I have always been on the fence about reviews and reluctant to make one, however this can't go without mention.
If you want sun and free flowing drinks then you will have a great time here. If you're looking for the "5* platinum hotel" experience then I would re-consider or at least read a few more reviews before you make your mind up.
The island of Boa Vista is a beautiful place that is very keen to show off its cultural excellence to new tourists from around the globe. Tourism is still very new to the island which only adds to the appeal of an up and coming holiday destination.
Certainly NOT a 5* hotel. Small room with a very open en-suite facilities, if you're sharing a room with anybody then prepare to get very intimate when somebody visits the loo. Cockroaches, I got two a day in my room on the bed, around the fridge, in the bathroom, everywhere really. Power cuts daily. When there is power you can use the internet in the lobby, you will have to log in daily so carry around the slip of paper you get, you also can't stay connected for longer than 5 minutes at a time. All the drinks are a local brand and of very poor quality, all the wine (red, white & rose) is on tap and you need to buy anything else from the overpriced shop. All spirits are an unknown brand as well so there is no escape there. In terms of the bed I have woken up every night because it's uncomfortable. I could not make use of the free water equipment at all because the sea was too rough on 7/7 days. The buffet is like a pack of wild dogs so arrive before the crowds do for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The restaurants need booking 3 days in advance so be prepared to put up with the buffet until then, if you do get a seat. The spa facilities weren't clean with the men's showers terrible and also had no hot water. The pool. That is one pool with pathways to different parts has tiles missing all over the floor with lots of people cutting themselves. Every single bar and self serve area is swarming with wasps near the soft drink taps. The evening entertainment is well planned but badly performed and suffered greatly from technical issues (pausing a routine to fix a speaker that wasn't fixed in the end) sorry if you sat at the back.
Again, if you want to come and see the area then this is a great stop by retreat that tries hard and has potential, sadly it's not 5* and doesn't deserve such sales tactics. Not a bad place overall but not what Thompson said it was.More
Stayed at the Karamboa for 10 days with my boyfriend. I asked for a sea view room 2 weeks before we went and they said they would try and accommodate us. We got a sea view room, room number 1171 best block only a few minutes walk to all the restaurants and main reception. But also only a few minutes walk from the pool and the beach. By far the best room and block. No one mentioned Ebola and no to be honest we didn't worry about it over there compared to how I was worrying before we went. Just be careful when going into Sal Rei and the other local areas.
* Rooms and hotel was cleaned every day 24/7 so cleanliness is not a problem.
* Use the safe in the room, protects you if anything goes missing. We used it the whole holiday very easy to use.
* Staff were attentive and friendly. Would go beyond to help and accommodate. Our fan stopped working, they fixed it quickly and gave a courtesy call to check it was ok.
* Food was very nice their was a wide variety of food. 1 main restaurant and 3 special ones the best is the Cape Verdan one called Balvento if you like fish and they also did a great mixed grill. Make sure you check what days the restaurants are open and book 3 days in advance. We never had a problem booking.
* Trips are defiantly worth doing. We did the quad biking, hotspots, catamaran, turtle watching and Sal Rei walk. We saw pretty much the whole island. They are a little pricey but your better off doing it with Thomson. Just in case of any problems.
* We used the gym, sauna and Jacuzzi facilities. Gym is great a few machines enough to do what you need to. You need to take a towel with you when you use the gym. The sauna was small but good the Jacuzzi was also great. The way they have set it out is very beautiful to relax in.
* Pool was spacious. Not too deep either.
* Beach was clean and we were able to swim 9 out of the 10 days except for a red flag day when the water was too rough.
* There is a local lady who sits further down the beach and sells bits and bobs please go to her. I bought most of my gifts from her because she is genuinely nice. Reasonable priced aswell.
* Best tour guides: elder Cape Verdan guy tall and slim he did out hotspots tours, Cirano Italian young guy did our catamaran and turtle tour.
