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Hotel Boa Vista Star all-inclusive

Boa Vista on Praia de Chaves beach

Direct flights from Gatwick on Thursdays, Manchester on Mondays

This hotel is a new one built on top of a low cliff looking down on the beach at Chaves, probably the best accessible beach on Boa Vista. he management has tried hard to get everything up and running in under two years. Most things work although the Cape Verdean staff have obvious difficulty in understanding the rapid and idiomatic Spanish of the mentor team that has been brought in for a few months to train them.

It is built with ranks of box-like bungalows raked up a hillside so that all will have sea views. It is the first of the Canaries based Star Group hotels in the Cape Verdes. It seems more friendly and more human than the RIU factory just along the beach. Most early tourists are French , not Parisien chic - but modest people from the Provinces who are quiet and polite.

Small and friendlier than the Riu with a Spanish ambience

With only 200 bedrooms, which will take time to fill up, nothing is too crowded and you do not have to wait or get barged on the way to the buffet. The rooms are a bit small but most people will sit out on the little terraces, some of which have a view of the sea. You can sit there or around the pool and bar areas where for the moment there is plenty of room.

The very wide and long beach forms lagoons when the weather becomes rough. Mosquitoes can breed here, so that it is a pity that the hotel has not fitted mosquito netting - an oversight that perhaps will be rectified.

Food is plentiful with quite a Mediterranean flavour including olives and cheese and a big choice of olive oils. Sopme food is cooked on the spot which removes some of the rushed and crushed feeling that one can get with all-inclusives. Tghe group which belongs to Thomas Cook. mnow a German company owns a cruise liner which visits Boa Vista. it make use of the freezer storage on this liner to import all sorts of Spanish meats and fish, which you will not find in otjer Cape Verdean hotels.

As an all-inclusive everything is free once you have paid but that you must wear a wrist band. The drinks offer includes some very nice Fino sherry from jerez and a passable if unknown Scotch whisky. Wine is variable with the white better than the red, which is the same as supplied to the Riu - and which vinos will probably not want to drink.

The background taped music can become a bit too loud. In the evenings there are dancers or musicians, some from the Cape verdes and some from Spain. They wear exotic costumes and are very enthusiastic dancers. So are many of the Cape Verdean staff who stand at the side and start moving rhythmically to the music. The disc jockey is a Belgian who worked at the Rius on Sal and he has brought most of his entertainment team with him. He speaks a lot of Eiropean languages quite well but when he does his spiel on the mike they tend to run into one another and you become lost.

Otherwise there is not that much to do, apart from lying on the superb beach or swimming in the large and warm pool. Excursions are offerred to the North or South of the island or across to the island of Sal Rei, but Boa Vista has less to show that most other Cape Verde islands, as so much iof it is desert sand.

Few people were drinking much perhaps because both the beer and wine were pretty basic. But the other drinks on offer at the bar were of good quality and must have been expensive given the import duties.

The staff both Spanish and Cape Verdean are uniformly friendly although they are likely to address English visitors in another language at first. Opened in late November 2009. it should by now have opened up the missing buts such as the second restautrant and ironed out some of the wrinkles. The deputy manager, actually a Portuguese although he speaks perfect Spanish nd good English , works hard and is ever available for those who encouter problems. Prices at around £466 per week are very attractive for early bookers and will surely rise as it fills up..

B from Lancs did not like the Spanish mentors or the food.

"The Spanish staff behaves badly towards the local staff, who are actualy the most polite and nice people. Anytime there was a problem the Spanish management seemed to blame everything on the locals who they were training. We had major issues with the hotel and staff right from arrival: we paid for something we did not get and they did not deliver. The food was very much holiday camp style;, if you like pizza ,chips and bland pasta you will be happy, but if you have more refined taste you are likely to be disappointed." 

C from Ireland liked the beach and the architecture but not the service or food.

"We got a taxi from the airport to the hotel and it was obvious immediately that the hotel was not finished. The lobby was bare, the staff were disorganised and Spanish staff were training the local staff and sometimes being unnecessarily abrupt with the local staff. The first thing we noticed was that you have to pay 7 to use the hotel room safe and must contact reception. One of the Spanish staff from Spain got out a pack of batteries. We switched on thre TV but it didn't work and a workman couldn't fix it. Lunch was mediocre buffet food and as the the food is not used fast when the hotel is empty it gets dry and lukewarm. The "gym" was two bikes in a basement. The sea at Praia de Chaves is quite rough and not always suitavble for swimming. Dinner was better than lunch but after a few days I was tired of old pizza, old french fries, old pasta... the roast meats were good though as were the seafood salads. Praia de Chaves is beautiful and the hotel complex itself was really attractive. " 
Room Type

May/June/July

August
Prices per person 7nights 14nights 7nights 14nights
Seaview Room AI pp £537 £1075 £690 £1380
Third Person sharing room 40% extra - Infant free