Royal Horizons Boa Vista
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
If you are not italian then DONT GO there
"Cape verde is a ex-colony of Portugal, the oficial language is portuguese but this dont realy work in this hotel, where everything is written in italian or french, no official languange and no english. We expected to experience the cape verdian culture but the only thing we did was eat italian food and listen italian music. They told us that once we are not italian or french we gonna be DISCRIMINATED by those who worked there being the "animation people" and it was true. First the bracelet that they gives you is to show your nacionality, they separeted the people like for example if you are italian you get a blue one, if you are portuguese a yellow one, if you are british a black one. get it? Honestly I never been in a hotel where they did that. I was wondering all the time how these people know that we are not italian they would say to everybody in the room "Buon appetito" "buon giorno" and they were very nice to everybody, hugging some people sometimes and then they see us and they just turned their heads and we were like ...ok. Honestly I would never imagine that they could see our nacionality by the bracelets but ok. I think it is very stupid!! But the cape verdians who work there were very very nice unlike those animation guys. So that's it if you are italian you probably gonna like it but if you dont i would not recommend to you."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of September 2009
Good Value for Money
"We booked our holiday via Holiday Options. The fight was from Manchester and the Airtours aircraft felt cramped. The Hotel itself is 10 minutes from the airport although we were not bothred by the noise. The Resort itself is run by an Italian Company http://www.ventaclubresorts.com/english/properties/boa_vista/
approximately half of the holiday makers were Italian and the other half French booked with Lookea Voyages
There were literally only 10 English speaking Holiday makers - which we found very good.
The appartments are well designed. We were upgraded to a suite right on the front overlooking the sea. The rooms were comfortable and clean and were serviced daily. The bathroom was roomy and bed comfortable. Airconditioning was included. The TV had 10 channels with few English programmes.
The restaurant was self service buffet and everyone as on an all inclusive basis. Breakfast included, bread, fuit, meats, cheeses, yougarts, omletts, scrambled egg with ham, There was a good selection of starters, fressh bread, pastas & pizza with meals. The main meals inlcuded chicken, meat (usualy beef) and fresh fish - there was always 1 of each. Deserts were usually fresh fruit or freshly made cakes & pastrys. Beer, wine and water (still & Sparkling) was included. Overlooking the pool was an Italian Coffee Bar which was included. Unfortunately icecream was not included but was sold in Euros.
Pool/Beach towels were included. The pool was salted water and not as hot as expected due to wind chill. There was a gym, games room (table tennis & table football) & tennis courts - even archery. Equipment available from the reception.
The beach had fantastic soft white sand with incredible sand dune. The whole area felt very safe and you could walk along the beach without trouble. There were 24hr guards around the resort and on the beach.
Entertainment was put on every night from 10pm but it never disturbed the tranquility of the resort."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of August 2009
"The tittle says everything
Bad Hotel Service
Bad Intertainement, only for Italien and French guests
Is not "All Inclusive" - water, some drinks and a Regional Restaurant have to be paid."
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of July 2009
Review... to Portuguese tourists
"I have stayed with my husband in Ventaclub Boavista in Cape Verde last summer to celebrate our 5 years wedding anniversary. Every year we make one or two trips alone or with friends. Our stay in Ventaclub Boavista was the worst holiday we have ever had. This was not due to Cape Verde (we had already stayed in Sal island and it was great) but only to the conditions of the hotel. I summarize here our "adventure" with the hotel:
- When we arrived the air conditioned of our room was broken (very important when we consider that it was around 40Âº C) and it took about the rest of the day to have someone fix it;
- The room was full of mosquitos and other bugs;
- The room was not well cleaned (bugs stayed in our bathroom for 2 or 3 days before being cleaned...);
- The staff was incompetent (we were taking a bath and they entered the room without knocking at all);
- Every time we needed something from reception we had to go get it ourselfes (or wait for a whole day before they solve it);
- In an all inclusive hotel the water requested at the reception is paid! And it comes warm...;
- The entertainment staff is Italian and it ONLY speaks Italian... in the night shows they deliberately avoid non-italian tourists (and not even spoke English in the shows);
- The staff (in a Portuguese spoken island) barely know how to speak Portuguese (or even English... an international knowed language);
- There was a mosquitos plague during our holidays (of course this was not the hotels fault...I have never seen something like this... we had to cover our heads with the towels);
- The food was italian... but bad.