* Yasmin and a tall slim young Cape Verdan guy in the Paparrazzi booth in the hotel were the best for photos during the tours. We bought the quad biking pictures and hotspots and got free music.
* Shows start in the evening at 9:30pm, shows were great especially the ones by the young Cape Verdan entertainment crew. We loved the Grease, African, Brazil and 5 min clips themes. The staff danced well and the way they did up the stage was great!
* Mark may be your Thomson rep, he is very good, I asked him lots of questions.
* K2 is one of the fitness staff he did all the fitness classes and dance classes near the pool; he was great and I recommend doing either fitness at 4:30pm and dance at 5:00pm. I felt great after those.
*Staff in the gym and gym reception are not the friendliest so be warned.
*We used the Jacuzzi 3 times on the 3rd time it stopped working so as we were getting out (luckily) it started pumping lots of brown dirt. I was glad we had already got out or I would of been complaining.
* African restaurant wasn't very good not much choice and because it is open (the pool restaurant) stray dogs and cats would venture in. With some silly tourists feeding them. You don't know where these stray animals have been therefore I don't mind them being there but while your eating at a '5 star' hotel I wouldn't expect that. Tell the staff and they will shoo them out.
*The Thomson flight was too be expected small but the staff on the flight into Cape Verde were awful and I made a complaint to Thomson about this. 1 young guy and 1 girl were too busy laughing to each other and looking at each other to provide a professional service. We saw them later in the hotel and they were the same. Very rude. Otherwise the flight is fine except the prices were quiet expensive.
* We did the turtle watching at night, we would recommend a tour guide on the bus as its just tourists and the driver in the middle of the night going through shanty villages. So defiantly think the tour guides should be there as well. Nothing happened, but it would put some people at peace. However, make sure you go for this we witnessed a turtle giving birth sometimes it's not guaranteed. But if you do see it, it's amazing, where suitable shoes as the walk onto the beach is in the pitch black of night.
* The Sal Rei tour is recommended but caution when walking around, you do get hassled by the locals and their children. Do not give the children anything, the Cape Verdan government want to educate the locals into not begging as they think by begging they can make money and get things, then they won't work. My boyfriend was really harassed by a local while we sat on the Thomson bus waiting to go back to hotel. It was very intimidating. We didn't want to buy anything from him so he started shouting and then threw a necklace at my boyfriend and said 'a gift, just me a few euros'. Which my boyfriend did, and then the man started harassing another tourist on the bus, he only stopped once our rep came back on the bus.
* Whilst we were on the Turtle watching tour we had the Italian guide Cirano (very good tour guide) and there was another guide called Nicole who was German. She did the translating for the German tourists. She was very very rude! She kept saying to the English tourists 'English people sit down' when the turtle was going back into the sea. She said it numerous times and a lot of the English tourists were very unhappy with her comment. She then spoke in German to the German tourists and they all laughed. I found her very rude and unprofessional and hope this message gets back to her. Racial segregated comments should not be tolerated.More
jessica_h_fonseca, Bedford, United Kingdom
just got back last week and as a couple we loved it . 3 minutes from the airport but not a lot else around nearby. you can walk up the beach front to sal rei about 40 minute walk some people liked it but not for all . Check in at hotel is smooth and quick and bags are taken to your rooms , we had to wait 30 minutes for our room but just relaxed in bar with couple drinks. everyone behind reception is so happy to help how ever they can . all bar staff work their butts off serving 2 to 3 people at same time thanks to them all especially eric,mr ze,elvis,ronise,carla . Food is never ending with so much choice at breakfast and evening, dinner time still a fair bit to choose from but mainly pizza,burgers ,salads, and a cooked meat. plenty of coffee and cakes.
rooms ours was fine see view and kept clean every day ,décor maybe could do with a bit of touching up but nothing major, don't think it helps with the mozzies squashed with the nearest flip flop on walls and ceiling.
