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“PROBABLY BEST CHOICE IN SAO VICENTE”

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Foya Branca Resort Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Mindelo
Wervik, Belgium
Level Contributor
148 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“PROBABLY BEST CHOICE IN SAO VICENTE”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

we stayed 9 nights in this hotel in february 2013.
i wanted to give this hotel a rate between average and good, but tripadvisor does not give that option.
"average" would not be fair.
"very good" is overrated, but more correct than "average"
rooms are clean, bed is excellent, breakfast acceptable, bar soso but this hotel is lacking a lot of things, and the staff, although friendly, still has to learn a lot µ

but probably no better options available in mindelo

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank antoonsix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    31
    102
    46
    18
    7
See reviews for
43
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

We stayed at Foya Branca at the beginning and ending of our trip.

Positive points:
- Nice and clean room, clean and really soft sheets, good bed
- Hotel is right at the beach. The view and sound of the breaking waves is impressive
- There is a nice hike along the cliffs, which starts close to the hotel. Takes less then two hours and is well worth the effort
- The pool is nice, however extremely cold
- The breakfast offer seemed to have much more variety then the other hotels we stayed at
- We left with an early morning flight and therefor could not attend breakfast. At request we were provided with a nice breakfast the night before, which we could store in our fridge. This even included thermo cans with coffee and warm milk

Negative points:
- We left with an early morning flight. The hotel transport service starts at 7:00 which was too late for us so we had to pay a rather expensive taxi . The hotel is close to the airport, but out of the way of the taxi drivers who therefor charge extra
- The airco in our room (nr 115) did not work properly. It made a loud sound each two/three minutes but did no more then that. We had to take out the doorkey to get released from the noise during the night. This however meant the light didn’t work either. The upside of it was that we slept with an open door, which meant sleeping with the sound of breaking waves in the background

We noticed that there was a French entertainment team, which also operated at one of the other hotels we stayed at (art resort in Santo Antao). Luckely there was no evening program at the night we stayed in the hotel.

At about 200 meters away from the hotel there is a small restaurant which is operated by a Swedish owner. Great food and atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SanCJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

Nice location and not too bad given cape Verde standards. But hotel has been given over to some down market club med type of holiday company. So although these guests may be in the minority they dominate all areas with their "forced fun" . So a pleasant beach and pool is just disco noise for a few.. As to the cabaret evenings... Well think cruise ships. But relentless noise till late. Hotel seem to recognise the problem but say they have a contract with the offending French tour company. So as commented this is a hotel in decline. Don't stay here unless low end 1980s club med is your thing ...If so this place is made for you! For the more discerning traveler avoid or make you stay short. As options on the island are limited ...maybe check to see if the all inclusive cub med guys are not in residence. Does have frequent free shuttle to town so you can escape and free wi fi.

Room Tip: Avoid new block faces pool and endless disco music and games.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Mindelo hotels

Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012 via mobile

The hotel has a fantastic location on a fabulous beach. As in much of Cape Verde swimming is not always possible due to waves and currents. The hotel seemed at times to have more animators than guests and often seemed to offer not much more than poolside noise. We only ate there once at lunchtime and food was disappointing. If you visit this hotel eat at restaurant opposite hotel it is fantastic. Room was fine but hotel seemed to lack direction. Seemed to have lively and professional dive and windsurfing school. Overall fine but could have been better. Did have free wi- fi.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ivanneary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
195 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

Very good food (apart from breakfast which was rather limited in the hot food choice) - both lunch and dinner and it turned out to be better value than in the hotels we stayed in on other islands. The staff didn't speak much English but were consistently helpful and friendly and seemed well-motivated. Happy hour in the bar (1800 to 1900) was excellent value (but somewhat dangerous as we ended up drinking pints of gin and tonic!).

We stayed 4 nights just before Christmas and the hotel was almost empty - which suited us fine. There were very few people by the pool so we could pick a place out of the wind (I suspect it's always windy). The room was a good size and the balcony/terrace was very pleasant (but could have done with some furniture). It isn't smart but the bed was comfortable and perfect for a romantic break.

The free shuttle bus to Mindelo was very good (why worry about sharing it with the staff?) and reliable. The airport is very close and there was some noise from aircraft but there aren't too many flights each day so it wasn't intrusive. We didn't use the beach (apart from a brief walk) - the pool area was more practical.