I said to myself that I had to write this review in order to warn whoever may be interested in reading it... I wrote it in English because it may be helpful to some other non-Italian tourists. The only thing good in this trip was the dinner we had in the town, the excursion to see the turtles (they have spoken in Italian and in Portuguese... only for us) and the security chief (brazilian) and the travel agent (from cape verde) that we have met in one of the nights in the hotel.
I know it is hard to believe... but this was my experience... shared with other non-Italian tourists that we had known in the hotel.
Final Note: Before we went to this hotel I read the reviews in trip advisor and thought: this English people always complainting because English is not spoken every where... they should learn other languages and be open minded... now I understand that they were not exagerating at all... I also like Italy but I went to Cape Verde!"
- Travel date: Wed 4th of February 2009
If you speak Italian, and like cold food - go there!
"Having not long returned from 2 weeks in Cape Verde, we (4) of us would say that if the Ventaclub had been our 2nd week we would have demanded a flight home. If you want to spend your time being ignored by 99% of staff, not included in the entertainment, cold food STRAIGHT from the kitchen, sunbeds reserved from Italy with warm wine - this is the hotel for you. I kid you not. Don't go there. All this rubbish about going whilst it is unspoilt - what about the basics of hot food when it should be hotel, the views and the nice hotel building wear a little thin after a few days. Hardly 4 star. No one tried to help us or put things right as they couldn't or wouldn't speak the language. We have travelled from Goa to Egypt, Rome to the Caribbean, Australia to Mauritius and have never experienced anything like it. Totally, totally disappointed."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of October 2008
Italian Butlins it is!
"Unless you enjoy a scramble at the buffet, relentless Italian pool side entertainment, have low expectations in terms of accommodation quality- then you will be disappointed.
This is not a 4 star hotel, this is definately 3 star.
Food quality is ok, but the greed of fellow holiday makers meant that it was admired from afar, but when you got to the front of the queues there was nothing left.
The language was also an issue, Italian is spoken by staff and 99% of guests. There is hardly any Portugese or English. wÂ¬hen we were there we met two families, one from Britain and one from Portugal, both of whom could not book their children into kids club as it was all Italian.
The rooms were bog standard. We booked a junior suite, which was under-impressive. 1970s build and furniture.
Beware the water taps in the restaurant- everyone fills their personal water bottles from there so germs are easily shared.
Would not reccomend, we stayed in other Cape Verde hotels and this was by far the poorest quality."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of September 2008
adored the venta club on boa vista
"We have just returned from The Venta Club on Boa Vista. I was redirected there due to building work at my chosen hotel. I was very wary due to reviews that I had read. I t was great! We had a junior suite by the beach with stunning views of a fabulous beach. Yes the food was Italian food but very good. Mario the food and beveage manager did his upmost to ensure that everyone felt welcome. Easter Sunday was a credit to all of the restaurant staff both in displays and food, and it was done twice at lunch and dinner. Everyone at this hotel tried hard to be helpful. Yes there is a language barrier. I bought two phrase books one Italian one Portuguese and returned able to order food and drink due to the helpfulness of restaurant and reception staff. This place is worth the effort before it becomes spoiled."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of April 2008
Give it a chance....
"We just returned from Venta Club (family of 4 inc. 2 kids 6 & 9), after reading so few and quite mixed reviews I thought I would add mine view.
Firstly we booked with Holiday Options, flights were with Astreus from Manchester. The journey deserves its own review so I will concentrate on the Venta Club.
It was very new looking and clean on arrival. We had a Junior Suite that was close to the beach restauarant and had a sea view. I agree with other reviews that it did have a useless fridge/hob/microwave, but it was clean and well kept. High water pressure constant elec etc. I can only assume that some of the apartments are being sold as investments to Italian families, who may bring their own stuff.
Yes the vast majority of other guests were Italian, but that didn't bother us. Having been to Italy for the last 3 years we can muddle on by in Italian.
The staff were all very helpful/pleasant especially who I assume was the Italian Catering Manager, who made an effort to speak English to us. Local staff were also pleasant especially when you say "thank you" in what ever language.
The views were stunning especially at sunset. One time wales came close to the sure but afraid I missed that.
The beach is well kept very fine sand. Yes it is breezy, but not unpleasantly so. Never had sand blown in eyes, there were a number of wind breaks erected along the beach, which apart from people staying at the resort had no one else on it. The pictures are true there are miles of beach.
The sea is rough, red flags most days, but you can play in the breakers, the sea was warm and a wonderful blue green colour. Ignore red flags at peril though, we saw life guards go in twice for people who thought they knew better. But we and kids loved running on the shore line splashing in the breakers.