Pool is huge loved the sun beds in water kept clean daily plenty of activities to join in and around the pool. pool bar always busy bit noisy but no problem. Beach is fantastic clean red hot sand warm sea lapping at your feet nice and clear to see baby sharks swim past.
BEST BIT NO RESERVING SUN BEDS BEFORE 9am if you do your towels are removed , so lots of sun beds still available between 9 and 10 oclock.
All the animation team work so hard and seem to be there all day long try their best and give 110 %
Themed restaurants well worth a visit as wellMore
nigelp38, Sutton coldfield
Lovely hotel on a beautiful beach
We arrived on Monday 8th September after a 6 hour flight, squashed in as usual im sure we have less room now than before. It was really hot and humid and the hotel looked like a giant sandcastle in amongst the dunes. We were greeted by dancers in colourful outfits to welcome us, we checked in and our bags were taken to our rooms and it was were really clean and cool. We unpacked then had a wander to familiarise ourselves to our new surroundings for the next 2 weeks. The grounds were big and full of palm trees and well spaced out, the pool was freeform with little bridges connecting you to all sides and there were sunbeds in the pool and plenty around the pool or so we thought. We then explored the beach and it was not disappointing just lovely white sand that seemed to go on forever but a rather choppy sea. The restaurant was roomy but not air conditioned which I thought when being a 5 star hotel at the least the eating areas would have been, there is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a meal whether breakfast or dinner not to be so hot and sweaty and feeling really uncomfortable it was miserable. However, the food choices were good and there was always plenty, you helped yourself to beer, wine or soft drinks. There was entertainment every evening but it wasn't our thing it was the same thing, im not saying it was not good but the team mostly just mimed to records and danced to a different theme every night. The bar although was under cover was classed as outside so smokers were allowed to smoke, although they did put ashtrays on one side but smokers just moved them to wherever they wanted to sit which was really annoying for non smokers who were then sitting amongst tables of smokers. Also the bar was so small for the size of the hotel it really struggled to cope especially when the show finished it was madness. The list of cocktails was also poor I think they did about 5 or 6 at the most. So to sum up this hotel in my opinion it is not deserved of a 5 star more a 4, the bar needs to up its game and offer more cocktails and increase its size, the evening entertainment should have more diversity and not all singing and dancing like magicians and fire acts we want to be entertained, there is no outside seating area at all it is all undercover and too hot whether you smoke or not you do not have a choice. Also there was free WI FI but it was rubbish it took ages to get on then it would drop on and off the whole time. The staff are lovely and friendly and some go out of their way to help, the hotel is impressive to look at but you are limited with nowhere else to go and advised not to in the evening. I would recommend this hotel for a total chill out holiday as we did it was heaven, there are plenty of daytime activities if you want to but if its beach, booze and bed you want then this is the place.More
Jayne D, Corby, United Kingdom
Lovely holiday, but not 5* as promised and paid for
Just got back from 2 weeks in this hotel, lovely hotel and enjoyed it, but there is no way I would describe this as a 5* hotel, but maybe in that part of the world it is. I have been to other 5* hotels and far superior to this one.
Food and drink was very good, plenty of variety and quality.
As for the location, well, I am glad I went and I can say I have been, but I wouldn't go back for a long while. I like to rest and distress, but to just rest by the pool for 2 weeks was a bit too much. There is literally nothing to do.
Beware of the sea at this time of the year (don't know about other times), there was only 2 days that the yellow flag was flying (and you shouldn't really go in the sea with this flag), rest of the time it was red flag and I have never seen sea like it, the waves were damaging and did damage some people, very frightening.
Not a place for children, they will get bored very quickly.
I never get affected by mosquito bites, but they bit me alive.
Many many crickets in the evenings.
Wasps swarmed the poolside bars.
Very disappointed with the tiles missing in the pool, not what I would expect from a 5* hotel.
The entertainment was very good, but the karaoke bar should have been from 10 - midnight each night, didn't usually start until about 10.50pm and very poor system, didn't have half the records and it was always the same people that got to sing, got a bit boring after a while.More
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