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2013

Tarrafal is remote. It takes 2h30 and a 4 wheel drive to get there from Porto Novo and there is a reason for this: only 1h is on a paved road and 1h30 is on a sandy & rocky path. Santo Antao is a poor island in an African country. It is NOT Europe.
This means that you cannot have all the comfort and luxury in Tarrafal that you may wish. And it also means that the place is quiet which is what we liked.
When I saw the beautiful and confortable rooms that Franck & Susi have built, tasted the incredible dinner buffet, I was really impressed and kept thinking of how tough it must have been to bring everything here.
We had a very large and cute room with 2 beds. It had one door at the back leading to a nice terrace in the trees. The bathroom was simple but be warned, there is no warm water (and the water was very cold...). I wonder why as it seems that a large tank in the sun would get the water warm fairly quickly here.
There isn't electricity all the time, so don't forget to take a flashlight, but frankly this didn't bother us at all. We wanted to relax and rest so we were completely fine with having an early dinner (19h) and going to bed early (electricity is out at 22h or 23h I can't remember). But, just like the cold water, you have to be aware of this when going there.
It was really nice to have a light lunch available during several hours and then a dinner with all the guests together. It was a nice atmosphere.
As a summary, this place is not for everyone and it's just fine this way. I wouldn't mind going back.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris77CH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sachseln, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

... to the end of the world. Two weeks in the small village of Tarrafal with its rugged beauty. No network coverage, tv's or radio's. No traffic. Peaceful days! Mar Tranquilidade gave us shelter and satisfied all our needs. Good sleep, good food (local supplies of fish, vegi and fruits) and, not to forget, a small choice of fine white wines and excellent grogue. Lobo's (Wolfgang, the Manager) professionality, kindness and sense of humor turned it into paradise. Heartfelt thanks!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alice_PasserBy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

WIthout a doubt a truly wonderful place. It takes quiet a trip to get to Tarrafal, but it's the kind of place you might never want to leave. We had a simple but nice room with view on the ocean. Wolfgang (or 'Lobo') was a wonderful host and became a friend by the time we left. It's the perfect place to unwind, swim, snorkel, fish, eat, read and sleep. Highly recommendable if you are looking for an authentic experience of Cape Verde and if you want to get away from the hassle of daily life.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vincent_Brux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Don't be put off by the two hour aluguer trip to get there - the journey is really scenic - but it is worth paying extra to sit inside the car. Within the walls of Mar Tranquilidade is indeed a haven of tranquillity under shady trees. Frank supervises the kitchen and he is obviously a real foodie - the dinner buffet is an ample spread of all kinds of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes - you will gain weight! And there is free punch at sundown and free grogue after dinner! The bungalows are spacious and tasteful, built of natural stone and thatch. The shower is cold water only. You must not be insect phobic, as we found some ants, spiders and even a couple of cockroaches - Frank and Susi do not allow poison. Come with the idea of doing nothing. There is a long black sand beach, but when we were there the big waves and undertow made it too dangerous to swim. There is one hike, but it is hot and arduous, and the return is by small boat on the bumpy sea. Go hiking on the north of the island, then come here to relax.

Room Tip: Ask for ensuite bathroom.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank christine r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Small isolated place. For hiking Tarrafal is not the place to be (for example Vale Paul on Santa Antao is more beautiful), but Mar Tranquilidade itself is a good reason to go there. With the calming sound of the Atlantic Ocean and excellent food, it is a place to relax without the buzz from the outside world. Not expensive. The only disadvantage is the trip to get there: expensive if you want to sit inside a car, or not that comfortable if you have to make the trip on the back of an aluguer.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank elizabennet79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mar Tranquilidade

Property: Mar Tranquilidade
Address: Santo Antao, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Santo Antao
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Santo Antao
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A place for people looking for peace and quiet, closeness to nature; outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing; situated directly on the beach, secluded enough for private relaxing or free-and-easy contact to fellow travelers, yet truly part of the village---experience the local ambience right outside the doors! Feel at home in comfortable accommodations, simple but with flair; plenty of space outside as well as inside rooms. Emphasis on fresh meals---local products, carefully prepared by hand, good quality... and always plenty. Book directly with us---personal service and recommendations---our website and email are easy to find. ... more   less 

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