Don't go here if you expect a resort with entertainment and lots of facilities. Do go for a quiet restful location with charming service.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a sea view
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KK06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North London
Level Contributor
218 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2011

A great location sadly let down by this mismanaged hotel.

With just a few improvements it would be fine but given the managers style of making himself unavailable to his guests and burdening the staff with time intensive admin I can only see it declining.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SuzanneNorthLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Level Contributor
383 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2011

We started our Cabo Verde holidays at the Foya Branca after the new direct flight from Europe to Sao Vicente. The airport is very near the hotel, but the taxi fare is the same if you travel into city or to the beach of Sao Pedro, where the hotel is.
The hotel was nice and clean. The front office staff was friendly, but had difficulties to make themselves understand as we did not speak a lot of Portuguese, but with a mixture of all the languages we could make ourselves understand. They however tend to forget restaurant reservations they specially asked to do and wakeup calls, so be prepared. They do not go our of their way to assist you in anything.
There is apparently no internet connection at the front office, so they could not even check what is offered on their own website, which seems to be managed outside. We asked about the excursions they offered online and about which we had asked with our booking and had been told to arrange them at reception, but they did not know anything about this and we could not show it to them, as they had no internet. So we had to arrange our outings and excursions on our own and had no proper information to do so, nor about prizes we would have to pay. Better be prepared before arriving and dont rely on the offer on their website.
We had a junior suite (same prize as hotel room) overlooking the garden and beach in the new wing. The living room was comfortable, the balcony nice but there could have been more furniture to use outside. The bathroom was ok with warm water most of time. The bedroom what on the small side with two single beds and not a lot of space to put things.
We have been nearly the only guests and a local cat adapted us from the spot and was not to be lost, she kept waiting down the stairs from our room until we came back out again, just to follow us everywhere again. I think she missed children around to play with. Even with so few guests they offered all their services and occupied a large number of staff. We had the pool mostly to ourselves.
There is a free shuttle to the town of Mindelo (across the small island), some 15 to 20 minutes distance, which serves as the staff transportation at the same time. It's not in best conditions, but it arrived and the driver was kind enough to drop us wherever we wanted to go (e.g. to the ferry to Santo Antao). We asked at reception for an airport transfer on our last day, but have been advised to call a taxi as the shuttle is not allowed to stop there in order not to be a competition for the taxis. Understandable, as everybody has to live!
We took nearly all our meals at the property, as food and preparation was very good and we decided it was not worth going to town for this. Lunch can be taken at the outdoor restaurants, which was very nice and had a good choice even with just a few guests. On Saturday and Sunday they host local families for their beach outing and they have buffets for this. On Saturday night they offered a parillada (all you can eat) with life entertainment at a very good prize, this was outdoor. The rest of the evening meals had to be taken in their indoor restaurant, perhaps because of the really strong winds, which have been strong during the day, but got gusty and very strong towards the night. It sometimes shook the whole house.The service at all the restaurants was very good and attentive.
The beach has strong currents and high waves and is not for swimming, but is long and abandoned and beautiful for walking. We felt very safe, the only people we encountered have been some locals greeting us from a distance. The small fishing village of Sao Pedro at the other side of the bay makes for a nice visit to see how people live. Regrettably the surrounding area is full of building ruins. Apparently another resort was planed and then not finished due to the recession and nowbody knows if and when it will be finised, the same for some of the villas along the hillside.
We liked to stroll the small town of Mindelo and we absolutely enjoyed our excursion to Santo Antao, where we hired a taxi for the day. There was a discount on the ferry that day and it was more than full with local people who started to celebrate right from the beginning and invited us to join them.

Room Tip: We have not seen the rooms inside, but the older building (to the right) looks like it would need so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Engadiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Foya Branca Resort Hotel

Property: Foya Branca Resort Hotel
Address: Sao Pedro, Mindelo, Sao Vicente 2110, Cape Verde
Location: Cape Verde > Sao Vicente > Mindelo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Mindelo
#3 Luxury Hotel in Mindelo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Foya Branca Resort Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Foya Branca Hotel Mindelo
Foya Branca Resort Hotel Mindelo, Cape Verde - Sao Vicente

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