Hotel Convivial, Santa Maria, Sal
Beachfront Santa Maria
A Belgian owned hotel which is the best hotel in Santa Maria. It was built in 1957 as a family home, not an hotel. It is now run by the grand-daughter of the founder of the hotel, who speaks good English. Each room in the hotel has a balcony looking onto a beautiful garden or across this towards the sea. The hotel is set back from the beach but with a fine sea view and swimming pool. You can dine under mature trees and stars in the hotel courtyard. The Cape Verde buffet on Saturday nights is an excellent array of local dishes. The hotel offers archery, billiards, windsdurfing and diving and has an attractive beach restaurant and a bar with a Happy Hour for caprinhias in the main hotel bar.
Quarter Board is offerred at £65 which includes the Saturday Cape Verde Buffet and arrival and departure evening meals. Full board £ 260 pp per week, Half board £ 130 pp per week (evening meal, choice of 2 starters, 2 main courses, 2 desserts, coffee/tea and water included), It has just 140 rooms Every room has satellite TV, fridge, free safe, telephone, ceiling fan and/or air conditioning balcony and private shower room or bathroom.
Happy Hourat the Verandah Bar upstairs from 1830 is a mecca for english-speaking visitors.
The arrogant approach of Tommy has been rejected by Sophie, the owner, so you will be spared the type of holidaymakers so infamous in the Canaries and the Balearics.
M from Kent T from the Midlands and C from Manchester and R from Kent all prefer it.
"It`s a lovely place, the best site in town, the best place to stay, a great bar."
"Stayed in the hotel and loved the laid back atmosphere and rustic charm. I can`t wait to go back."
"The hotel was lovely. It looks like they`re doing an expansion. It`s good that they`ve got that amount of land. It`s a lovely spot. The food was wonderful. I couldn't fault the hotel at all. The service was great."
"A great location - near the beach - 2 restaurants and bars, lovely gardens and common areas. The one let down are the rooms - they are basic, but you don't spend that much time in your room. The staff is mostly pleasant. Food is good and it`s a stone's throw from the centre of Santa Maria".G from London had problems but not with the hotel
"We had a fantastic time- thanks so much for your help and organisation. We loved Sal and the weather was great. We had a few "interesting" moments with a hire car break down (but the office came out straight away) and unfortunately we were unable to do a day trip to Boavista because the boat had minor problems and the tour was cancelled, but everyone was really helpful. The hotel was very nice and we enjoyed some fantastic meals and drinks at the hotel dining room- the restaurant and bar there are first class. We also ate at the hotel next door which was very nice. On the hire car day we drove all round the island to the natural swimming pool and the salt mines (where we swam) which was great, and we did a half day boat trip from Palmeira which we really enjoyed. We'd both recommend it to anyone!"For R from Herts initial mix-ups were easily sorted out.
"Hotel - Good, the best we saw anywhere on the island. The complete antithesis of that RIU monstrosity (we called it Alcatraz). Initial problems with room allocation (Room 019) quickly sorted out by Joanna. We ended up with a Junior Suite (Room 007) which was very good. Beach fantastic"A&L from Cheshire liked the Beach Bar
"the hotel was great and the rooms very clean we were so glad that was where we were staying: the food at the hotel was basic but well cooked and presented, but the food at the beach club was fantastic. I still dream about the prawns, the staff there also very friendly. We had some great walks everyday along the beach to the point and watched the surfers- it was idyllic.The weather was perfect - not too hot,with a constant wind which kept you cool and it was great to be just the two of us"
W from Devon liked the shower
"Had the most fantastic relaxing holiday on Sal, staying at the wonderful hotel- all rooms been refurbised. Our`s was decorated in modern muted colours with a mini fridge and ice maker - a must for the G & T at the end of the day. The bathroom was stunning with a huge shower you could fit 6 people in, a shower head the size of a dinner plate and good lighting. Beds were comfy and the room was fresh and cleaned everyday. The staff was lovely, The animation team couldn`t do enough for you and made an effort to chat each day. The Cape Verdean evening is not to be missed . Breakfast was wonderful with fresh exotic fruits, cakes, croissant and brioche. They make bacon and eggs how you want them A fabulous relaxing holiday with good food everywhere. Came home more relaxed than any other holiday I have ever been on."
The Convivial has refurbished and upgraded its rooms. It now offers double rooms with airconditioning and seaviews in the East Wing. It also offers suites of three rooms with two double bedrooms and a shared living room and balcony with seaview. These are less expensive for four people.