Hotel Horizon, Bungalows on the Beach
Beachfront Santa Maria, Sal
The two Horizon Hotels were originally built by the Cape Verde Government but were sold to a Portuguese chain, which operates them more efficiently. They are on the beach in a prime position just next to the Convivial. The two hotels share some facilities such as the pool and restaurants but operate separately. One part is all-inclusive only whilst the other caters for bed and breakfast but also has buffet lunch and dinner. The cuisine has Cape Verdean dishes and offers wahoo and steaks as well as cachupa. Most of the accomodation is in small cabins, which have just enough room for three beds and a shower, with very bright colour schemes. They are air-conditioned . The superior rooms in the main building are larger and more comfortable and cost from £300 per person for a week or £380 with all meals and drinks included per week per person. The bungalows on the beach are very good value as they can accommodate three people at £200 per person..R and V from Scotland booked too late to get into the Morabessa.
"It was basic in fixture/fittings but was clean and functional. We were lucky in our room because most times we had no neighbouring residents, when we did the noise could be annoying. Other folks staying in the hotel bungalows complained about noise levels from nearby club but had to put up with it. The hotel seemed to aim at a Club Med style for the over 40’s. There was an entertainments group of young Cabo Verdeans who daily tried to animate the residents sometimes with success. One night we chanced on one of their shows which was very good, a lively music/dance production. I could only watch their native Funana dance with comparative arthritic amazement. Very enjoyable! I would warn folks that the hotel bar prices are more expensive than most and are not always consistent. The location of the hotel was ideal being near to Santa Maria and on a lovely beach. Beach towels and loungers were made available at no cost for use either at the pool or on the beach. For us this was the hotel`s best feature and was just what we wanted in our chill out break"M from Dorset found it OK
"We had a very relaxing holiday. The weather was hot 30C but the cooling wind welcome. The hotel was adequate in that it could do with a little TLC but the room was clean, and the in room facilities good (maybe coffee making would have been a benefit). The general facilities between the two hotels was very good. The service was very good by our standards if somewhat Caribbean in speed, but who wants to hurry."V from Portugal found the management poor
"Cape Verde is a beautiful and different place. We went to Cape Verde knowing that it was a third world country not expecting the luxuries available in Europe or in US hotels. But the hotel fulfilled all our worst expectations due to the most incompetent, mediocre and even offensive (to the Cape Verdeans) hotel management. The problems started at check-in. The hotel does not have an organized room reservations system, so the room is randomly assigned as they become available (independently of reservation) in a chaotic and long process. After check-in, donít expect to have towels in your room. The hotel does not have enough towels to replace the dirty ones by clean ones. They just remove the dirty towels in the morning, wash them and return it in the afternoon. So, in the morning after returning from the beach you cannot take a bath. Another problem is the aircon and TV remotes. They are handed out by reception but often they donít work in your room. So you have to make several trips to the reception to get one that works. Bungalows are basic so if possible try to get a superior room which is a lot better in terms of bathroom amenities. Bungalowí bathrooms are just a shower, toilet and basin. Food in the hotel is not bad but is always the same and not very varied. Now let me talk about the worst hotel manager that I have ever met. When guests present their complaints (and almost all do) the hotel manager answers in the most odious way. He just blames the country and Cape Verdean ways and flattes himself that he has how improved the hotel. The Cape Verdean kindness is the only reason why the hotel barely works. They are always ready to help you (even if slowly)), not even expecting any gratuity. To get at least one clean towel during the day talk directly to the cleaning ladies, to get the TV or shower fixed talk to maintenance guys, donít go to the reception- it is just a waste of time."
E from Lisbon feels that they are trying hard in the bungalows
"Kind staff, nice breakfast, and confortable room. It was as clean as possible, as we were on the beach. The bathrooom was very poor. But these problems stem from it being a poor country, making a GREAT effort to become a better place to live. And they are almost there."
F from Australia found it OK
"We found the hotel not too bad, but definitly not great. We were in the main complex ( as opposed to one of the bungalows) and found the sound insulation so poor we could here every word the people in the room next to us were saying (or the TV for that matter). Since many people arrive in the middle of the night from the airport and walk noisily down the main corridor, this makes for bad sleep. However we were pleased with most other things: They kept the rooms clean, food was good (we had the all inclusive and went mainly for seafood). Staff was courteous enough, although sometimes a bit too relaxed and definitely not going out of their way to help you. You have to find things out for yourself, they dont offer basic infos like which restaurant can be used for the all inclusive, what times are the meals etc etc. The pools are nice, there is one big pool with pool bar and one which is more of a lap pool. In winter the water in the pool is quite cold, but refreshing. The location for us was the most important thing: Very close to a nice part of Santa Maria beach (other parts can be rocky) and close to Club Mistral which is the main windsurfing station. When we were there the water was quite calm, ok for just going for a swim or playing in the waves, without dangerous currents etc. Strangely a lot of people just hang by the pool and dont go to the beach. You can also easily walk to Santa Maria town in just a few minutes to check it out and get an impressions how the locals live. Once rented bycicles to ride around the town. You couldnt do this if you were staying in the RIU, its too far away. "