The pool is salt water and cool. It gets warmer later in theday, but isn't warm, ever.
The bar is like an Italian Cafe Bar, but having experienced the excess that English seem to go for when it is "All Inclusive" it wasn't a bad thing, it just reflected a different attitude to alchohol. The beer was cold and the G&T's were well made, just you didn't feel the need to get wasted all day.
The food was good, albeit very Italian, usual wide selection of salad, good pasta and choice of meat and fish. Good fruit but shame ice creams was only ever served with the evening meal.
They served little appetitisers at around 5pm in the form of little pizzas but could do with more variety.
Having just returned to wind and hail stone, and having spent one night in Sal, we would definately go back there over Sal, but it is pretty unsophisticated, but very relaxing, and very warm. Kids said it was best holiday ever."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of March 2008
The best hotel on the island, so far that is.
"Just got back from spending 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year in this hotel, then spent another week in Morabeza hotel, Sal. If you are happy knowing that most entertainment is in Italian, then this is currently by far the best hotel on the island because -
3) Position on the beach
4) Choice and variance of food over a two week period.
5) Quad biking trips, i did both the 3.5 hour trip and the quad fishing trip, superb, got to see the island and what it has to offer.
6) Knowing there is 24 hour security by employed small team of guards, peace of mind.
Not so good because -
1) Regularly the food supply in the baymarie at lunch and dinner that should be hot was cold to tepid e.g. cold swede and other veggies
2) The additional restaurant on the beach front seemed to be only open when they felt like it with no indication when and if it was open or not even though at time the hotel had 80% occupancy.
3) Beach snack bar decided in our second week that they would only serve salad and cold pizza slices, whereas when we arrived we had more choice of additionally hot dogs, cheeseburgers and hamburgers.
4) Some staff (locals) have not been trained well enough as clearly they did not have what the ideal customer service and with a smile.a western would expect as a minimum.
5) Our passports given to the wrong people by reception, look after them yourselves if i were you."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of January 2008
Ventaclub Boa Vista......from a British perspective.
"I felt compelled to write an honest review of this hotel and our hoilday for the benefit of any UK (or indeed any non italian speaking) travellers that may be lured to Ventaclub, Boavista.
Its an easy trap.
On paper its by far the nicest hotel on the island and possibly in the entire archipeligo....4 star, multiple pools, all inclusive, evening entertainment, plenty of sports facility's, gym, spa, great rooms.... etc etc. The photo's look great too............(I have several that I took myself which I will post if anyone is interested?)
So here goes:
1) Its an Italian hotel with 95%+ of the guests being Italian.
2) Its run by the Italian equivalent of Butlins.
3) 99% of the Butlins type staff were non-english, neon pink T shirt wearing Italian..twenty somethings...1 or 2 could muster a couple of words of english......the local staff (waiters, reception etc ) all spoke Italian too.
4) Any signs, or menus were in Italian...........
To be fair, once they realised that there were a few non-italians in their midst, the staff made an effort to try and translate invitations to events into pigeon English, which was appreciated.
Before I go on sounding like I hate Italy.....I dont......I love it. But I went on holiday to Cape Verde NOT Italy. If nobody spoke English and we surrounded by people speaking the local lingo....believe me it would have been totally acceptable.
5) The rooms were very basic. We went for the most expensive option available, which was a suite. Thank goodness that we did. It gave us a little bit more space and a pleasant balcony. Our room had two beds (rather than one double bed). A wardrobe with a few coathangers, a safe, a desk, a TV that (guess what had one Italian channel !) It also had air conditioning - which was entirely unnecessary during our stay. The extra bit that our 'suite' allowed us included a sofabed, a small coffee table, a breakfast bar with 4 stools and a bizzarre 'kitchen' unit that included a microwave, 2 ring electric hob, sink and fridge.
Before you ask.......we never worked out the point of the 'kitchen' as there were no shops to buy anything to put in the fridge, no pots or pans to use the hob, and no utensils or cutlery or plates or cups......or in fact anything at all remotely useful for these appliances.
We ended up 'borrowing' cups from the restaurant and microwaving water in the cups to boiling point and adding 'borrowed' teabags as we couldnt be bothered to keep walking 10 minutes or so to the cafe area. Not to be recommended.
All in all.........my travel and hotel experience would have rated the room facilities as a 2 or 3 star experience.
6) The food.............you guessed it. Italian. Buffet style 'school dinner' vibe. Dinner was 7.30pm to 9.30pm. You had two choices. Get there at 7.30pm and risk standing in long cues at each counter or arrive later and look in dismay at the vastly depleted and often finished trays in the display. Lunch same story.
