Hotel Decameron all-inclusive
Boa Vista on Praia de Chaves beach
Direct flights from Gatwick on Wednesdays, Manchester on Mondays
This hotel is right on the beach at Chaves, probably the best accessible beach on Boa Vista. It was built by Italians who made it all too plain that they did not want other nationalities. They paid the price and the hotel had to be sold to a Colombian chain, that so far is not well kown in Europe though it does have hotels in Morocco and Senegal.
Nicer than the Riu with a South American ambience
It is built right down to the magnificent Praia de Chaves with some bungalows with terrraces opening right on to the beach. These are known as junior suites and have a second room. barely furnished whixh seems a bit redundant but could be useful for larger families. TYhe itlains seemed to ahve offerred cooking facilities here- but this is not the present intentiomn. Because the land is a little flatter here, not every bungalow has a sea view but you can hear the sea and smell it from all of them.
One attractive feature is a main restaurant with open walls built right on to the beach where the small Cape Verde sparrows flit around, picking at food on the tables.. Every one has a usable terrace where you can sit and as the hotel`s trade was so reduced by Italian mismanagement there is always plenty of room both around the pool and on the very wide beach.
Its layout and food are both better than those at the Riu. The chef is Colombian so that some dishes are quite exotic by all-inclusive standards. It has a seperate restaurant where food is cooked whilst you wait and served at your table, thus avoiding the crush of the buffets. Everything is free once you have paid but that you must wear a wrist band. Surprisingly as there was no extra charge for the served restaurant, it was less popular than the buffet despitethe fact that most visitors are French.
The hotel has made great efforts to buy food locally and there is an impressive choice of fresh fruits and vegetables. The white wine is Vinho do Fogo from thje Cape Verdes, quite expensive and well worth drinking.
There are tennis courts with lessons and pool aerobics and incessant background taped music but otherwise not much to do. Food is better than most andFrench-inspired but there is a lot of pizza and pasta as well.
You can drink as much wine as you like and because the other guests are mopstly French nobody gets drunk.The coffee in the restaurant has been greatly improved by the Colombians ( no surprise as they grow some of the best in the world) and they are working hard to improve other aspects of the hotel which the Itlaians had let slip.
Although much of the staff will address you initially in French, the deputy m,anager is a german who is fluent in all main European languages including English. He is also a very fit marathmn runner and was quite happy to run down to the room, when we though that we might have left a camera there. Certainly a great contrast top the Italiansd whio did not even take your bafgs to the room.
The advantage of the Club Med type of operation is that that it has lots of facilities for children and even babies so that guests with families are able to get away from them with a feeling of security. Entertainment shows another disadvantage as currently it is a rather banal quiz in noisy french - about the Cape Verede islands. The French tourists seemed to enjoy it but others retreated to the dining room where the noisy Senegales quizmaster was thankfully inaudible.
S from Sweden.
"We understand French and a little Italian. We spent a week during the ownership change and recommend it - good food, high hygienic standard and two very nice pools. And lovely weather, which has nothing to do with the hotel.."
T from London found insects in his and other bedrooms
"The rooms were quite basic: little bungalows set out in small streets spiralling out from the central pool, bar, restaurant and reception. They are are clean and tidy with enough space to move around without feeling cramped and have a small balcony. Some roms had mosquitoes and cockroaches. The swimming pool looks good and has a jacuzzi. Food was pretty good and beer and wine are on tap but the beer was a thin brew. A short walk to the beach but the waves look enormous. There are loads of sun beds."M from Cambridge found the French patter annoying.
" Weather was fantastic (warm & sunny, lovely cooling
breeze). Beach is amazing - goes on for miles, sea a bit rough unless
strong swimmer. Plenty of sunbeds available on the beach. 1 large
swimming pool spoiled by a French DJ at the pool bar every day.
Good selection of sport activities (tennis, ping-pong, beach volley,
archery . Animation team are friendly, staff in general good, great
service in restaurants & bars. Food was brilliant - fresh fish
every day, although could be more variety. Wine & beer not bad.
A la carte restaurant was understaffed and had slow service. Rooms
were basic but clean & spacious.
|Prices per person||7nights||14nights||7nights||14nights|
|Room AI pp seaview||£422||£843||£383||£767|
|Third Person sharing room +40%, Under 4 free Under 13 +25%|
|August £460 for 7 £920 for 14|