Some days were better than others...........but generally I got bored with the similarity of the food after about 4 or 5 days......some days it was really quite disappointing.
All in all I would rate the all inclusive food element of the hotel as 2 possibly 3 star.
So why didnt we opt out and go to some local restaurants? um.....there arent any. No really there probably must be you say? We heard that there was a restuarant in Sal Rei (the biggest 'city' on the island about 3 or 4 miles away by taxi (unwalkable for the lack of a road) but guess what? It was Italian!............it was also shut when some guests that we met tried to do a runner there........so a fairly hopeless exercise.
N.B Sal Rei is no more than a village by UK comparison thats also largely in development and extremely poor........it is after all a third world country. I certainly didnt expect more as I had read that this was the case.
7) The facilities. Spa.........after being lost in translation for quite some time I finally negotiated a massage of some description which was nice enough for me to get 3 more treatments over the two weeks. It was pricey even by UK standards.....(approx Â£65 an hour)...but worth it.
The pool.........large and lovely as it looked......was freezing. I rarely saw anyone in it. I braved it once just to say that I did it. That was enough though.
The Gym..........very basic with old and well worn gear.......my wife used it once and gave up (She goes to the gym 3 times a week over here) but at least it had a gym.
Tennis, Archery, football, volleyball and other sports facilities.....were organised in Italian and mostly being team sports we felt excluded.
The Bar (yup thats right as in singular for a large hotel complex)........more likened to an italian coffee bar that also served alcohol. Often overun and busy......good thing I was off the booze as it was a fairly bleak bar as bar's go......
The Entertainment - yup ALL in Italian, very cheesy, caberet style, kids would love it (if they could speak Italian).
The Beach........surely the best part of this hotel? Well.........you have probably gathered that its a windy old place? Now then, here is the reality. ITS VERY VERY VERY WINDY. Imagine a really windy day when you have to lean forward into the wind to walk forward. If you relax and stand up straight you will blow over backwards. This is really how windy we are talking. And it's not even the odd windy gust. Its all day, every day windy.
Now mix that with a beautiful, picturesque, extremely wide and extremely long wonderful SANDY beach.........thats right..........sand blowing everywhere and getting where it shouldn't. Imagine trying to read a book whilst blow drying your hair?!
In the first week there was hardly anyone on the beach, so we built a barricade out of sun loungers as a very good shield against the wind. Even so - we never lasted more than 3 hours a day......it was just too frustrating. That combined with the red flag on the beach being up on many of the days as the waves were simply too ferocious for safe swimming.
But it was a beautiful beach.
My other BIG complaint. NO ICE CREAM........anywhere. We ended up trekking to the other hotel on our beach (15 minutes there in the wind and 7 minutes back) just to buy an ice cream.
Another interesting point:
Before leaving the UK we spoke to the travel agent and asked about hiring a car and bicycles as we fancied being 'adventurous' and exploring this idyllic little island that we had read about.........'no problem' said the travel agent, although ' you might want to hire a 4x4 as the roads are not brilliant'. That was the understatement of the year..............and I am very glad we hired neither before leaving the UK.
There are 3 main roads on the island.........these are mostly made of cobbled stones and are mostly in very bad condition. The road to our hotel for example, stopped being a road about 1one mile from the hotel and turned into a bumpy, dusty dirt track.
By far the best way to get around is on a 4wd Quad bike, and wow that was fun. Much of the landscape is bleak and features sand, rocks or dust. You can play spot the green tree. The sand dunes in particular are fun to drive over. In terms of things to see........three days on the quad bike and we saw as much as was safe to get too..........
Overall the disppointment I felt lay with how the hotel and holiday had been described to us. For the money we spent we could have had two weeks in the Maldives or Caribbean, but we fancied something different. Had we read an honest review, we may have stuck with something more obvious for a 'dream holiday'
A very honest description would read ......' a budget complex ideal for families with young children.' It should be considered a maximimum of 3 star (but that would leave some hotels in Sal that we were forced to stay in as 0 star). There should also be a sentence at least dedicated to the fact that this holiday is also ideally suited to people obsessed with any form of extreme wind sport.
As for getting there................well thats another chapter.........nuff said to say - it took three days out of our fourteen because of long and boring travel delays.
In the main, we got we wanted.......a really chilled out and relaxed holiday. Thankfully we brought a laptop and loads of DVD's, an ipod each and loads of books. But really we could have done that anywhere.
Would we go again? For much less money and an off peak week.................maybe."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of January 2008